Reserves Information for Faculty

Reserves are materials set aside by faculty for use by their students; depending on the length and type of material, they can be offered as Traditional Reserves or E-Reserves.

  • Traditional reserves are physical items (books, journals, videos, DVDs, etc) that may be checked out at the Information Desk for a specified amount of time.
  • E-Reserves (usually articles or chapters) are available online as PDF downloads. They could also be PowerPoint slides, Word documents or other electronic files. Students will need a password (provided by their instructor) to access the PDFs.

How to put items on reserve: the basics

Allow up to 2 working days for items to be processed.


  • Submit items to the Main Circulation Desk at Cowles Library with a note that includes your name, course number and title, and password preference.
  • We’ll scan your personal copy of a book chapter, article, practice test, or similar item into a PDF file for your students to view online.
  • We can scan library-owned material (a chapter from a book or article) to allow your students to view them online. Give us a complete citation and we’ll pull the material for you. Full books will go on the reserve shelves. (see below)
  • If your course readings are web sites, e-books, or journal articles available in the library’s databases, please provide the URL or citation.
  • If you already have a PDF of your article, submit it to
  • If you have submitted copies in the past, it is not necessary to do so again. Pages can be reactivated each semester with the documents intact and a new password added.
  • An account must be added and a course page established by the library reserves staff for new individuals before any documents can be added to it. After that has been done, faculty can upload their own documents or make folders and other changes to their course pages if they wish. Step-by-step instructions for adding your own E-Reserves material are available in our E-Reserves for Faculty guide. If you need assistance adding material or created folders, please contact Kris Mogle (, x4819)

Traditional Reserves (Hard copy materials that are library or faculty owned)

Entire books will need to be placed on Traditional Reserves (see below.)

  • Submit items to the Main Circulation Desk at Cowles Library with a note that includes your name, course number and title.
  • Personal copies of material will be processed by putting library barcodes and labels on items. Paperback books will be laminated to protect them.
  • We cannot accept items from other libraries or video stores.
  • 2 hour checkout for material means in-library use only.

Meredith Scherb
(515) 271-2119

Course Reserves Request Form for Instructors

All fields are required, except when noted.

Please include area code and prefix (e.g., 515-271-9999)
Select Print Reserve or E-Reserve
In other words, can your personal copy leave the library building while it’s checked out?