Skip to Main Content

Course Reserves for Students

A guide on what course reserve materials are and how to use them.

What are Course Reserves?

Course reserve materials are supplementary instructional items, such as books and films, that instructors place behind the circulation desk for their classes. Reserve items are available for shorter checkout periods than regular items in the stacks and must be returned at the circulation desk and not the outdoor book drop. Reserve items, depending on the professor, can be checked out for 2 hours, 4 hours, 1 day, 3 days, or 3 weeks. Some reserve items are only available for use within the library. 


When checking out course reserves, come ready with the course abbreviation and number or the professor’s last name, and the name of the book. If you have the item’s call number already, you can simply ask the circulation desk workers to retrieve the book from the course reserve bookshelves.

Finding Course Reserve Items

There are two ways to find course reserve materials on our website: by looking up the course abbreviation and number on the library’s home page or by searching for the professor’s last name here.


Search by Course
Reserve materials are supplementary instructional items (books, chapters, films, web pages, etc.) that an instructor places at the Circulation desk or on an electronic course page for their classes. Search a course to find reserve materials. Search by the course abbreviation and number for best results (Examples: MKTG 2301 or COMM 1302).


screenshot of Search by Course box on the home page of the Coates Library website



















Search by Professor’s Last Name

Don’t know the class abbreviation and number for your class? Look up your class using the instructor’s last name! 


Screenshot of the course reserves instructor search bar


Where are the course reserve items located?

Course reserve items are located behind the circulation desk. You may ask the circulation workers to get a course reserve item for you, or if your class is part of a browsing section, then you may go behind the desk and find the item on your own. 


Can I leave the library with course reserve items?

Yes, with few exceptions, most course reserve items can be taken out of the library. Those that can only be used within the library are labeled appropriately as LIBRARY USE ONLY.


Can I return a course reserve item at the outdoor book drop?
No. Course reserve items must be returned to the circulation desk inside the library. Course reserve items that are left in the book drop may incur late fees. 


Can I electronically renew or place a hold on a course reserve item?

No, students cannot renew reserve items electronically like regular books, nor can they place a hold on them. If no other students are waiting to check out the course reserve item, you may renew it at the circulation desk in person before the loan period ends. If you need an item longer than it is designated, please contact your professor ahead of time and have them contact Matthew Landers ( about an extension.


How long can I keep a course reserve item?
It depends on the item and what your instructor has chosen as the reserve time length. Reserve items are available for checkout for either 2 hours, 4 hours, 1 day, 3 days, or 3 weeks. Each course reserve item is labeled with the appropriate checkout length, so students can easily see how long they can keep the item. You can also ask the library workers at the circulation desk for clarification if you have any questions.


Can I see if an item on reserve is available or has been checked out?

Yes, anyone can see whether or not an item is available by checking the item’s record in our catalog. If a book is checked out, you will see the due date in the status. This is helpful when you are waiting on short-term reserves to be returned!


Screenshot of a book catalog entry on the Coates Library webpage