Placing Items on Reserve

Faculty may set aside books, media and readings for student use. Print reserves can circulate outside of the library. e-Reserves are accessible to students via their course pages in Blackboard. 

*Coronavirus & E-Reserve Services*

Course Reserves encourages any faculty members to place electronic reserve requests to have course material made available to students. The Reserves Team can either have physical materials digitized and uploaded or electronic resources linked to a course reserves folder in Blackboard. After the first item is posted in this folder, the Reserves Team will send a Blackboard Activation email with a link for the faculty member to make these materials available to their students. . Please note, the Mason Reserves Team consists of a small staff. We will process requests as quickly as we can. With this in mind, provide as much extra time as possible.

What type of materials can Course Reserves process?

Course Reserves staff are restricted to only using Mason-Owned, Open Access, or materials found freely available online for e-reserve purposes. Please keep in mind, we are unable to digitize media materials due to copyright restrictions. Unfortunately, the Reserves Team no longer has access to Mason’s physical collections and are unable able to scan PDFS of these materials. However, we are able to place any online materials owned by Mason Libraries on e-reserve.

Please note, we are unable to digitize media materials to place on e-reserve due to copyright restrictions. Nor are we able to purchase subscriptions to electronic materials. Currently, the Reserves Team is also restricted from placing rush purchase requests for physical materials and rush recalls from patron’s who have the needed item checked out.

Faculty members can also utilize this info-guide to find out what kind of publisher and vendor support has become available in response to COVID-19: 


Guidelines for Placing a Course Reserves request:

  • Check to see if Mason owns the material on the library’s website:
    • If we do not, we suggest trying to find something similar to the original materials needed that Mason does own and request that.
    • If you cannot substitute, let us know when you place the request and we can try some alternative resources to attempt and get the material needed.
  • One citation per request. If you need multiple chapters from the same book, we need a request per each chapter.
  • Requests are processed in the order they are received. We do try and prioritize requests that need a quicker turnaround time, if possible.
  • ‘Needed by Date’ in the online form is one way we can try to do this. Faculty members need to put in the exact date the material is needed by for that day’s class.
    • Do not put ASAP or immediately. We need an exact date to help try and prioritize.
  • Incomplete forms will cause delays.

How To: 

1: Login to ILLiad with your Mason NetID and Password.
2: Click the ‘New Reserve Request’ button on the left side of the screen.

  •    If you do not have this button, contact the Reserves Team at:
  •      ***Please note that if you click ‘New Interlibrary Loan Request,’ your request will come in as an Interlibrary Loan request and not a Reserve request***

3: Fill out the form (i.e. class information, complete book/article information, 'Need by Date', etc.)
4: Click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the screen.


Regular Course Reserves Information:

Before You Get Started:

  • One citation per reserve request due to copyright evaluation. 
  • Requests are processed in the order received.
  • Incomplete forms will cause delays.
  • Requests should be submitted 3 weeks (or more) prior to being needed.
  • If the items are not in the University Libraries' collections and need to be ordered, provide extra time.

Overview of Process

  1. View the How to Place a Reserve Request tutorial.
  2. Identify the resource to put on reserve.
  3. Login to ILLiad.
    • On the left menu select "Place a New Reserve Request".
    • Choose to reserve an Article or Book Chapter (e-Reserves), or a Book or Media Item.
    • The requester will be prompted to enter your course information. If not, verify you are using the New Reserve Request form.
    • Provide as much information as possible to help locate the item.
  4. Confirm the materials are in compliance with Copyright Law.
    • Learn more about Copyright & Reserves.
    • The requester must obtain written permission from the author of any student papers/projects or dissertations.
    • If required, the University Libraries will attempt to obtain permissions and will pay applicable permissions fees as the library's budget allows. If the cost is deemed unreasonable or excessive for a particular item, the library will notify the requester and seek possible alternative solutions.
  5. Provide materials, if needed.
    • For materials not currently owned by the University Libraries, faculty may temporarily provide an original copy to be held on physical reserve, until one is purchased by the libraries.
    • For items owned by the University Libraries, Reserves staff will obtain or scan the item.

    Providing Student Access to Reserves

    • Print and Media Reserves
      • Students may determine item status, call number, and location through a catalog title search.
      • Students may consult the main Reserves page.
      • Remind students that reserves have limited borrowing periods. 
    • e-Reserves
      • Activate your course in Blackboard.
      • Once processed, the requestor will receive an email with a link to your e-Reserves folder. Add the link into the content area of the course page in Blackboard.
      • For assistance, see the How to Link e-Reserves in Blackboard tutorial.

    Permanent Reserves

    The University Libraries has small “Permanent Reserve" collections.  These consist of items determined - based upon value, usage and/or theft patterns - to require restricted in-library-use only access. This is distinct from Course Reserves, which are linked to a specific course for the length of the term. If you think an item should be evaluated for Permanent Reserve contact your subject librarian.

    Contact Information

    For questions regarding reserves, please contact the Reserves Team at