Placing Items on Reserve


COVID-19, Course Reserves, &  E-First:

 Course Reserves, in alignment with the Libraries Textbooks & E-First Statement, is now an E-only service for Spring 2021 due to COVID-19.

Physical materials on course reserve will not be able to circulate from Libraries’ Information Desks due to safety concerns for students. We have been working diligently to develop alternative methods to make print course reserves accessible.

What does this mean for Course Reserves?

  1. The Reserves Team or Instructor can reach out to the subject librarian about the potential to purchase the material in an electronic format.
  2. The Reserves Team can perform scanning services to make sections of the material available digitally for controlled-student access in Blackboard. Please note, all scanning services are subject to copyright limitations. Copyright permission will be sought where feasible in cases where the excerpt falls outside of fair dealing guidelines.

Please note, Course Reserves consists of a small staff. We will process any requests and respond to any questions as quickly as we can. Email responses may take 2-3 business days. With this in mind, we suggest providing as much extra time as possible when placing reserve requests. 

Thank you for your patience.


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. The Mason Reserves Team now has access to Mason’s physical collections again and are able to scan PDFS of these materials to be made available online for controlled-student access. 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. 


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 using an existing e-book from a relevant subject area from the library's e-book collection. Faculty can consult with our subject librarians about alternatives or the potential to purchase the material as e-book.
    • 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