“My professor said this is on reserve”: E-reserves vs. books on reserve

| February 3, 2012

During your first few classes, you likely had a professor or two mention that the readings or textbooks for the course are on reserve at the library. Or at the library. Or on course reserves. Or on e-reserves.

These mysterious utterances seem to mean pretty much the same thing, however, they can actually have one of several meanings:

1) Your readings were ordered by your professor to be made available electronically for you and your classmates. This means they are on e-reserve a.k.a. course reserves. To access your course reserves, go to the library homepage, look under library services, and click on “course reserves.” Sign in with your UNI. Then you should see a screen that looks like this:

Course reserves screen, with my requests, my classes, help, and make a request in the top right corner.

Click on “my classes” in the top right corner. Select a course from the drop-down box in the left sidebar. If your professor put readings on e-reserve / course reserves, then they should appear when you choose your course. This is most likely the method your professor used to give you access to chapters and articles as opposed to entire books.

2) The second possibility is that your professor asked that a particular physical book be placed on reserve for you and your classmates at the front desk of the library. This is likely the case if it’s an entire textbook or perhaps a DVD. To find out if that book/resource is “on reserve” here at the front desk, open up the TC catalog EDUCAT and search for the book/resource by title or author. When you see the book/resource you’re looking for, take a look at right side of the catalog record under “Location.” If  it says “on reserve,” the book is, indeed, on reserve at the front desk. You can come and ask one of us at the front desk for it. When you do, it’s most helpful if you tell us the call number, which is listed in the middle of the catalog record under “Call No.” If it says “main” or “oversize” for the location, then the book is not on reserve but rather in the stacks. Ask us at the front desk for a stacks directory to locate exactly where the book is.

To illustrate the difference between books in the main stacks and books on reserve, here is an example search for The Great Gatsby in the TC catalog (EDUCAT). The following catalog records come up:

Catalog record for two different copies of the Great Gatsby. The first is listed as "main" and the second as "on reserve."

As you can see, the first book’s location is “main,” meaning it can be found in the main stacks. The second book’s location is “on reserve,” meaning you can get it at the front desk. Write down the call number (here, PZ3.F5754 Tj c.4), give it to us at the front desk, and we’ll get the book for you.

Another important thing to be aware of is that books on reserve can only be checked out for two hours at a time. If you need it for longer, just come to the desk within those two hours and–in the case that no one else has asked for it–we can renew it for you.

3) The third and most rare possibility is that your professor has some documents in a special folder set aside for your class here at the front desk. This might be the case if the professor wants to make some non-library materials available to the class, such as example projects from previous semesters or non-library audio/visual material. In this case, just give us your professor’s name, we’ll go get the folder, and then you can tell us what exactly you need out of it.

Finally, if your professor has placed resources on reserve, you do not need to order the books or chapters or articles yourself on e-reserves! If you want to order books for some other reason, here is a guide on how to do so “How To: Requesting Materials for e-reserve.”