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Course Reserves

What are Course Reserves?

Course Reserves are physical items a professor has requested to be set aside for students in a specific course. You can access them by visiting the first-floor Service Desk of Helmke Library. These items vary in material type, ranging from textbooks to supplemental readings, to DVDs or CDs, and more. Not every course will have something on reserve, so please check with your instructor about whether your course has reserve materials. Often, reserve items will also be mentioned in a course syllabus or an assignment sheet.

How do I access my Course Reserves?

If your course has resource(s) on reserve at Helmke Library, you will need to come to the library's first-floor Service Desk to access them. Because these items are frequently special and don't always belong to the library, we keep them behind the Service Desk in a secured area. But don't worry, the awesome staff here will get you the items you need.

To help us better serve you, please follow the steps below to access your Course Reserves.

  • Prepare ahead of time by bringing several items with you to the library:
    • Your Mastodon Card
    • Your Course Number and Professor's name
  • Please come to the first-floor Service Desk. This is the Service Desk that faces our main entrance, just across from the Liberal Arts building.
  • Let the staff member at the desk know you would like to access the material(s) on reserve for your course. Let them know the course number and professor's name. 
  • The staff member will retrieve the resource for you, and use your Mastodon Card to check the item out to you for the loan period specified by your professor.
  • When you're done with the item(s), you can return them to the service desk or place them in one of the book drops in and around the library (just outside the library entrance at the sky bridge, between the double-doors at the main library entrance, or in the wall book depository located to the left of the service desk).

It's important to note that: 

  • Course Reserves are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Course Reserves cannot be placed on hold nor do we keep a wait-list for students. 
  • Course Reserves cannot be renewed, though you can check the material(s) out multiple times. 

Your professor determines the loan period, and it will vary by course and material. Some items may be checked out for several days while others are only available for a few hours and cannot leave the building. Make sure you know how long you have access to the material so you don’t incur late fees.

Also, please keep in mind that the resource may not be available when you stop in, especially in cases where the material is required for a course assignment, there is only one copy of the item available, and/or the assignment due date is fast approaching. If the resource is not available due to being on loan to another student, you'll either need to wait near the desk for it to return or stop in at another time or date.

A Few Tips:

  • Each resource has been selected by your professor, either from their own collection or ours. The number of copies available and the loan period is also set by your professor. If you feel that either of these need to be adjusted, please speak with your professor and have them contact us.
  • If your Reserve item has a short loan period, you may want to hand the item back to a staff member at the service desk rather than placing it in a book drop. Book drops are checked at opening and closing of the building. If your Reserve was a two-hour loan and you returned it to a book drop, you will receive automated overdue notices on the items until we are able to retrieve the material(s) and get them checked back in. 
  • Returning Reserves with short loan periods to book drops instead of to the desk also means your classmates may not have access to the item(s) for a chunk of the day--or that you don't have access to the item(s) because a classmate has done the same.
  • Some courses place the required textbook(s) on reserve at the library. It's always worth checking with your professor or the library to see if the textbook is available as a Reserve. The loan period will not allow you to have the text for the entire semester, but it will allow you to keep up with the readings until you can secure a copy.

If you stop at the library for Reserve materials but we are unable to locate a Reserve item for your course, there are a few possible explanations:

  • The Reserves team has not finished processing the request.
  • Your professor has not placed a request.
  • The materials are actually course materials included through the bookstore.