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Course Reserves: Faculty Information

Submit Requests

The Libraries are now accepting lists of required course materials for all Fall 2023 library reserves. Reserve lists should contain all required materials, both physical and electronic.

  • Requests for course reserves received before Monday, August 14, 2023 will be prioritized for processing and should be available by the first day of classes.
  • Requests will be processed in the order they are received.

Lists should be sent to, with the course code in the subject line.

When submitting a request, please include the following information for each item:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Page numbers or chapter selections (if applicable)

If an item is out of print, on order or unobtainable, reserve staff may arrange to borrow from a Five College Library for part of the semester. Please consult with reserves staff regarding use of Five College materials.

Priority Deadlines

Material lists submitted by faculty are processed by library staff on a rolling first-come, first-served basis. Please submit your syllabus with the request and we will prioritize materials to be ready by the date they are assigned.

  • Please allow for 2 weeks for scanning and streaming services at the start of a new semester.
  • All requests must include complete bibliographic information or a permalink to a catalog record.
  • If a request is time-sensitive, please indicate the date it is needed by when submitting the request.

Note that course reserves links on Moodle will not automatically roll over each semester with your new course site. Please let us know if you would like to reuse materials and we will update the link for you.

It doesn’t matter whether we have it in the catalog or not – submit a request! We will place an order for the item if we do not own a copy or have a license, and then make sure it is available to students. Note: There is no need to fill out the Faculty Book & Media Order form.

Accessing E-Reserves

Moodle is used to deliver electronic copies of materials (e.g. book chapters, journal articles, audio files, notes, etc.). E-Reserve documents are available only to students enrolled in the course and are accessible on and off campus.

Search E-Reserves Find e-reserves by course number, name or instructor
Moodle Login using Smith Network username and password.

Accessing Print Reserves

Search Print Reserves

Print reserves are physical materials requested by the instructor of courses at Smith. The items are loaned out for short periods of time (4 hours at a time) so that students share them but can use them for short study sessions. You can bring them out of the library as long as they are returned to the library you borrowed them from (Neilson, Hillyer or Josten) within the loan period.

Types of Reserves

  • Some ebooks are only available under a one-user-at-a-time license.
  • Whenever possible, we acquire multiple-user or unlimited-user ebooks.
  • Keep in mind not all print books are available electronically as ebooks. Some titles that are available as ebooks for personal use (such as Kindle) cannot be purchased under a library license.
  • Publisher permissions around how many pages can be printed, emailed or saved vary by book. This information is displayed at the top of the landing page for each book.

Single User E-Books

How can you tell whether an ebook is available for unlimited users, multiple users, or only one user at a time? Go to the catalog record for the ebook. If an ebook is available only for a limited number of users at a time, this information will be listed under the Concurrent User Level section.

E-book record showing single user access

Loan Periods for E-Books

  • Ebooks with limited user licenses have loan periods that depend on the platform.
  • EBSCO: the load period is currently 3 hours.
  • ProQuest: the user can choose 1 day, 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days to check out an ebook.
  • HathiTrust: times out after 1 hour; if you need it for longer, this will be renewed.
  • Internet Archive: the loan period is 1 hour. These items are not owned by Smith and they cannot be found using Discover. You will need to create a free Internet Archive account to borrow Internet Archive ebook copies (see the terms of use).

Returning E-Books

Please see our FAQ for returning ebooks.

I’m Getting This Error—What’s Happening?

Error message when an e-book is loaned to another user

Streaming Platforms Supported by the Libraries

The Libraries subscribe to a number of media streaming platforms. See the Streaming Video library resource guide.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Other Streaming Services

Unfortunately, the Libraries are unable to purchase and provide access to commercial streaming services. In order for the library to provide access to a streaming film, we need to be able to purchase an institutional access license for the purposes of making it available to the college community. The licenses available for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are such that the film is only authorized for use by an individual or family owning an account.


  • If possible, we provide a link to a streaming version of a video, but this is not always possible.
  • If there is a DVD copy that needs to be streamed to support course work, let us know; we are happy to do that! The best way is to submit a reserve request.
  • Please understand that we need at least 48 hours notice for streaming DVDs on site at Smith College, 1–2 weeks for items currently available in other Five College libraries (Mt Holyoke, UMASS, Amherst, Hampshire), and at least 2 weeks for items not yet in our collection (items that have been ordered).
  • In addition to the course number, please include the date the video is needed by when submitting your request. This helps us prioritize items needed sooner.
  • If the video has a title in a foreign language, please provide the original title as well as the English title. This helps us find the right item. For foreign-language videos, let us know if you prefer subtitles in English or the original language.

Media Captioning

Media whenever possible will have captions or subtitles.

About our Services 

Do you have required material for your course that you would like students to easily access in one place? Libraries staff can assist faculty with print and electronic course materials, including books, chapters, films, and more. Working with our staff ensures that course materials meet copyright and accessibility guidelines. Course Reserve services are available at all libraries and include:

  • Locating and acquiring instructional course materials and readings for faculty upon request
  • Creating accessible, screen reader-compatible screens of readings using optical character recognition (OCR), ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Creating copyright-compliant permalinks to resources licensed by the Libraries that can be shared with students via Moodle


The Libraries make every reasonable effort to ensure that all instructional materials are accessible. Please see the college's web page Accessible Instructional Materials for more information on how to make texts and media accessible to students. Submitting course materials to the reserves team allows us to make sure that all materials can be used by all students to the fullest extent possible. Learn more about accessibility on the ACRL website.

Copyright & Fair Use

All reserves are subject to copyright regulations. Generally, copyright restrictions do not apply to resources available online through one of the Smith Libraries' subscription databases or a free website with the following limits.

  • Chapter scans: we can scan up to 10% or 1 chapter of a given book, whichever is greater. Exceptions can be made in special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, such as if the book is out of print and the rights holder has granted permission.
  • Ebooks with a single-user license: as with print books, we can scan up to 10% or 1 chapter of the text to allow students simultaneous access.
  • When processing book requests, we will order an ebook if one is available. If a library ebook license cannot be purchased, we are limited to scanning selections.

Please use the reserves request form for all required material needs, including books, ebooks, articles and chapters. We can often find alternate ways of accessing materials, and this also helps us make sure to renew licenses for needed resources that might otherwise expire.

Copyright Clearance

Arrange for copyright clearance when required. Generally, first-time use of materials, as well as use of previously scanned materials in a new course, is considered to be fair use. Repeated use for the same course in subsequent semesters requires permission. See the Copyright flow chart.

Smith College Copyright Policy Policies, fair use principles, help, contacts and resources
Copyright Clearance Center Centralized service for requesting permissions and paying royalties
Copyright & the Classroom Steps for determining copyright and requesting permissions for print and electronic reserve
Copyright Toolkit Association of College & Research Libraries
Librarian's Advice for Educators

Frequently Asked Questions

See our FAQs for answers to questions about e-books, e-reserves, and more.

Contact Us

Call: 413-585-2910

For help with Moodle including usernames or passwords, please contact the IT Service Center at