Course Reserves at University Libraries


West Chester University Libraries provides course reserves in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law. Each request is considered on a case by case basis and the four factors of Fair Use are examined as needed.  Some requests may not meet the definition of Fair Use; in those cases library staff will investigate options to obtain the required permissions and/or licenses or assist faculty with identifying alternative resources.

General Guidelines

  • Materials may be placed on reserve only at the request of faculty for noncommercial, educational use and made available only to students enrolled in the course.
  • Materials placed on reserve must be owned or licensed by the university or the requesting faculty member.
  • Materials obtained via Interlibrary Loan may not be placed on reserve.
  • All materials placed on reserve will include a notice of copyright.
  • Course materials will be removed after the course ends.
  • The amount of material placed on course reserve should be reasonable in relation to the total amount of material assigned for one semester, taking into account the nature of the course.

Electronic Reserves

West Chester University Libraries highly recommends that instructors consider using licensed electronic resources available from the collection whenever possible.  There are no limits in how many licensed resources can be linked in the reserve system.  

Alternatively, instructors can upload files into the reserve system or submit material to be scanned at the reserve desk. Full attribution should be provided for each work - title and copyright page for the book or journal.  Determination will be done on a case-by-case basis, whether the use of a copyrighted work requires permission or qualifies for fair use. When permissions are needed, library staff will attempt to acquire permission.

Examples of cases where permissions may need to be sought:

  • Multiple articles from one journal issue are needed for a particular course.
  • Multiple chapters from one book are needed for a particular course.
  • Multiple charts, graphs, diagrams, images from a book or periodical

Fair Use

four factors of fair use