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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Reserves Guide for Instructors

This guide provides information for instructors concerning how to request and manage course reserve materials.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about reserves services, please contact the departmental library or contact the Main Stacks:

(217) 333-8400



General information about placing materials on reserve can be found on the Placing Physical Materials on Reserves page of this guide.


Appropriate Materials

  • Library materials
  • Personal copies



  • Can I submit requests for someone else?
  • When can I submit requests?
  • What information do I need to provide?
  • Do I need to provide all materials?


  • Who processes reserves requests?
  • How will I know when my materials are available?
  • What if some materials aren't available when I submit my request?


  • How will my students access my reserves?
  • How long can students have the materials?
  • Can I see my reserves list before the semester begins?
  • Who should I contact if I or my students are having difficulties or questions?
  • How do I make bookings (reservations) for media materials I wish to show in class?

End of the Semester

  • Can I carry over reserves to the next semester?
  • How will I get my personal copies back?
  • How do I get my personal copies back before the semester is over?

Appropriate Materials

Library materials

Typically, items owned by the University Library can be placed on reserve at any library reserves location. Materials belonging to other institutions and the Residence Hall Library system cannot be placed on reserve.


Personal copies

You are welcome to submit personal or departmental copies of books for reserves using the Reserves Request Form (MSWord). You may place as many personal copies as you wish on reserve.

We place call number and barcode labels on each item. If you intend to have the item on reserves for future semesters, it is helpful if these labels are left on the item(s) for reuse.

The Library assumes no responsibility for damage that could occur while personal copies are on course reserves.



Can I submit on behalf someone else?

Teaching assistants, departmental staff, etc. can submit reserve requests on behalf of faculty/instructors.

If you wish to be informed of the status of reserve requests you submit on behalf of an instructor, please provide your contact information in the request:

  • In the Reserves Request Webform, click Add an Instructor/Contact and enter your name and email.
  • On the Reserves Request Form (MSWord), please provide your name and email in the Notes field.

Please list the primary instructor first, followed by secondary instructors/assistants.


When can I submit requests?

Reserve requests can be submitted at any time for current or future semesters. However, Library items won't be removed from normal circulation until a month or two before the semester begins. Requests will be processed in the order that they are received, but requests for the current semester take priority over requests for future semesters.

If you are submitting requests that the Library purchase materials for reserves, please submit as early as possible to allow time for the item(s) to be purchased, received, and cataloged.


What information do I need to provide?

Please list the exact title, author/director, and edition (if that is important) of each item. It is not necessary to include the call numbers or to bring library-owned materials in yourself, but doing so can help to expedite processing of your list.

If you have a syllabus or bibliography with complete citation information, you can submit the Reserve Request Form (MSWord) with just the top section filled in and a copy of the syllabus or bibliography attached.


Do I need to provide all materials?

You only need to provide personal copies. Library staff obtain Library-owned materials as part of processing.

If Library items that you currently have checked out are a part of your reserves list, please submit them with the the Reserve Request Form (MSWord) to prevent delays in processing.


Who processes reserve requests?

The staff of each departmental library processes the reserves for that location. Please indicate the location that you'd like your reserves to be held in your Reserves Request.


How will I know when my materials are available?

Our online ticketing system tracks all reserve requests.

  • Requests submitted through webforms and email are automatically logged.
  • Requests submitted in person are manually logged, generally the following business day.

Our online ticketing system automatically generates a request received email for all requests at the time they are logged. If you do not receive a request received email for any reserves submissions, we did not receive it.

You will receive another email from us when your request has been processed. You may receive an additional email between these if we have questions while processing your requests.


What if some materials aren't available when I submit my request?

Often, we have to recall certain books that have been checked out by another patron, which can take three weeks or more.

If the library does not own a particular item on your list, we will be happy to attempt to order it. Please note that it can take weeks or months for materials to arrive and be processed. Please submit purchase requests as early as possible.


How will my students access my physical reserves?

Students may want to check out the Find and Use Course Reserves help page for general information, or can search current reserves in the Library Catalog

Students need to provide the call number for each reserve item at the service desk where the item is held. Reserves items are typically restricted to use within the Library building.


How long can students have the materials?

Most reserves items circulate for two hours at a time within the Library. If you would like a non-standard loan period for your reserve materials, please include that information in your request.


Can I see my reserve list before the semester begins?

Reserve lists display in the Library Catalog starting one week before the first day of instruction for the semester.


Who should I contact if I or my students have questions?

Please contact the Library that you chose as the location for your reserves to be held using the Library Directory


End of the Semester

All materials on reserve are automatically taken off reserve at the end of the semester unless a request is submitted to carry them over to the next semester.


Can I carry over physical reserves to the next semester?

You can carry over current physical reserves by notifying reserves staff before the end of the semester, providing the following information:

  • Course(s)
  • Instructor(s)
  • Semester

For physical reserves from previous semesters, we ask that you re-submit using the forms as we don't have a database that tracks past physical reserves.


How will I get my personal copies back?

All personal copies are sent through Campus Mail to the departmental office shortly after the semester ends (unless you have submitted a request that the materials be carried over).


How do I get my personal copies back before the semester is over?

Staff at the appropriate service desk will give you the "Taking Personal Copies Off Reserve" form when you come in for your items, or you can download it below. 

The staff will later use the information from the form to remove those items from your reserve list.