Course Reserves Information for Faculty
1. Library books and other non-photocopied material
Bring material for reserve to the front desk together with a completed print reserves form . If you are using items from the library's collection, we will let you know if the item you want to use is unavailable or needs to be recalled from a patron. Note that copyright law prohibits us from putting copies of workbooks, test booklets, or other consumable works on reserve.
2. Photocopied material
You must provide complete source citations for each photocopied item you wish to place on reserve; the information needed for sources is listed on print reserves form. Consult the copyright information below to make certain that we are permitted by copyright law to place ALL of your photocopied material on reserve.
Copyright Law and Course Reserves
1. Understanding Copyright in Course Reserves
Copyright law forbids redistribution of scanned course materials unless permission from the copyright holder has been obtained, the work is out of copyright, or a careful fair use analysis has been undertaken. Faculty members are personally responsible under University policy for respecting copyright, including their delivery of materials to students through course reserves.
2. Guidance on Use of Books in Course Reserves – Baseline Standards
Recent case law (see Cambridge University Press v. Becker, a.k.a. the “Georgia State e-reserves case”) provides the first direct judicial guidance on digitization and delivery of portions of books via course reserves to students at non-profit educational institutions. This case establishes the following amounts as a baseline for scanning and delivery of non-fiction books on the basis of fair use:
- No more than one chapter for a work with chapters, OR
- No more than 10% of a work without chapters
- In any given course
- In any given semester
In following the new guidelines, faculty should always carefully consider the educational need for the requested material to support teaching and learning. This assessment of educational need is intended to reduce the amount of gratuitous or unnecessary material copied and delivered to students without permission and the payment of fees. You should copy only the material you consider essential for your students’ learning.
3. Works of Fiction
The case law example noted above does not establish standards for the use of works of fiction in course reserves. The amounts given above should be understood as the maximum that should be copied from an individual book or volume of fiction. If anything, works of fiction are considered even more highly protected in copyright and they are theoretically subject to even greater restrictions on copying without permission. The Fair Use Checklist from Columbia University is a useful tool for evaluating whether the evidence is in favor of or against fair use.
4. Individualized Determinations – Exceeding the Baseline
If you believe that your students need access to more than 10% or a single chapter of a given book in your course, a number of options are available:
If students will need to read a substantial portion of the book, you should investigate whether the work in question can be purchased by them individually.
If portions of the work can be licensed through the publisher or the Copyright Clearance Center, you can ask the Alfred University Bookstore to obtain rights to produce a print course pack for direct purchase by your students. Contact the bookstore for more information.
In some instances, permission may be granted by the copyright holder to exceed the baseline of fair use. Contacting the publisher and requesting permission is a possible option.
If the work is unavailable for licensing or purchase in the amounts you need, there may be a strong basis under principles of fair use for delivery of additional material to your students through course reserves.