Using Course Reserves at the USM Libraries

A USM Card must be presented in order to check out physical reserve materials. In addition, please have the course number/ prefix and instructor’s name with you to request reserve materials.

Course reserve materials include:

Explanation of how to access Electronic Reserves and Physical Reserves

Electronic Reserves – Sign into MyUSM portal. Click on USM Quick Links. Click on USM Course Reserves (ARES). Find your courses and add them to your ARES main page. (Have your course number handy, e.g. ENG 102, BIO 101).

Physical Reserves – Go to the campus Library (Portland, Gorham, or LAC) where your faculty member has placed the item on reserve. You can check out the item, usually for 2 hours, for use in the Library.

Textbooks on Reserve – Check here to see if a textbook for your course is on reserve, and at which Library location. Bring your USM ID to the Library’s Access Services desk to checkout a textbook on reserve for 2 hour in-Library use.

Information about Textbooks

The USM Libraries, with the support of the Student Government and support of the Provost, purchase many of the Level 100 & 200 course Textbooks. These textbooks can be checked out at the Circulation desk of each campus for a period of 2 hours, and must be used in the library.

To see if the Libraries has your text, check the URSUS Library Catalog or just Ask A Librarian!

Faculty – Placing Materials on Reserve

Course Reserves are class-related materials selected by faculty to support the university’s academic programs.

Hard Copy Reserve materials may include:

  • Books from the Library’s collections
  • Faculty member’s personal copy of books.
  • Audio/visual materials

Electronic Reserve materials may include:

  • Articles
  • Copies of non-copyright materials, such as class notes, tests, etc.
  • Videos (must be owned by the library – visit the Video and Media for more information.

The library staff strives to process all faculty requests for course reserves in a timely manner and in conformance to copyright law, as required by the General Counsel.

Instructors must complete the Reserve Form above and submit it to the Circulation desk at the Glickman Family Library (Portland) , the Gorham Campus Library, or the LAC Library. Copies of the form are also available at the service desks at each of these libraries. Library staff will pull library owned books or media items from the Library shelves for placement on Reserves.

Personal items or any reproductions of materials to be placed on Reserves must be delivered in person to the library or emailed to The Library must have a completed Reserve form for any emailed items sent to Reserve. Emailed items must include all of the requested information listed below. When completing the form, the expiration date, office room number, and email address are important. This information is used to ensure timely removal and return of materials to the faculty member. Incomplete forms are held with the materials until complete information is obtained from the professor.

Provide all requested information for each item to be placed on reserve:

  • Complete citation for each journal article the student is expected to read.
  • Complete citation for each chapter excerpted from a complete work.
  • Complete citation for all personal books provided.
  • All photocopied items MUST include a copy of the original copyright statement from the photocopied work (see section 108(a) (3) of U.S. Copyright Law).

Copyright for reserves:

  • All reserve materials must comply with copyright laws. See our Copyright Policies page for more information.

Removal of Materials from Reserve

All materials are removed from Reserve at the end of the semester. Personal copies, including all file folders, are returned to faculty at this time. Unless otherwise requested, the address listed on the Reserve form will be used to mail materials. The Library is not responsible for lost or damaged personal items placed on Reserves. Questions about Reserves

Course Reserve Information

For questions or assistance with course reserves, contact the Reserves Staff.

The primary purpose of Reserves is to make limited copies of required course material available in an equitable manner. Reserve material may include required readings, course notes or syllabi, past exams and audio/visual materials. Reserve material may also be in electronic format and available for viewing on the Internet.

Reserve materials are generally located in the Library on the campus where the course is offered. Materials are shelved and circulated from the Circulation Department and are accessible whenever the Libraries are open. Electronic reserve items are available, via the Internet, at all times.

A barcoded Library card must be presented to borrow Reserve material. Reserve items are to be used by Faculty, staff and students with a current USM Card.

Reserve materials circulate for either:
2 hours
24 hours
3 days

Reserve materials are not renewable.

Two reserve items may be borrowed at a time.

Holds and recalls are not allowed on reserve materials.

Reserve materials are due at the circulating campus Library by the date/time due.

Fines$2.00 per hour/day
Billed item charge$35.00
Processing charge$10.00

Overdue notices are a courtesy and the Library takes no responsibility for the non-receipt of overdue notices.

Any request for a course reserve or textbooks by a student is welcome.  Due to copyright, we need to provide it via the course reserve site for your class.  We will take your request, process it, and inform the faculty member. Please provide the course name, number, instructor, and the material to be placed on reserve. Contact us at

The library works to follow the provisions of academic fair use.

USM maintains a reserve collection, in both print and electronic formats, to support the instructional requirements of specific courses. The copyrighted material included in course reserves should be covered by the “Fair Use” provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 (Section 107). The Library will follow the principle of fair use when placing materials on course reserve. Fair use provisions are based on brevity, spontaneity and immediacy. Materials submitted which violates any of these principles will NOT knowingly be made available by the Library. Faculty will be notified upon discovery of copyright violations.

Need help finding or putting items on Course Reserve?