Reserves Policy


Revised December 2011

I. Introduction

Materials are placed in on-site reserves collections (1) at the request of instructors to support the academic programs of the various departments, and (2) by library staff to control or protect vulnerable materials and those consistently in heavy use. These materials circulate both outside and in the library according to the loan periods noted in IV.C. below.

II. Location of Reserves Collections

  1. The preferred location for library materials is the library unit where most of the materials on the subject are held. The primary reserve location for courses in the social sciences, humanities, nursing, and library and information science is the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL). PCL also maintains reserves for undergraduate courses in the colleges of Business and Education, the School of Nursing, and the departments of Economics and Psychology. In addition, the following units of the University of Texas Libraries provide reserve services for their respective departments, programs, schools, and colleges: Architecture and Planning Library, Benson Latin American Collection, Chemistry Library, Classics Library, Fine Arts Library, Geology Library, Life Science Library, and Physics-Mathematics-Astronomy Library. Reserve collections for audiovisual materials are located in the Fine Arts Library. Limited facilities for audiovisual reserves are available in some other units; requests should be discussed with the reserve supervisor.

  2. Multiple locations of reserves for a single course are to be avoided whenever possible. Unless needed for reserve in the owning library, circulating materials within the University of Texas Libraries will be lent to other libraries for reserve use except for audiovisual materials in the Fine Arts Library.

  3. In order to provide optimum access to reserve materials, all materials on reserve should be placed in the University of Texas Libraries rather than in unofficial departmental locations.

III. Placing Materials On Reserve

  1. Instructions for submitting reserve requests are sent to faculty by the University of Texas Libraries approximately eight weeks prior to the beginning of each semester. Reserve request forms with complete and legible information will be processed in the order received. The time required to process reserve requests varies with the workload of the unit, the availability of materials, and the accuracy of the information supplied on the forms. Incomplete requests will be returned to the instructor by the reserve supervisor.

    An instructor's request for materials that are owned by the library should be submitted to the library unit five working weeks before the first class day of that semester. Materials not in the collection will be ordered on a rush basis. However, the library cannot guarantee receipt by the beginning of the semester.

    Reserve readings should be assigned only after adequate processing time has been allowed. Reserve supervisors can provide an estimate of the time required.

  2. Library units that provide reserve services will supply Reserve Request forms. The form is also available online at Request Reserves. Materials requested must be identified by call number, author, title, and, if necessary, edition. Materials should be listed in the order in which they will be assigned. On each reserve request the instructor's name, ID number, address, and phone number, and the course department, title, number, and unique number must be provided.

  3. The following loan periods are available for reserves: Two-Hour, 24-Hour, and Three-Day.
    1. Materials borrowed within 2 hours of checkout desk closing are due one hour after next day opening.
    2. When more than one instructor requests that a given item be placed on reserve, it will usually be placed on the shortest loan period requested.
    3. The reserve supervisor has the final responsibility for the number of copies placed on reserve, for determining the loan period when an item is requested by more than one instructor, for changing loan periods due to changing patterns of use, and for removing materials from reserve.

  4. Reserve supervisors may request instructors with lengthy or complex reserve lists to limit their lists to required materials when constraints on reserve space and staff time make fulfillment of requests difficult.

  5. Most library and personal materials may be placed on reserve. The following types of materials generally will not be accepted for reserve: reference works, library copies of periodicals, and non-circulating items from special collections. Equipment such as calculators, cassette players and portable microfiche readers may be placed on reserve. Personal items may be placed on reserve with the understanding that they will be processed for use (which may include application of labels and date due slips and tagging for the security system) and that the library is not responsible for their loss or damage.

  6. On reading lists provided to students, instructors should clearly indicate the items on reserve, the library unit where the reserve materials are located, and the data elements necessary to enable students to find the materials. The instructor's name, teaching assistant's name, and course name and number should be noted on each reading list.

IV. Acquisition of Reserve Collection Materials

  1. Materials in University of Texas Libraries collections:

    Circulating materials from one University of Texas Libraries unit may be placed on reserve in another University of Texas Libraries unit if necessary.

    Reserve needs take precedence over individual research needs. For this reason materials are recalled from borrowers for reserve regardless of the length of time the materials have been checked out to them.

  2. Materials not in University of Texas Libraries collections:

    If a requested item is not owned by the University of Texas Libraries or is not available for reserve use, this situation will be reported to the instructor who requested the item. A rush order for the item will be placed when in compliance with the collection development policies of the library.

    1. Copies may be purchased based on the size of the class, the cost of the materials, anticipated use and availability elsewhere on campus. A ratio of one copy to thirty students may be used as a guideline. Reserve supervisors will consult with the appropriate bibliographer to acquire more copies when necessary.
    2. The instructor will be notified if an item is out of print. Library staff will not automatically search the antiquarian book market for such an item unless specifically asked to do so by the instructor.

  3. The copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Copies for reserve use must be made in compliance with the "fair use" provisions of Section 107 and with The University of Texas System Policy Statement on Use of Copyrighted Materials.
    1. Library units will not copy materials for reserve.
    2. Copies of copyrighted materials will be accepted for reserve from the instructor if they comply with U.T. System policy and copyright law. A ratio of one copy to thirty students may be used as a guideline.

V. Removing Materials from Reserves 

  1. It is the responsibility of the instructor to notify the reserve supervisor before the end of the current semester if items must remain on reserve for the succeeding semester. Processing to remove items begins immediately after the end of the semester.

  2. Materials may be temporarily released from reserve to an individual providing that permission is obtained from the instructor(s) who reserved the materials and at the discretion of the reserve supervisor.

  3. Instructors will be notified when they may retrieve personal materials that are no longer needed for reserve.

Approved by Harold Billings, Director of University of Texas Libraries, 1/10/91

Revisions recommended by Circulation Services Committee 4/24/02

Edited by Jo Anne Hawkins, Associate Director for Public Services, 4/30/02

Approved by Harold Billings 10/01/02

Revised by Catherine Hamer 12/20/11