Michigan State University

Some areas of the Main Library are now open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday and 12pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. These areas include main-floor access to Circulation as well as our study and computing space on 1 East with access to MSU printing. As of Feb. 1st, we opened 1 West. Our total capacity at this time is 120 people. We also now have touchless lockers, where you may pick up materials. Outside of safety, our top priority is to provide access to all of our collections. We continue to offer virtual services. We also are paging materials and will continue to mail materials to faculty, staff, and students living off-campus. We encourage you to use our convenient distance services. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for more information.

Course Reserves FAQ

Where are Course Reserves?

Course Reserves may be placed at different library Service Desks.  You can find information for your course by searching for the course on the Find Course Reserves page.

What are the loan periods for Reserve materials?

Loan periods vary by Service Desk.  You can find information for your course by searching for the course on the Find Course Reserves page.

Are fines charged?

Fines are assessed at the rate of $1.00 per item/per hour and are charged 24 hours a day, every day. When Reserve material remains overdue overnight, the borrower is billed a minimum of $100 to replace the material. Once the material is returned, the bill for replacement is waived, but fines will still be charged. 

How long is material kept on Reserve?

Material remains on Reserve for the duration of the semester. Items may be taken off Reserve by the instructor at any time during the semester, provided they are not on Reserve for another course. 

FAQ for Instructors

Who can place items on Reserve?

Faculty members or their representatives (Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, etc.) may submit Reserve requests. Students enrolled in the class may NOT place material on Reserve.

What can be placed on Reserve?

Library-owned material, as well as personal material, sample exam questions, lecture notes and bound photocopied readings may be placed on Reserve.

Personal material and photocopied reading packets can be dropped off at any library Service Desk during their open hours.  They will be barcoded and labeled with non-removable call number labels.  The library is not responsible for loss or damage to personal copies of material placed on Reserve.  Photocopies must meet Federal copyright standards.    Copyright permission questions may be directed to the Copyright Permissions Center at permissions@mail.lib.msu.edu

Currently the MSU Libraries do not offer centralized electronic course reserves. However, you can link to our electronic resources, refer to the questions below.

How can I link to an electronic book licensed by the Libraries?

The permanent record link of the electronic book, found at the bottom of each library catalog record, can be used to facilitate access to the electronic books licensed by the Libraries. See this example of a catalog record.

How can I link to an electronic article licensed by the Libraries?

Stable links can be created to facilitate access to the full-text of articles licensed by the MSU Libraries. See instructions for creating stable links to electronic articles.

Where may I place material on Reserve?

Every library in the MSU Library system offers Course Reserves services. Policies will vary with each location. Contact the Service Desk directly for specific information. You may drop off items at any library Service Desk during open hours.

How can I submit a Reserve list?

When you submit textbook information to the Registrar’s Office, you can request items to be placed on Reserve at the Libraries. Alternatively, you can send your list using our Reserve Request Form

How soon should I submit my Reserve list?

While you may reserve material at any time, the sooner we receive your request list the better. In general, lists are processed in the order received. Typically, if your list is submitted 2 weeks before the first day of classes all items will be on Reserve by the start of classes. 

What is the status of my Reserve list request?

Search for your course by instructor name or course number on the Find Course Reserves page. If you do not see a course record in the catalog within 5 business days of request, please contact us to confirm receipt. Processing times will vary and all items may not be available immediately. Requests will be processed as quickly as possible in the order received. Material requiring recall from other borrowers, or material we have to order will be available as soon as we receive them and processing is completed. If you have questions about the progress of your list, please contact the appropriate Service Desk.

What loan periods can I assign for Reserve material?

Loan periods vary by Service Desk. The information can be found on the Reserve Request Form.  All instructor-supplied personal materials will circulate with a 2 hour loan period and need to remain "building use only."

How can I expedite processing of my list?

You can expedite processing by providing accurate and complete citations for the titles you request, as well as clear information about the course, the instructor, enrollment, and loan period information. The more information you can supply, the fewer questions we need to follow-up with. You may also expedite processing by bringing the requested library material, personal copies or an already-spiral-bound coursepack directly to a staff member at the Service Desk.

Will you contact me when my list is ready?

Due to increased volume of Reserve requests, especially at the start of the semester, we regret not being able to contact each instructor regarding their list's status. 

How do I order material the Library doesn’t own?

You can make a request by submitting a “Reserve Material Purchase Request" form. We will notify the instructor when the material is received and available. If a requested title is no longer in print, we will contact the instructor to decide the next course of action.

Is there a limit to the number of titles I may reserve?

There is no limit to the number of titles you may place on Reserve. 

How many copies of a title will you reserve?

Generally, the Library will only own one copy of a title. Due to space limitations, no more than 3 copies of any title may be placed on reserve. 

Can I place a coursepack on Reserve?

Yes, provided that appropriate copyright permissions have been secured. To seek assistance in obtaining permissions, contact the Copyright Permissions Center.

What should I tell my students about using Reserves?

You can include the following instructions on your course syllabus:

How to use Course Reserve materials at the Library

To access Course Reserve materials at the Library, go to this web page (https://www.lib.msu.edu/resources/reserves/).