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Course reserves for instructors

Library textbooks in the time of Covid-19

For Winter 2021, there will be no print course reserves, but there are many options for e-reserves. Specifically with regard to textbooks, see the following information and 2-minute video below:

Barriers during the winter semester:

  • Library Course Reserve rooms are closed
  • Textbooks are not always available in an electronic format
  • Library cannot purchase e-textbooks (most major textbook publisher only sell e-textbooks to students directly)
  • Copyright restrictions (Library cannot scan whole print textbooks for reserves)

Alternatives provided by e-Reserves:

  • Request one or two chapters from a print textbook and place them on e-reserve
  • Consider using an open textbook
  • Consider using a “regular” e-book as a textbook – search Sofia Discovery Tool for possibilities
  • Combine digitized content from different sources, for example:
    • Chapters from different books/e-books or different editions of textbooks
    • Articles from peer-reviewed articles, journalistic media, etc.
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What are course reserves?

The Course Reserves system helps course instructors provide readings for their courses to all enrolled students while complying with the Copyright Act, COPIBEC Agreement, and the Library's electronic resources licenses. Using this system, instructors can submit requests to post course readings online. This system is also normally used to place a hard copy of a document (e.g. book, video) in the Course Reserves Room; however, these rooms are closed during the pandemic. When you send your request, library staff will check for copyright compliance.

Log into the Course Reserves system


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Copyright and course reserves

All requests submitted must comply with the Canadian Copyright Act, COPIBEC Agreement and the Library's electronic resources licenses. Please consult the University’s Policy on Copyright Compliance and Copyright Guidelines for Instructors. You may also consult the Library's online Copyright Guide for basic information on copyright.

To help us ensure copyright compliance, please provide full citation information for each item you are requesting to make available for your course. Requests without full citation information or accompanying material will take longer to process and/or may be sent back to the requestor. Library staff will verify copyright compliance for all items you have requested before making them accessible online. Please note that material exceeding posted copyright guidelines will require copyright clearance.

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Types of material that can be placed on reserve

During the pandemic, only digital resources can be placed on reserve.

  • Links to articles or e-books licensed for use by the Concordia University Library
  • Links to websites or streaming video or audio
  • Single book chapters scanned from print books from the Library's collection
  • Articles scanned from print journals from the Library's collection

Please note that material exceeding the copyright guidelines below will require copyright clearance.

  • An entire article from a periodical
  • Up to 15% of a work (e.g. book)
  • An entire chapter from a book provided it constitutes no more than 20% of a work
Streaming video and audio

Links to streaming video or audio can be added to the Course Reserves system. The Library has an extensive collection of video and audio databases. See our "How to find videos" guide and/or consult our list of Video and Sound databases.

If the audio or video item is not currently in the Library's collection, please fill in a Suggest a purchase request with as much detail as possible.

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Textbooks from the Bookstore

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Contact us

For further assistance, please contact

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How to submit your requests

Requests can be submitted using the online request form in the Course Reserves system. You can fill in the citation and we will make it available to your students via the course readings system. If you have a PDF version of the material, you may upload it.

The Library verifies that the readings you requested or uploaded for your course, follow the Copyright Guidelines for Instructors as well as the Library licenses for electronic resources.

Whenever the Library has an electronic resource such as an article, a book, or a book chapter, we link to it rather than providing a PDF. This way, we do not need to pay an additional copyright fee for a resource for which we have already paid the access fee. If you do not want the PDF replaced with a link, please indicate this in the notes field for each uploaded item.

Log into the Course Reserves system


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Assigning someone to submit requests

You can assign your teaching assistant (TA) as a Proxy Instructor for your course much in the same way you would do it in Moodle. Your TA can then manage course reserves on your behalf.


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Reusing material from a previous semester, or a cross-listed course, or a different course section

When adding readings to a current or upcoming course, you have the option to import readings from courses you have taught since Fall 2015 (or the last 5 years as of Fall 2020), as well as courses from the current semester.


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Digital and online documents (e.g. articles, book chapters)

Enter citation information into the appropriate form. Add a URL*, attach a PDF**, or “Please retrieve from the library collection and place on reserve”. Library staff will verify copyright compliance before making items available online.

*Adding URLs: Make sure the link (i.e. URL) does not include an 's' at the end of the http (i.e., NOT

**Attaching PDFs: We recommend including the title page of the book, as well as the title page verso (which has the copyright date), in submitted PDF scans of book chapters.

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Processing times

To ensure that Reserve request forms are processed in time and that materials are available to students for the beginning of each semester, please submit your requests at least three weeks before the beginning of a semester. Forms submitted without full citation information or accompanying material may take longer to process and/or may be sent back to the requestor.

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Viewing citation information

Citation information for readings are available within course reserves. Click on the "Show Details" tab next to a reading to view this information.


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End of course and reusing material

After the exam period has ended, the reading list will cease to be available for your students. If a student requires extended access to their course readings, please send an email request to You can reactivate any items that you wish to use again.

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Permanent links in Moodle or in your syllabus

Once your course materials have been processed for reserves, you can use the link in our Course Reserves system to share the PDF document with your students. Please note that this link will work only for students that are currently enrolled in the course.

Adding permanent links

Adding permanent links

NOTE: Make sure the link (i.e. URL) does not include an 's' at the end of the http (i.e., NOT

For reasons of copyright and server management, Library staff will replace journal article PDFs with links to Library online holdings if the Library has a subscription to the source. Permanent links created to PDF files that have been removed by reserves staff will no longer work.

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Updated: Tuesday 23 February 2021
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