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Institutional Policies

Policy ACAF-LIB-007

logo of The University of Southern Mississippi  
Responsible University Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Officer: Dean of University Libraries
Origination Date: NA
Current Revision Date: 02/28/13
Next Review Date: 02/18/17
End of Policy Date: NA
Policy Number: ACAF-LIB-007
Status: Effective




Policy Statement

University Libraries' Reserves Policy governs the use of reserve materials in Cook Library, Gulf Coast Library, Gunter Library, and all teaching sites.

Each borrower assumes full responsibility for all materials charged to his or her account and for knowledge of and adherence to library policies concerning loan periods and penalties.


Reason for Policy/Purpose

This policy is required for the effective communication of university policies regarding reserves lending in the University Libraries.


Who Needs to Know This Policy

All patrons of the University Libraries.


Website Address for this Policy





The purpose of the course reserve system is to facilitate access to a resource needed for instructional use by students. When providing either paper or electronic reserves, the University Libraries observe the fair use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Section 107 of the Copyright Act addresses the fair use of materials and allows that limited copying and reproduction of copyrighted resources for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered include:


  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.


The University Libraries prefer using links to online resources, including those for which it has licenses, to other reserve formats.


The University Libraries have developed the following specific interpretation of fair use which will be applied to submissions for class reserves. The libraries will:


  • Not post an electronic copy of an entire book;
  • Purchase an e-book when possible;
  • Process no more than 10 percent of a book with fewer than 10 chapters, or of a book that is not divided into chapters, or no more than one chapter or its equivalent in a book of more than 10 chapters;
  • Remove all copied reserve materials at the end of the semester or session;
  • Reproduce only materials owned by University Libraries or by the instructor.


Outside of these conditions, the University Libraries will pursue the necessary permissions to reproduce requested materials before placing them on reserve. The University Libraries will ordinarily pay all necessary royalties and fees to provide this service to faculty; however, some cost-sharing may be required due to budget limitation. If permission to copy is denied, the University Libraries will not post the materials. Where possible, the Libraries will assist faculty in finding alternative methods (such as print) to meet the need. All permissions are obtained through the nonprofit Copyright Clearance Center.




Placing Material on Reserve

  • Bring material to be placed on reserve to the Reserve Desk in the appropriate library and complete the reserve form, or submit an online Reserve Request Form at The University Libraries are not responsible for damage to, or loss of, personal copies placed on reserve.


Preparing Submissions for Electronic Reserves

  • Include complete and accurate citation information for each item on the first page of a photocopy.
  • Include the original copyright statement. This information is usually found on the back of the title page. For journal articles, if the copyright statement is not found on the first page of the article itself, look on the inside front cover of the journal.
  • Photocopies must be one-sided, 8½ x 11 inch paper, be clear and legible with half-inch margins, and have no black margins or shadows.
  • Pages must be free of any tape or attached pieces of paper.
  • Include only one citation per document.
  • Individual readings must be from one source. If a course reading is comprised of materials from more than one source, divide it into separate readings before submitting it to reserves (entire course packs are not eligible).
  • Student papers must be accompanied by a permission letter authorizing the paper to be placed on reserve or the student names must be redacted.


Submission Date Guidelines

Processing time for reserve materials is generally within two working days, except during the first three weeks of the semester when processing may take three working days.


Loan Periods

For print or media reserves, instructors may assign a loan period of:

  • 3 hours
  • Overnight
  • 3 days
  • 7 days


Electronic reserves are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.


Links to Full-text Articles

E-reserves are generally made available in PDF format. However, reserves staff utilize links to full-text online versions available in the libraries' collections whenever possible. This eliminates any potential accessibility and copyright issues. Please indicate such online availability if it is known to exist.



The Dean of University Libraries is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).



Online Reserve Request Form is available at





Q. How do I search for reserves in the library catalog?

A. Use the library catalog to find the reserve call number of a print or media reserve and to find the link(s) to an electronic reserve. You may search for reserves using the instructor's name or the course name.

Begin on the reserves lookup screen ( in the catalog. To search by instructor click on instructor search under the course reserves heading and type all or part of the instructor's last name. Then click the Submit.

To search by course name, click on the course search under the course reserves heading, type all or part of the course name, such as Introduction to Computing, and then click Submit.

Q. How do I get a reserve item once I've looked it up in the catalog?

A. The reserve number you find using the catalog will help you to determine what type of reserve you are looking for and where to get it.

Patrons need a valid University of Southern Mississippi ID card to check out reserve materials.

If the reserve call number begins with RES, it is a print reserve. Ask for it at the Circulation or Reserves Desk.

If the reserve call number looks like a regular call number, ask for it at the Circulation or Reserves Desk.

If the reserve call number does not begin with RES or look like a regular call number, click on the reserve title to see if it has an electronic access link. If there is a link, then the item is an ereserve. On the search results screen in the catalog, click the Full Details link. Then, click the Electronic access link. If there are multiple electronic access links, you need to download all of them to get the entire reserve item.

If the reserve call number begins with MRES, it is a media reserve. Ask for it at the Circulation or Reserves Desk of Cook Library.

If the reserve location says GCC reserve desk, it is a Gulf Coast reserve.

Q. How long can I check out a Reserve?

A. Loan periods for Reserves are chosen by each instructor when the item is placed on reserve. Items may be 7-day, 3-day, overnight, or 3-hour reserves.

Q. Why can't it be a longer period?

A. Typically, several people need to access these selected items at the same time for specific classes.

Q. How many Reserves may I check out at one time?

A. Two Reserve items may be checked out at one time.




Related Information

For more information on the Copyright Clearance Center and copyright, see



Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes

11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.

11/01/12: Update.

02/18/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.

02/26/13: FAQ for Students moved to Appendix







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