Library Electronic Reserves (E-Reserves)

Safest Use

Portion/Material Limitations:

These guidelines only address the use of copyrighted materials within the e-reserves system.

Assuming Time and Distribution limitations are observed, the following materials may be placed on electronic reserve under Fair Use:

a. Books: One chapter, or up to 10 percent, of a book (provided no other material from the same book has already been used for the same course and same faculty member)

b. Articles: One article from a journal issue (provided that no other articles from the same journal issue have already been used for the same course and faculty member)

c. Poems/Short Works: One poem, short story, or essay from a collected work

d. Other Works: A short excerpt, not to exceed 10 percent, of a work without chapters or articles

e. Illustrations: A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper

Materials placed on electronic reserve should only constitute a small portion of the required (and/or supplemental) course readings.  The ERes system is not intended to replace course-packs. 

Time Limitations:

  • Copyrighted materials used by the same faculty member for more than one course at the same time, or for more than one semester, must have copyright clearance after the initial use.

  • Access to e-reserves materials ends on the last day of the course.

Access/Distribution Limitations:

  • Access to ERes materials for a specific course is limited to students currently enrolled in the course, and will be password-protected.

Questionable Use

For possible uses of copyrighted materials that exceed the portion, time and access/distribution limitations outlined above, please do the following:

  • Complete a Fair Use Checklist (.pdf) to determine if your use may still qualify as fair use.

  • If you are still uncertain, contact the Library.

Dangerous Use


a. Books: Posting more than 10% of a work for any one course.

b. Articles: Posting multiple articles from one journal issue (not volume)

c. Poems/Short Works: Posting multiple works from a single collected work.

d. Other Works: Posting substantially more than 10% of any other work.

e. Illustrations: Posting multiple illustrations copied from any one source.

  • Using e-reserves to substitute for a course pack is an exceedingly dangerous use.

  • Posting any unpublished works (other than the faculty member’s own work; or student’s work, with permission)

  • Posting consumable works (workbooks, exercises, standardized test and survey instruments, etc)


  • Using the same material for the same course year after year.


  • Giving the password to your e-reserves page to students not currently enrolled in that course.



Usage Guidelines A-Z