Course Reserves

Course Reserves Information

Use and Find Course Reserves

  • Patrons must have a valid HU ID or a government -issued photo ID in order to check out reserve materials.
  • Reserve items must be returned directly to the Circulation Desk.
  • Items not returned to the desk are subject to overdue fines.
  • Access to reserve materials is provided on a first-come, first-served basis ; holds are not available for any material.
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to renew reserve items online or via email. If you would like to renew a reserve item, you must come to the desk. We will check to make sure there isn't a hold and then check it out to you again. 
  • Reserves loan periods are designated by the instructor as either two-hour, overnight or three days reserves.
  • Here is where you find course reserves 

Submit a Course Reserve Request (Instructors)

The collections of the Howard University Libraries are purchased by the University for the nonprofit educational use of students and faculty. All Library materials are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of copies. The sole purpose of Course Reserves is to facilitate student access to readings for classes. 


  • Course Reserves are limited to required reading, i.e. reading material necessary to complete a course.
  • All personal copies placed on Course Reserves will be labeled and barcoded. Staff takes all reasonable precautions to preserve personal materials on reserve. Items must be retrieved from the Founders Library’s Access Services department at the end of each semester.
  • When a Course Reserve title is not in the collections of the University Libraries, subject librarians will consider purchasing the title to fill the Course Reserve; the process will take, at a minimum, six weeks.
  • If you only require a chapter from a book or an article, the Library will assist in locating the request and creating a persistent link. The persistent link can be uploaded to your course in Blackboard. The book chapter or article request can also be added to the Libraries' online Course Reserves catalog.
  • Items that belong to other libraries cannot be placed on Course Reserves.
  • Copyright compliance requires that items be removed from Course Reserves at the end of the semester. Please retrieve personal copies at the end of each semester.
  • Contact the Founders Library Circulation Desk, | 202-806-7250, with any questions.

Copyright and Course Reserves Policy

The following policy is derived from the fair use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Section 107 of the Copyright Act, which expressly permits the making of multiple copies for classroom use:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, 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 shall 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