Faculty can use library resources in their classes by simply placing books on reserve in the library or linking to eBooks or eJournals through their Canvas site. Please note that the rush for course reserves occurs at the beginning of each term. The earlier you get your "reserve lists" to the library staff, the sooner your materials will be available. Each item may be placed on reserve for only one term/semester. At the end of each term, instructors should come to the library to collect any personal materials and photocopies that are no longer needed on reserve. If an item is to remain on reserve, you must obtain copyright permission and provide proof to the library staff.

What materials can be reserved?

We accept instructors' copies of homework assignments, syllabi, lecture notes, problem solutions, sample exams, books, or videotapes owned by the library or the instructor's personal copy; material in the public domain; materials for which the instructor has obtained copyright permission; material that falls under "fair use."

What materials can't be reserved?

There are materials that we can't accept for reserve, including: course packs; consumable works such as workbooks, exercises, tests, answer sheets, etc.; and materials that belong to other institutions.

How to place materials on reserve

Faculty can place materials on reserve for their courses Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Materials received after these times will not be available for use until the next business day. Items must include the course instructor's name, course number, and the title that students will be requesting (homework, class notes, etc.). Items can be placed on reserve for more than one term.

Use policies for course reserve materials

Course reserve materials are intended for in-library use for three hours. At the end of three hours, the item may be charged out again for three more hours if no one else has requested it. Instructors may request other circulation periods.

Library reserve materials that normally circulate may be charged out overnight. These items may be taken out 30 minutes before closing and are due back one hour after opening the next day. To block this status, please alert the circulation staff.

Personal items (books, photocopies, etc.) are not available for overnight sign-out without the instructor's permission.

All overdue course reserve materials are fined at a rate of 10¢ per minute.

To reserve books owned by the library, you can use the easy online faculty course reserve request.

Personal materials will be accepted for reserve; however, the library cannot assume responsibility for items that disappear from the reserve shelf.

Copyright info

It is your responsibility to understand copyright laws and, if necessary, to secure copyright permissions. Review Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act for more information about "fair use." Be sure to also check out WPI's Copyright Compliance policy.

All photocopies must contain a complete citation and copyright information. Photocopies must be bound, either in a manila folder or a loose-leaf binder. A folder or binder must be provided for each copy of an item to be placed on reserve, but please bring your own because the library doesn't supply them.

Ordering new materials needed for reserve

To request that the library order new materials needed for reserves, please use the Suggest a Purchase form. Be sure to specify that the materials are for course reserve and the term or semester you require them. It's important to plan ahead so that new orders can be received and processed in time for the course. Please e-mail colldev@wpi.edu if you have any questions. 

Canvas eReadings

eReadings are an easy, convenient way to provide articles and electronic books to your students. Not everything is online, and eReadings won't replace the traditional course pack in most cases, but they can serve as an excellent supplement.

What are the key benefits of eReadings?

  • You can reduce the cost of course packets by linking to eBooks, eJournals, and online articles.
  • You can distribute last-minute and supplemental readings online.
  • You can link to database searches to enhance discussions of course topics.
  • You can link to online reference materials for your students' project work.
  • You can link to specific online journals relevant to course content.

What can you link to?

Millions of full-text articles, thousands of eBooks, IEEE standards documents, and conference proceedings. Please note that Harvard Business Review expressly forbids linking their materials for required course readings. Please contact a librarian if you have any questions.

How do you post database links within Canvas?

To add an external link, follow these simple steps:

  • Log in to Canvas and select the course you'd like to add links to.
  • Click the "Content Area" (usually Syllabus or Course Documents) and "Edit View."
  • Click the "Add External Link" button. For library-subscribed resources, use this prefix to ensure students have access to articles or eBooks from off campus: http://ezproxy.wpi.edu/login?url=
  • Add the article in the Name area.
  • Add the URL by copying and pasting it from the library database. Link formats vary, so see important details below.
  • In the text area, add citation information, and (Gordon Library database link) notation.
  • Click "Submit" button, and at confirmation click "OK."
  • Go to the main page of your course site, and then to the content area to verify that your link works.
  • If you have a reading for which copyright permission is cleared, to upload the full-text PDF or DOC into Canvas, select "Add Item."

NOTE: License restrictions apply for most library databases and eJournal publishers, so linking to the item is often the best approach.

Links to e-books and articles

Most database vendors won't allow you to simply copy and paste the search web address into Canvas. There's a syntax you need to follow, and it varies by database. Generally, there are three types of links:

  1. Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) – They look like this: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2004.03.005.
  2. Persistent, Stable URLs – Must be copied from within database record, usually within a database abstract.
  3. Address Bar Link – These are easy ones, which you can copy and paste the link in the address bar of your browser.

Tip: Test your links in a day or two to ensure they still work. Check with a librarian if you're having trouble.


Experiencing problems linking?

Issues with links in Canvas often are caused by the "Add External URL" option in Canvas only allowing 255 characters. Add your URL and article citation information in the area as indicated:

<a href="copy and paste the correct web link to Article here">Article Title</a> Author, journal, date (Gordon Library database link).

Options for making print copies of articles accessible via Canvas

What are your options if you have a print article that you'd like to make available to your students via Canvas?

The first step is to check the WPI Journals List to find out if the item is online within a library subscription database that can be linked to. If not, consider library reserve, which is a system that allows you to place printed course materials on two-hour reserve for your students. Ask at the library information desk for details. And remember to consider "fair use" factors using the checklist from Columbia University.

You may need to consider requesting copyright permission to post. Sometimes journal publishers allow certain educational uses. See WPI's Copyright Compliance site for how to request permission. Contact a librarian if you need help tracking down contact details for publishers.