Course Reserves

The library has an expanded course reserves service that includes providing print reserves, a list of digital course materials for classes, identifying alternative library or open content, and providing access to scanning equipment.

For more information, please see our online guide to course reserves, and contact our course reserves team at

Faculty can use library resources in their classes by 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. 

Course Reserves
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.) please use the Course Reserve Request Form. 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. Consult the Educational Materials section on the Gordon Library's copyright guide to determine if you can re-use a resource in your own class; on the guide, you can also find how to request permission, if necessary. Contact a librarian if you need help tracking down contact details for publishers.

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.

Links to Library Resources in Canvas

Within Canvas, instructors can easily and conveniently provide library resources, such as articles and electronic books, to students.

What are the key benefits of linking to library resources in Canvas?
  • Reduce the cost of course materials by linking to library-licensed electronic books, journals, and articles.
  • Distribute last-minute and supplemental readings online.
  • Link to database searches to enhance discussions of course topics.
  • Link to online reference materials for your students' project work.
  • 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 links to library resources within Canvas?

To add links to Canvas, consult the instructions linked below:

Note: If you are linking to an ebook, please contact a librarian to confirm that there are no access limitations, such as a limit on the number of users.

Links to e-books and articles

For library-subscribed resources, use this prefix before the URL to ensure students have access to articles or eBooks from off campus:​

Depending on the database, you may not be able to simply copy and paste the search web address into Canvas. Generally, there are three types of links:

  1. Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) – They look like this:
  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.

Uploading full text

If you have a reading for which copyright permission is cleared, to upload the full-text PDF or DOC into Canvas, use the File Upload area. NOTE: License restrictions apply for most library databases and eJournal publishers, so linking to the item, instead of uploading a full-text PDF, is often the best approach.

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 to see if the item is online within a library subscription database that can be linked to. Use the Citation Linker to find an item by ISSN, ISBN, or DOI, or consult the WPI Journals List. You can also use course reserve, which is a system that allows you to place printed course materials on two-hour reserve for your students. More information about course reserve can be found above.

To evaluate whether you could post a scanned copy of the article on Canvas, consult the Educational Materials section on the Gordon Library's copyright guide. The guide also has information on how to request permission, if necessary. Contact a librarian if you need help tracking down contact details for publishers.