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Affordable Course Materials

This guide provides faculty with information about affordable course materials and open educational resources.

Course Reserves Information

Like most academic libraries, Milner offers a free service for instructors to place physical course materials (like textbooks) on reserve. We also offer a free service for electronic reserves, where--depending on copyright limitations--we will place shorter readings and links to licensed electronic resources in your course ReggieNet sites for you.

Print Course Reserves

Items that can be placed on course reserve include most books in Milner's collection, personal copies provided by faculty, and physical media.

Students can check out these books for two hours at a time, and they can only use them in the building. To do this, they can ask for the book by title at the circulation desk. Faculty and students can also search online to find out which books are on course reserve for which classes,= through the library's website.

For large classes using a physical textbook, it can be helpful to have multiple copies on reserve.

We do not purchase textbooks for all classes, but if you feel strongly that the library should have a copy of the textbook in the collection, you can talk to your subject librarian about buying a copy.

Electronic Course Reserves

The library will locate/acquire/create and then post electronic files/links to your course ReggieNet site. One of the biggest benefits this service provides for faculty is the labor--we do the scanning, we request the article from interlibrary loan, we find the full text or the video in a library database and post the link in your ReggieNet site. There are limitations to the service, so please read all the information in this section carefully, or ask questions if something isn't clear.

  • Book chapters. If you are only having students read small portions of a book, consider this service rather than asking them to buy the whole book. We use a combination of a Fair Use analysis and paying copyright permission fees, so there is a limit to how many chapters or how many pages of a book we will scan. Typically we scan only one chapter or less than 10% of a book, but if you need more, contact Jeff Ridinger, Head of Access Services, for guidance before you put in your course reserve request.
  • E-books. We can place a link to a library e-book in your course site. Students would be taken to the e-book in the browser-- at that point they could continue reading in the browser or download portions of the book as allowed by the publisher.
  • Articles. Of course, it is possible to add a file of an article (say, a PDF downloaded from a database) to your ReggieNet site. Whenever possible, however, we will add a link to the article page in a library database, for a few reasons:
    • It is more compliant with copyright law and our licensing agreements with the database vendors.
    • Whenever someone views an article in the library databases, we track that usage and use it to help make collection development decisions. If we can see that a lot of people are using a database or online journal, we are more likely to keep that subscription and cut something else instead. If you post a PDF of that same article in your ReggieNet site, we don't get those usage statistics, so we may not realize how important the resource is to our faculty and students.
    • Students have a more holistic experience using research resources if they have to access the article from a database rather than just downloading the article from ReggieNet. They will see all the article's information - full citation, DOI, journal title, perhaps the society or publisher of the journal, links to related readings, etc.; often just the tearsheet of the article PDF doesn't show all that.
  • Videos. We will add links to videos that are available through library databases.
  • Music. The library subscribes to several streaming audio databases, and we will add links to particular tracks or albums to your course site.

How to Place Materials on Reserve

The library has an online form that you can fill out to place items on reserve.

You can also fill out a form in person and drop off your physical items at the circulation desk whenever the library is open.

Requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Allow up to two weeks for library staff to process your reserves, especially if you have a large number of items. Many instructors use course reserves so staff receive a high number of requests prior to the start of each semester. Additionally, books are sometimes checked out and need to be recalled, and it takes time to verify copyright permissions and scan items.