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Course Reserves: Faculty Guide for Submitting Materials

Everything you need to know about accessing course reserves at the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Beth Piwkowski (216) 687-2449 or Jo Corrigan (216) 687-2446 or email us at

Copyright Questions?

Copyright is complicated!  We're here to help:

Faculty Guidelines for Submitting Materials for Course Reserves

    • Naming conventions:
      Course reserve items submitted for Course Reserves should match the listings on your syllabus. Keeping the names identical will help your students know specifically what to ask or search for, and will ensure library staff can quickly provide the correct print materials or help with electronic readings.

    • Passwords:
      In order to comply with fair use guidelines, students will need a four-digit course password to access your electronic readings. These passwords must be changed every semester. One password applies to all readings for one course, and will be provided to you by Course Reserve staff when your materials have been added to or reactivated on Course Reserves. Remember to provide this password to your students, and to update the password on your syllabus when you reactivate a course for a new semester. Passwords are not necessary for e-books available to all students.

    • Fair Use:
      For course materials that are not fair use or public domain, faculty must obtain permission from the copyright holder. The American Library Association's Fair Use Evaluator tool can help you in making a fair use determination.

    • Help with Copyright:
      For more comprehensive assistance with copyright issues, consult our Copyright Research Guide, or Contact the library's copyright specialist, Mandi Goodsett.

    • CSU's policy regarding use of copyrightable materials.

How to Activate Materials Previously Posted on Course Reserves

To reactivate materials previously on course reserve for your classes and to obtain new passwords for each semester, email us at Please include faculty name, course number and course name. Identify which materials need to be reactivated and if you want to add or remove any items.

In order to comply with fair use guidelines, passwords are changed every semester. Be sure to update your syllabus for reactivated courses.

How to Submit Course Materials

PLEASE NOTE: Items should be identified for Course Reserves in the same manner as on your syllabus, which should also include the course password for the current semester. This will help your students know specifically what to ask or search for, and will ensure library staff provide the correct print materials.

To submit documents, send an email to Beth Piwkowski or Jo Corrigan at  Include the following information with your e-mail submission:

For articles and book chapters, submit a completed Faculty Request for Article or Book Chapter to be Placed on Reserve online form.  Course Reserves staff will provide a link directly to the online resource  (if available electronically), or will pull the physical journal or book from the Library's stacks, scan and create an accessible PDF.  You may also email course materials that you have scanned or saved.

    • Faculty name

    • Course number

    • Course name

    • Semester

    • Number of students enrolled in the course

    • Full article/chapter citation.  If an article is available through the Electronic Journal Center, the permalink to the article will be posted directing students to the resource.

    • Documents in .pdf, .doc or .xls format. File size limit should not exceed 10mb per email.

How to Submit Books and Media for Print Course Reserve at the Textbook Center

Faculty may place library or personal materials on reserve for use by their classes. Links to bibliographic and location information of the books are added to course lists on Course Reserves. Books, audiovisual materials, and other hard copy resources are kept in the Textbook Center at the Library and Research Help Desk on the first floor. Some course textbooks are housed in Secure Reserve as well.

Most items circulate for two hours and this is what we recommend for most materials.

Requests to place books on Course Reserve should follow these guidelines:

How to Submit Hard Copy Materials that Need To Be Scanned 

Documents which need to be scanned will be placed on Course Reserves on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow sufficient lead time for processing, particularly in the weeks before the semester starts and at the beginning of the semester when our workload is heaviest. 

    • For photocopies of a document, article or book chapter: Drop your materials off at the Library and Research Help Desk on the first floor of the Library, or send it to us via campus mail addressed to  Michael Schwartz Library: Course Reserves. Include a Request for Printed Materials Form to your request.

    • For best quality scans submit clean, first generation copies of material in the best obtainable condition. If we determine that the requested item is available electronically through the Electronic Journal Center, a link to the article will be provided.

    • For journals & books that need to be scanned:  Drop your material off at the Library and Research Help Desk on the first floor of the Library. Include a Request for Printed Materials Form to your request

    • For A/V Materials:  If you own the CD or DVD, drop it off at the Library and Research Help Desk on the first floor. Include a Request for Media Form with your request. If the Library owns the media, indicate as such on the request form and Course Reserve staff will retrieve it from the collection for processing.

How to Submit Audio and Video for Streaming

The faculty member initiating the request is responsible for obtaining the appropriate rights for the media that they wish to stream.  This involves finding and contacting the publisher or distributor and placing the request with them, or determining if their intended use meets the requirements of Fair Use.

The faculty member's department is generally responsible for paying any relevant fees associated with this. Note that some streaming rights may not be available at all and that we cannot host streaming services for online classes.

Once the faculty member has received permission from the publisher or distributor to stream, they can submit those items for inclusion in Course Reserves.  The Library's Digital Production Unit can handle most media conversion but is not equipped for extensive video editing or post-production work.

This process is being refined. Come back frequently for updated information.