You are here: American University University Library Services Submitting Course Reserves

Instructors can request reserve materials by using the Library Course Reserves management system (Ares) in Blackboard.

Getting Started

  • Log in to your Blackboard or Canvas account using your university login credentials.
  • Under "My Courses", select the course that you want to request items for.
  • In your course, select "Course Reserves" from the left menu bar. This will open the course reserves module. If the Course Reserves button is not available, please contact Library Reserves staff at
  • You can now submit and manage your course reserve items.

Electronic Holdings on Reserve

  • E-books: To request an electronic book, click on “Request Book” and select E-book under the loan period dropdown option. Reserves staff will provide the web link or will attempt to purchase the title if it’s not part of the library’s collection. Please note that not all titles are available as ebooks and in those instances the reserves staff will work with the faculty member to find alternatives.
  • Book Chapters: To request book excerpts, click on "Request Chapter" and provide as much information as possible. Due to copyright restrictions, we can generally only scan smaller portions of a title for E-Reserves.
  • Articles: If you would like us to create links to items from the Library's electronic holdings, click on "Request Article". Please provide as much information as possible. Reserves staff will locate the article and make it available either as a web link or as a pdf file.
  • Streaming Video: To request a streaming video from the library catalog, click on "Request Media." On the subsequent page, select "Stream through Blackboard."
  • Other: For other items, such as government documents or unpublished papers, Clicked on "Request Other". Be sure to indicate how the item will be supplied and a web address if necessary.

Library Books on Reserve

The library is committed to providing equitable access to required course materials whenever possible. While physical shelve reserves are not currently available, we will work with faculty to digitize required readings when ebooks are not available for the course. Reserves staff will pull rush purchase materials which the library does not own. Materials from other schools cannot be put on reserve at AU.

  • Under the Course Tools Menu, click on "Request Book".
  • Fill out as much information as you can about the book you would like to request.
  • If you would like a book to be held at the Music Library in Katzen for your students to check out, please select Katzen Music Library from the dropdown menu for Item Location.

Cloning Previously Used Items

If you would like to clone items from previous semesters, go to the current or upcoming semester's Blackboard or Canvas course page and click on the "Course Reserves" button. Select the "Import Items from Previous Semester" link in the left hand tool bar. You will see a list of courses you have previously taught. Click on the "Import Items" link next to the course you would like the readings from.

If you would like to clone items from one section to another in the same semester, please contact Library Reserves staff at

Other Features of Course Reserves in Blackboard

  • Item Tags: An instructor can "tag" any reserve item to identify weeks, topics, papers etc. For example, one article can be tagged "Week 1," "Napoleon," and "midterm" to help student sort materials. Instructors can add tags either while filling out their initial request or later on by clicking on an item from their item list. Instructors and students can also make their own personal tags on items which cannot be seen by anyone else.
  • Processing Status: Once you have submitted your reserve items, they will display in a list within your account. You can check the processing status of items in your list, making any changes as needed.
  • Email Alerts: You can also register for e-mail notices through the Library Course Reserves Management system. An e-mail will be sent to you whenever your course reserves are updated by you, your TAs, or Library reserves staff. Your students can also sign up for this feature so they can learn when reserve items are available.
  • Student View: If you would like to review how students will see your course reserves list, select "Switch to Student Mode" in the Library Course Reserves menu. Please note that students will only see course reserve items that are available.
  • File Upload: Instructors can upload files directly from their computer into the Course management module by clicking on "Upload File". Uploaded files are available immediately and instructors are responsible for ensuring adherence with university copyright policies.


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