Guidelines for Regular Reserve

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Reserve services of Northwestern University Library provides access to assigned reading and viewing materials, usually books, photocopies, or DVDs placed on Reserve by NU faculty for current courses. This page details basic policies for faculty use of Regular Reserve.

Submitting Lists

Complete a Regular Reserve form to submit Regular Reserve Lists. Provide full citations, if possible. Lists may be sent to, sent through Campus Mail or brought to the Reserve Desk on 2N of University Library.

Submit Regular Reserve lists for each course at least three weeks before the start of the quarter. Collecting books and/or processing photocopies (and obtaining copyright clearance, if applicable) takes a considerable amount of time. Because the first half of every quarter is extremely busy, Reserve lists submitted late will be processed only as time permits.

If new or additional copies of books need to be ordered, the request should be submitted four weeks before the quarter begins.

Resources that can be placed on Reserve

 Northwestern University Library books, DVDs, and videotapes, including materials from most NU branch libraries. If necessary and possible, if NUL does not own an item, Reserve will purchase it for the class. Items purchased for Reserve become part of the library's collection.

Photocopies of book chapters or articles from periodicals. (Please see the copyright section below.) Reserve Services will not place a photocopied excerpt from a NUL book on Regular Reserve. Reserve Services will, however, post the excerpt electronically; see the Electronic Reserve guidelines for more details.

Tests, class notes, and other original works may be placed on Reserve without restriction.

Personal copies of books, DVDs or other materials. Please be sure to legibly write your name inside the book so it can be easily returned to you. If a NUL copy of an item is available, Reserve Services will place that copy on reserve in lieu of the personal copy.

Resources that cannot be placed on Reserve

In general, Reserve is unable to place items obtained through ILL on Regular Reserve. Reserve will be happy to order books and video materials needed for your class.

At the request of Special Collections staff, Reserve is generally unable to place Special Collections items on Reserve.

At the request of the Reference Department, Reserve is generally unable to place Reference materials on Reserve.

 Due to copyright restrictions, coursepacks are not placed on Reserve.

Circulation Periods and Withdrawal of Materials

Reserve offers loan periods for books and photocopies of 2 hours, 1 day, or 3 days. Unless specified otherwise, materials will circulate for 2 hours.

The default loan period for video materials is 4 hours.

Following the academic quarter, all books will be taken off reserve and returned to the appropriate library.

Photocopies will be archived in the Reserve Room for three years unless faculty request to have them returned.

Personal copies are available for faculty pickup following the end of the quarter.