The MSU Library provides access to physical (print) and electronic reserve items through Ares, an online reserves system. For questions regarding reserves, please email libreserves or call the Borrow Desk at x3139.

*Special Note for Library Reserves, Nov. 17, 2016*:

The Library is working diligently to transition to a new library system that will connect our library with numerous academic libraries across Montana. As we near our implementation date of Dec. 16th, when we switch over to the new system, we will have an interruption in our course reserves services. Please note how this may affect you:

  • We will be unable to add any new *physical* course reserves between now and Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Some exceptions may be made. We want to help, so please communicate with us should you feel you need an exception.
  • You may still add electronic course reserve items during this time.
  • Any items currently on Reserve will continue to be accessible as usual.
  • Please do not bring in any new physical course reserves for the spring semester until Jan. 3 or later.
  • Processing times to get your physical items added to Reserves for spring semester may take a bit longer as we learn to use our new system. As noted below, "Please submit your reserve requests at least two weeks before they will be needed for class."

The library's mission is to facilitate student and faculty success by providing access to information and knowledge. If you have any questions, we are here for you. Please feel free to contact your library reserve specialists with any questions: Dave Michael - & Stephanie Breen -

Processing Time

During the first few weeks of a new semester, processing time can take up to two weeks. Please submit your reserve requests at least two weeks before they will be needed for class.

Submitting an Item for Reserve

To place items on reserve:

  • Go to the Reserves page.
  • Log on with your NetID and password.
  • Under instructor tools, click on Create a New Course and complete the form.
  • Once your class is created, select Add Reserve Items.
  • Select the desired document icon (article, book, book chapter, audio etc.) and provide the required information.
  • Make sure to select the appropriate radio button for how the information will be supplied.

The Reserves staff will receive your requests and begin processing them. To monitor progress on your submissions select a title and look under tracking. You can also sign up for email alerts which will notify you when an item has become available to your students.


Faculty are responsible for ensuring that materials placed on reserve for a class meet the Fair Use criteria as defined by Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. For copyright reasons, all materials are removed from Reserves at the end of the semester.

In general, the MSU Library follows these fair use guidelines for materials currently protected by copyright.

Books: 1 chapter or 10% of a book.
Articles: 1 article from a journal issue

Library Owned Materials

If you request library-owned materials to be placed on Reserve, Reserves staff will retrieve those items for you and process them accordingly.

Non-Library Materials

Non-library items will need to be brought to the Borrow desk for processing. Please complete the online form before bringing materials to the library.

Improving the Quality of Printouts for Students

The quality of the final printout of an electronic reserve file depends largely on the quality of the original copy. Faculty should review their submittals to the library for copy quality. When reviewing copies, please consider the following:

  • Documents have at least 3/8" white margins
  • Font style and size is readable
  • Documents do not have black borders

Following these guidelines will help create smaller file size documents that can easily be read by students.

Book, Video, DVD, CD, Audio

Books, DVDs, and CDs may be placed on physical reserve behind the Borrow desk.

The library has limited capability to stream audio and video reserves. Requests are handled on a case-by-case basis by contacting our Reserves staff at We are not able to convert, edit, isolate, or compile portions for you. Video files should be in .flv (flash format preferred) or .mpeg format. The preferred format for audio files is .wav or .mp3.

Book Chapters, Journal Articles, Paper Items (class notes, past exams, etc.)

All book chapter, journal article, class notes, exams, quizzes, homework examples, and similar requests will be made available electronically.

The MSU Library provides licensed access to many online journals. Articles from these journals can be linked to the E-reserves list for your course. Please verify that the article is available through the MSU Library website before completing the request.

Electronic Document Files

File Types: The library accepts nearly all electronic file types for electronic reserves. If a file type cannot be used, a member of the Reserves staff will contact the faculty member to find an acceptable format. File Size: Some students use dial-up connections and have difficulty viewing and printing large files. Please limit a file size to 8MB. Files that are over 8MB will be reviewed by the Reserves staff before making them available.

Viruses and Malicious Codes: MSU library does not scan for viruses or other malicious code embedded in submitted documents. Document integrity is responsibility of the creator.