Course Reserve Service

The Library's Course Reserves Service allows instructors to set aside books, films, sound recordings and other physical items for class use. Items can be identified online via CatSearch Course Reserve Search Page, and checked out by students at the Service Desk. The normal lending period for the majority of Course Reserves is 4 hours. Other options include 24 hours and 3 days.




We recommend assigning course materials that are available online. Some helpful strategies to support these efforts include:

  1. Share permalinks in your Brightspace course shell to e-books, articles, streaming media, or other resources in CatSearch, library e-journals, or databases.
  2. If the library does not currently own the e-content you need, let us know by using our Purchase Request form. This is the quickest way to get your needed electronic course resources on our radars.
    • Be sure to add as much detail about your course needs in the “Tell Us More” box.
    • Not everything is available as e-content, especially textbooks, which the library does not purchase.
    • In some instances, we may not be able to find an e-copy of or purchase items that are requested.
    • Our Collection Development Librarian Rachelle McLain <> is also available to help answer questions about possible purchases.
  3. Find and adapt an Open Educational Resource (OER). We have a web guide with suggestions for finding and using OERs.
    • Open textbooks are free, online learning materials with Creative Commons licenses. They are written by faculty and many have been peer-reviewed and tested in classrooms. Details are available in our OER guide.
    •  All OER materials can be embedded directly into your Brightspace course shell. It is easy to use a few chapters from an open textbook to tailor your readings to your curriculum.
    • OER are free so you save your students money as well!

Course-Related Scanning Services or Physical Reserves

We realize that there may not be electronic versions of 100% of the content you need for your courses. In these situations you have two options:

  1. The library can scan print materials for you, converting these to accessible PDF files you can upload into Brightspace. Upon receipt of your physical materials, you will be contacted within 5 business days (Monday – Friday) when your scanned files are available. All files will be shared via e-mail if a small file size and MSU’s OneDrive for large and/or multiple files.
    1. Please note: We will scan library owned items as well as personal items, in support of creating digital content for course specific use.
  2. You can place physical items on 'Reserve' that your students can check out at the library's Service Desk. Items may be library owned items or your personal copies of items. (Use the button below to place a Reserves request.)
    1. Please note: Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Resource Sharing (TRAILS) items may not be placed on Physical Course Reserves.

We also encourage you to:

If you would like the library to scan your materials, or would like physical items placed on Reserve at the library's Service Desk, let us know using the button below.

Request Form: Scanning or Physical Reserves

Adding Electronic Content in Brightspace/D2L

The Library does not offer an Electronic Reserves (E-Reserves) service. Instead, faculty may upload course readings and other electronic content directly to the Brightspace course shell.

All content uploaded into Brightspace/D2L must be accessible by all users, which is the responsibility of the instructor uploading the content. Montana State University Library is committed to providing all MSU students, faculty and staff equitable access to the library resources and services they require for their academic and research needs, and helping instructors do the same for their students. If you have questions, or want to learn how to make your documents accessible, please check out this guide we've created to help you

Many instructors choose to post readings into weekly modules so that students can see at a glance what readings they need to do for a given week and assignment. It is also possible to link directly to websites or content in library databases.

If you have any questions about uploading articles and other electronic content into your course shell, please contact us.


Faculty are responsible for ensuring that scanned materials meet the Fair Use criteria as defined by Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. If you have questions about copying and reuse of course materials, please contact Leila Sterman, Scholarly Communication Librarian (

 More details related to copyright can be found on this library guide