Electronic Reserves

What are E-reserves?

E-reserves (electronic reserves) are like traditional course reserves, except the materials on reserve for use by a particular class are available online. Students have access to class materials from the Bluffton Library Catalog anytime and from wherever they have access to the Internet -- no more waiting for another student to finish a reading or access limited to when the library is open!

For electronic documents, including items from library databases, there will be an option with the form to include the link or attach the electronic file. For print materials, faculty will need to send or bring to the library a single-sided copy of the document. The scanned material will be available online for use during the semester in which the course is taught.

Students registered for the course will have access from the Course Reserves link in the library catalog by using their name, barcode number, and course password (as provided to the instructor). Instructions for users of e-reserves can be downloaded from here.

What Can Be Placed On E-Reserves?

E-reserves is more than just a place for book chapters and journal articles; the system has the capacity for many other formats as well. Let's explore the possibilities!

  • Journal articles
  • Book chapters
  • Music clips
  • Links to websites
  • Links to electronic books
  • Images
  • Instructor generated materials such as sample tests, lecture notes, syllabi, etc

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Copyright Guidelines

The library will follow the fair use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Section 107). Any determination will result from weighing each of the four fair use factors. The standard interpretation of fair use for e-reserves in libraries has been to limit the successive times a document can be placed on reserve. In other words, we will not be able to post documents that have been on course reserves or e-reserves within the last two years without having copyright permission.

What usually falls under "fair use" for e-reserves?

  • Items from library databases, including articles, e-books, recordings, and videos
  • Any one chapter from a book or one article from a journal or magazine (as opposed to multiple chapters from the same book or multiple articles from the same journal).
  • Any item prepared by the instructor and to which he/she holds the copyright (sample tests, syllabi, lecture notes, etc.)


When copyright permission must be requested, what then? Library staff will be pleased to advise on procedures but the instructor will be responsible for seeking copyright permission and paying any royalties. The library reserves the right to refuse materials that are not in compliance with copyright law. With any copyrighted materials, we would expect that the library or the instructor or another unit of the University holds a lawfully obtained copy of the work.

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Instructions for Accessing E-Reserves

  • Go to the Musselman Library website.
  • Click on the link that says Bluffton Catalog .
  • In the blue section at the top of the online catalog web page, click on course reserves.
  • The catalog web page will switch to the course reserves catalog and the search mode defaults to Course. Click on the blue Instructor tab (it will turn white) and then enter the last name, first name of your instructor.
  • When you press enter, you will see a list of that instructor s classes; select the course you are in and a list of the readings for that particular course will appear.
  • Click on the reading you wish to view.
  • A page appears asking for your name. Enter your first name first, followed by your last name (it will not work the other way around).
  • Enter your entire barcode the fourteen digit number found on the back of your Bluffton ID (ex: 21195000011111).
  • Enter the password your instructor provided you with in class.
  • Press submit.
  • If this was a document that the library has in its database, you will be directed to the bibliographic page and there will be a link on this page indicating full text. Click on this link (you may have to scroll down to find it).
  • If this was a document that the library scanned, it will open directly to that document.  



If you are directed to a database bibliographic page, and the document doesn t open the first time you click on it, you can open it in a new window. To do this, right click on the full text link and select open in new window. Once you ve done this, you should not need to do it again on that computer.

If you have any other problems, please use the Need Help - Ask Us page to contact us.

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E-Reserve FAQs

How long will it take to get my e-reserve request posted on the Bluffton Library catalog?
Because of anticipated demand at the start of each semester, please allow two weeks advance notice. This will give us time to work out any copyright questions and will help to insure having your material posted by the start of classes. Otherwise, expect to see your course reserve item up within 3-5 working days. Electronic materials can usually be posted quickly; materials requiring scanning may take longer, as will multiple requests for a single course.

Will e-reserves be offered free to the student?
E-reserves will not cost the student anything. In fact, because e-reserves are offered online, the student will not have to worry about late fees (as he did with course reserves).

Who is the contact for e-reserves?
Audra Oglesbee is the coordinator for e-reserves. She would be happy to help you with your e-reserve questions and requests. She can be reached at extension 3271 or at oglesbeea@bluffton.edu.

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