Course Reserves in the Library

Course Reserves is a collection of books, media, and other materials designed to supplement required course textbooks.


  • Physical and electronic course reserve materials can be searched through the course reserves list, by title in OneSearch, or through the ebook textbook list.
  • Physical course reserves are loaned for 2, 4, 24, or 48 hours depending on the material.
  • To check out, present the call number and your SFSU OneCard at the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk on the first floor of the J. Paul Leonard Library. To avoid overdue fees, return all course reserve items to the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk. Do not place in the book returns.
  • Electronic course reserves may have usage restrictions. Restrictions, such as single user access, will be listed on the record in OneSearch. The ability to download, save, or email the full or partial text varies by title.
  • For more information, please email


Users with a disability who need a longer loan period for physical course reserve materials should contact the Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) at or at (415) 338-2472, and they will arrange for accommodations with us on the user's behalf.

Suggest a Purchase

If the library does not have the materials you need, you may suggest a purchase.


Faculty may place physical and electronic materials on reserve for their students through Course Reserves using the Course Reserves Request Form (SF State login required).

Physical Materials

  • The library accepts physical item requests for on-campus and hybrid courses.
  • Library-owned physical materials will be pulled from the general collection for the duration of the course.
  • Faculty may also lend personal copies of items for students to check out. Please fill out the Course Reserves Request Form before dropping items off at the first-floor Book Checkout & Pickup Desk.
  • To better serve you and your students, please allow one week to process materials.

Electronic Materials

Library-owned electronic materials may be added to the course list. Due to copyright restrictions, the library is unable to place personal electronic materials on reserve.

Faculty may also:

  • Embed links to articles and books available electronically directly into Canvas.
  • Scan and upload materials into Canvas:
    • Scanners are available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Study Commons on the ground floor.
    • If you would like help with learning to scan materials for your classes, please stop by the Study Commons during scheduled open hours.
    • For help with Canvas, contact AT: visit, email, or call (415) 405-5555

Purchase Requests

If the library does not own the materials needed for your course, you may submit a purchase request through the Course Reserves Request Form.

The library will typically purchase one copy of books we do not already own. The library will attempt to purchase class materials with the exception of textbooks and study guides. Textbooks are designed to provide a compilation of established knowledge in a particular subject or field, and they are usually produced to meet the instructional needs of educators at teaching institutions. Textbooks are not typically collected by libraries for several reasons, including cost and the frequent production of new editions with similar content. Additionally, textbook publishers typically do not allow libraries to purchase their books in electronic format.

Ebooks with multi-user access will be prioritized, as costs allow, to enable the broadest possible access.

Physical materials will be purchased if the course is being taught with an on-campus component and the material is not available in a resonably priced electronic format.

Affordable Learning

If you would like assistance identifying affordable learning alternatives, please contact your liaison librarian or visit CEETL's OER Resource Hub.


To ensure accessibility of scanned materials, submit your scanned materials to the Accessible Media Quick Converter, an online service designed to produce simple and quick file conversions from PDF and MS Word files into accessible formats, including audio files.


For guidance on copyright compliance, please review the Intellectual Property guide.


For more information or to arrange a consultation, contact Circulation at