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Library Information for Faculty: Course Reserves

Reserves during the pandemic

The library’s course reserve program generally facilitates brief loans--hours or a few days-- of high-demand materials. Reserve items include library-owned or instructor-owned monographs, DVDs, and course textbooks. The pandemic is, unsurprisingly, affecting our ability to continue this program normally. 

Our operational changes are informed by reports from the REALM (Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) COVID-19 research project. Current findings are that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is undetectable after 4 days on most types of library materials. We have been and will continue to quarantine all returned materials before lending them anew.  

Unfortunately, this 4-day quarantine is incompatible with the pedagogical need driving the reserves program--guaranteed availability to the students within a few hours or days. Here is guidance if you would normally be using Course Reserves: 

  1. We continue our scanning service for monographs and DVDs within fair use guidelines, providing URLs that you can post in Moodle or Canvas. Please make your scanning requests as soon as possible, to avoid the rush as the term approaches. 

    1. If the item is already owned by the library, request through Primo’s Scan & Deliver option

    2. if the item is personally-owned, use the Digitization Request Form. With these requests, the library attempts to purchase the content institutionally so as to bolster the fair use claim for digitization. 

  2. A few departments have textbook class sets, where each enrolled student may borrow a textbook for the full term. No changes here--we will loan these textbooks as normal.

  3. We cannot scan course textbooks to provide a digital form. Doing so would compete directly with the primary market for a copyrighted work, undermining the fair use argument. We did digitize textbooks on request during Spring 2020; copyright specialists around the country agreed that the “heightened demands” of that period reduced the weight of the market factor in a fair use analysis. Although the public health emergency continues, we are now beyond the crisis transition to online education, and the market factor regains its normal weight in a fair use analysis. 

To this final point: if you're concerned about your students' inability to access textbooks, we suggest looking into using an open textbook or other open educational resources (OER). You can find more general information at the library's OER guide, or use OpenOregon's Resources page to discover what other faculty and instructors around the state are using in their courses. Please contact Sue Kunda or your subject librarian if you have any questions or concerns about OER.

For further clarification about Course Reserves, please contact Lori Pagel

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