Faculty FAQ



What are "Course Reserves" at SU Libraries, and what does the department do?

Course Reserves are resources that professors ask the library to set aside or manage so that they can be fairly accessed by all students in a certain course. They may be required readings, recommended sources for writing papers, DVDs, or even textbooks. They can be library-owned, or personal items that you donate or loan to the library. Course Reserves staff are part of the Access Services branch of SU Libraries -- we manage the reserves collection, and offer copyright assessment to help faculty.

The physical Course Reserve collection: Having material stored at the library on course reserve allows your students shared access to items they need for your course, but might not be able to purchase individually. We place these items on shelves behind the library service desk, and your students can request items just by looking up your name or your course. You may choose a loan period for each item, and you may require that the item only be used within the library. Some items will go on and off of reserve each term, and some will remain on permanent reserve, if you will be using them in later terms. Please use this online system to request items for your course reserves.

Assisting faculty with Copyright questions associated with course materials: For electronic items (ie., online material/files you share with students on MyClasses), our course reserve system allows you to efficiently request help from library staff to make sure you are complying with United States copyright law, by submitting bibliographic records and enrollment data. We can help you make "Fair Use" determinations on readings that you post on Canvas/MyClasses. Due to the complex nature of the law and the fees that can be associated with using items, the SU Libraries will assess any materials that you ask us to (articles, book chapters, etc.) and if needed, we will request approval from the rights holder on your behalf, and make sure that any required copyright fees, if reasonable, are paid.

You as a professor are personally responsible for making sure you are abiding by copyright law in good faith when you post material on MyClasses. If you are unsure, we are here: just submit a course reserve request and we will offer assistance.

Covid-19: What are you doing about Course Reserves during the pandemic?
We are trying to scan as many of our books on reserve as we can! We are checking out these scans to students in place of the reserve books. Physical Course Reserves cannot circulate during the pandemic because they are high-turnover items that we would have to sanitize and even quarantine between uses.

Please understand that we do not have the staff to offer a "scanning service" and we can't possibly scan all of our reserves. We are prioritizing our efforts to help alleviate the financial burden of the most students possible.

Highest priority items are: primary, required textbooks, that are used in high-enrollment classes; expensive items that are likely to present a true barrier to student access; books that are not widely available on the used book market, and not available at reasonable prices as ebooks.

Please email Cassy Lewis and/or Amy Jones directly if you are interested in us scanning a book (cklewis@salisbury.edu, amjones@salisbury.edu)! Faculty, if you only need a short excerpt from a course reserve to post on MyClasses, reach out to us by filling out this Google form. We might be able to assist in scanning limited fair-use excerpts.
Covid-19: What is "Digital Lending" and how can the library do it?
Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) permits libraries to "loan out" a scan (that we make of a legally-owned physical library book) IN PLACE of loaning our physical copy, while still adhering to copyright guidelines. The loans must be controlled in such a way that the digital loan replicates the physical library loan. We can only have 1 digital copy available per 1 physical copy that we set aside and do NOT check out; we have to set limited loan periods in line with the typical loan periods of the books (2 hours); and we must ensure that reproduction, downloading, and printing of the scan is blocked. This means that only one student will be able to access each digital book at a time, and usage will be limited in the above ways, so it will be preferable to use MyClasses to share fair-use amounts of texts, if that can meet your needs.
Covid-19: How do I go about requesting that a book be scanned by library staff for my students to check out digitally?
If we legally own a copy of the book, through purchase or by faculty making a permanent donation, we can scan it and circulate the SCAN in place of the PHYSICAL copy, if we sequester that copy and control the lending parameters of the scan. Before we scan/circulate a textbook for your class, we have to own it! Please check our library catalog. If we don't own it, go though your department's librarian liaison to ask if it can be licensed as an ebook. If not, are department funds available to purchase a hard copy? If not, do you have a personal copy that you can permanently donate to the library? Please email Cassy Lewis and/or Amy Jones directly to place your request (cklewis@salisbury.edu, amjones@salisbury.edu).
Covid-19: How do "digital course reserves" work?
Since the library is not checking out physical Course Reserves this term due to Covid-19, we have started to digitize some of our most popular course reserves (by professor request). You can check these digital book scans out for two-hour loans, 24/7, from the Library Course Reserves web site. Because of copyright restrictions, only one person can access the book at a time, and sharing/printing/downloading is disabled. In spite of the limitations, we hope that this service can help alleviate some hardship for students who cannot afford to buy their own textbooks.
Covid-19: What if I'd like to share just an excerpt from one of my current Reserves?
Although the reserve books are not accessible to students right now, you as a professor can come pick up your reserves at any time. You can scan excerpts and post them on MyClasses to the extent that fair-use allows. If you need help scanning, staff might be able to scan a limited amount and email the pages to you, but we cannot promise that we can do it quickly. Use this Google form to request a chapter or up to 30 pages from a course reserve. You can also ask us to remove your reserves and send them back into circulation, so that at least a few students can check them out.
When can I just go ahead and post an article or book excerpt directly on Canvas?

It is OK to post open-access articles, freely-available web-based material, your own unpublished items, or links to material in SU-subscribed library databases (including films available for streaming). You do not need to notify the library staff or request permission for these uses on your MyClasses pages. We have already paid dearly for access to thousands of journal articles, films, and more -- we are thrilled when you can use them in your teaching!

For sources that are NOT included in our databases, "Fair Use" provisions usually allow you to share one article per journal issue, and one chapter per book (or less than 10-15% of the total material). There are many caveats however -- for details and guidance, please see SU's Library Guide to Copyright for Faculty. You may be surprised to find out that material you thought was covered under "Fair Use" actually does need copyright clearance. The library staff will help you, so if you are in doubt, submit a Course Reserves request. Library staff will review the usage, assess copyright restrictions, and apply for permissions and process payments of fees when necessary.

What about posting articles found in SU databases? (Posting Links vs. PDFs in Canvas)

It is always preferable to post the LINKS that take the students to articles through our databases, instead of the PDFs. This benefits both the library and the faculty -- each viewing of the article is documented as usage, so that we can continue to justify paying for the databases that are being used.

The link from your Canvas page can take the students straight to the database's article record -- from here, students click on the PDF or full-text html version of the article. You just have to be sure to use a good permalink, easily available in most of our databases. Both Library and ID&D staff members are happy to help you identify/use stable permalinks to ensure quick, easy access to course readings.

How do I know if I need to use this system before posting digital material on Canvas/MyClasses?
You can take this short questionnaire to find out.
What requirements do I need to meet to post copyright-protected material on my Canvas page?

If your item is not open-access or in an SU-subscribed database, and its usage is not clearly covered under the Fair Use provision of Copyright guidelines, you should use the library e-reserve request process. Then, given that you request permission to use the item as a course e-reserve, and the library pays the fees to the publisher or rights-holder, faculty can make the digital material accessible to their students. These requirements must be met:

* Access is restricted to students registered for the course (Canvas login takes care of this requirement)

* The complete bibliographic information is displayed, or attached to the file (Be sure the document/scan, or your syllabus/assignment in Canvas, includes the citation giving credit to the source!)

Please see our Faculty Guide to Copyright issues! Library Guide to Copyright for Faculty

What about Textbooks?

Unfortunately, the library does not have the resources needed to purchase every book that our faculty assign as required texts for courses. In order to relieve some of the financial burden on students, we have established the Textbooks on Reserve Program. We have purchased copies of the textbooks of some courses to keep on Reserve behind the Library Service Desk. Students can check these out for 2-hour periods of in-library use. The Dean selects the textbooks to purchase based on course enrollment, with weight given to those courses with high withdraw/failure rates. In addition, we are happy to place "donated" textbooks on reserve for your students! If you have an extra copy or can obtain one through your department, please loan it to us.

Over half of our Textbooks on Reserve are faculty donations or personal copies on loan to us.

How do students get to their electronic reserves?

They must log in to Canvas, and go to their MyClasses course page, to access all digital materials (including COPYRIGHT-PROTECTED e-reserves).

Ebooks or articles that are in SU-licensed databases can be accessed through links going through the online SU library page (not the databases directly!) -- faculty should post these links in their MyClasses pages, so that students can efficiently get to all of their readings from one place.