Library About Policies Reserves

Reserves Policy

As a service to the students and faculty of Fairfield University, the DiMenna-Nyselius Library offers a reserve section where students can consult materials that are in heavy demand for their classes. Library-owned materials, like circulating books, videos, and CD-ROMs may be placed on reserve with no restrictions, as may professors' personal notes, or personal copies of books, videos, and other materials. Photocopies and reprints may also be placed on reserve, but with some restrictions, due to copyright law. Any materials that violate copyright law, such as unlawful copies or expired off-air tapes will not be accepted. It is also not possible to put reference books on reserve. In rare cases where an item is determined to be too fragile to withstand the handling to which reserve materials are subjected, the librarian reserves the right to deny a reserves request.

Gathering the Materials

You may bring any personal copies or selected library materials to the Library Services & Information Desk along with your reserves list for processing. If you prefer not to bring library materials to the Library Services & Information Desk, our staff will retrieve them for you from the circulating stacks. However, please be aware that we will be able to process your materials more quickly if you bring all of the items to us yourself.

Information Needed

All reserve requests:

the professor's name, the semester during which the materials are to be accessible, the full course name, and the course number.

Library owned materials:

each item's LC call number, author, title, format (i.e. book, video, DVD etc.), the number of copies of the item you wish to put on reserve, and the reserve loan period (see the "reserve loan periods" section of this policy).

Personal copies:

author, title, format (i.e. book, video, etc.), the number of copies of the item you wish to put on reserve, and the reserve loan period (see the "reserve loan periods" section of this policy).


author of the article or book in which the chapter appears, title of the article or book in which the chapter appears, format (i.e. article or book chapter, etc.), the number of copies of the item you wish to put on reserve (you'll be limited to five copies), and the reserve loan period (see the "loan periods" section of this policy). You must also indicate one of the following:

(a) whether you are the copyright owner,

(b) whether this is the first time you are placing the item on reserve without permission from the copyright owner,

(c) whether the item is within the public domain, or

(d) whether you have been granted permission to use the material by the copyright owner (your signature required). Please carefully read the "copyright" section of this policy.

Submitting a Reserves Request

A reserve list must be submitted in order to place items on reserve. There are several options:

(A) Type your request into the Online Traditional Reserves Request Form.

(B) Obtain a Traditional Reserves Request form at the Library Services & Information desk. Fill it out on site, or send the form through campus mail to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Reserves Department

(C) Call the Reserves Department at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2234 or 2892. Be prepared to provide all of the information needed to reserve materials for your course (see "information needed," above).

(D) Send an e-mail to either Sylvia Hurlburt, the Reserves Assistant, or to Elise Bochinski, the Access Services Librarian. Include all of the information needed to reserve materials for your course (see "information needed," above).

Note: Options A, C and D are not possible if a signature is required. Please read the "copyright" section of this policy to see if a signature is required.


Reserves Services cannot be held responsible for mutilation and/or theft of material put on reserve, although security measures, including bar coding, are used. Please be aware that reserves processing procedures include labeling and bar coding even on personal copies, as the materials will be included temporarily in the library's reserve collection so that students may have access to them via the Library Services & Information Desk. These can be removed from personal copies when the items are returned at the end of the semester.

Reserve Loan Periods

Faculty members may specify the circulation period for materials they place on reserve by choosing between the following four options:

In House: student may use within the library for four hours

Overnight: student may take the item home, but must return it by 10 a.m. the next day

3-Day: may be taken out of the library for 3 days

7-Day: may be taken out of the library for one week.

Please indicate the circulation period for your course materials when filling out the reserve form.

Once a professor reserves material for a class, faculty members not associated with that course may not take the item out of the library, even for classroom use, without the consent of the professor who originally placed the item on reserve. Please plan ahead. If you let our staff know far enough in advance, we will contact the professor to seek his/her consent. This policy ensures priority to those who reserve library materials, in case an item is needed at a moment's notice for the designated class. You are encouraged to place items on reserve if you plan to use them in class or as supplementary resources for your students.

Additional information on borrowing privileges and loan periods can be found at:


When dealing with photocopies or other reproductions where the instructor is not the copyright owner of the work, materials may be placed on reserve only if:

(1) they are in the public domain (U.S. government publication, or anything published before 1925)

(2) the copyright owner grants permission, or

(3) the use is a "fair use" under the law.

These same three stipulations apply to items capable of being publicly performed, such as videocassettes, if the viewing will take place within the library (you have the option of designating such an item as an "overnight reserve," so that it may be viewed privately).

Fair use is a legal doctrine found in section 107 of the 1976 US Copyright Act published in Title 17 of the US Code. It allows the public to make limited uses of copyrighted works without permission. It depends on the balancing of four factors including:

(1) the purpose of your use,

(2) the nature of the work you are using,

(3) the amount of the work you are using, and

(4) the effect of your use on the value of or market for the original work.

Standards. Because simple, clean, concise rules do not exist in the law of fair use, the Reserves Department uses the following standards to give fair use some practical application.

(1) Purpose of the use: materials must serve only the needs of specified educational programs; they must be placed on reserve only at the specific request of the instructor; students should not be charged specifically to consult the works, and no person or unit at the university should benefit monetarily from the use of the material.

(2) Nature of the work: materials must be related directly to the educational objectives of a specific course; only those portions relevant to the objectives of the course may be placed on reserve; and reproductions of highly creative works, like novels, artwork and poetry, or public performances of feature films, are not generally appropriate unless they are the main subject of academic study.

(3) Amount of the work: reproductions will generally be limited to brief works or brief excerpts from longer works, such as a book chapter, a single article from a journal, or unrelated news articles; the amount of the work placed on reserve must be related directly to the educational objectives of the course.

(4) Effect of the use on the market for the original: repeat use of the same material by the same instructor for the same course will require permission from the copyright owner; the materials will include a citation to the original source of publication and a form of copyright notice; no material should be included unless it is produced from a lawfully obtained copy; materials on reserve may not include any works that are available for students to purchase-whether as a book, coursepack, or other work-in the campus bookstore or other customary outlet.

If the use of the work you intend to place on reserve will not be a fair use according to these standards, and the material is not in the public domain, you will need to seek permission. Design and Digital Print Services offers assistance to professors in gaining permission from copyright owners. Their extension is 2432.

Professors are required to indicate the copyright status of photocopied materials when filling out reserve forms. The library relies on the honor system, and does not require documentation of permissions gained. A signature is required, however, securing the faculty members' pledge to honor copyright law.