Course Reserves

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Search Course Reserves

At the beginning of fall, spring, and summer semesters, faculty members or their Teaching Assistants place books and other material needed for their classes that semester on Course Reserve. Our goal is to own every material that faculty requires or recommends to their class over the semester. They are located at the School of Theology Library Circulation Desk.

Placing Items on Course Reserve

The preferred method of faculty placing items on course reserve is providing a copy of your class syllabus. It gives the library a chance to see when assignments and papers are due and to plan services and displays to be more in sync with what is going on in our community. Simply forward a copy of your syllabus to Sean Smith, the Library Administrative Coordinator ( and the library will do the rest!

Items that are currently checked out to patrons will be recalled by library staff for reserve.

Items owned at other BU libraries will be transferred to the Theology Library by library staff for the duration of the course (unless the home library requires it to remain at that location).

Items not owned by BU will be ordered by library staff for purchase. If available, a multi-use electronic copy will be chosen unless the professor opts out on our reserves form. Otherwise a hardcopy will be purchased. [Please note that purchase takes time, including the subsequent cataloging and processing of the book before it can be available for checkout. It is important to submit Course Reserve lists on time so that all books will be ready before they are needed.]

Professors or TAs can also provide “personal copies” of materials that need to be purchased, so that a copy is available during processing. Personal copies are always kept on two hour, library use only status so that they do not leave the library. The library does not copy articles for reserve, so it is your responsibility to provide copies of any articles you would like to have on reserve for your course(s). All articles are considered personal copies. If personal copies are submitted, please remember to pick these up at the end of the semester.

Items remain on course reserve until the last day of the semester, unless requested by the Professor.

Borrowing Lengths

Also indicate the borrowing length you want for each item you place on course reserve. We currently have four options:

2 Hours – Library Use Only. Students can check out items for two hours, and the items cannot leave the library.

2 Hours/Overnight. The most popular/best option for classes that have more than a couple of students. Students can borrow items for two hours at a time, and can take them outside the library. The “overnight” moniker means that if a patron checks out an item less than two hours before we close, it is due back two hours after we open our next open day. Most students check out books and go directly to the scanner to make digital copies of the chapter they need to read. This is usually sufficient, and guarantees the greatest number of students have access to the material.

3 Day. Students check out the item for three days. This is ideal for classes with a very small amount of students, or a seminar.

7 Day. Much like 3 day, this is better for classes with a very small amount of students.


Deadlines for Course Reserves are the following:

Fall Course Reserves by July 1

Spring Course Reserves by December 1

Summer Course Reserves by May 17

Submission of any forms after the deadlines could significantly delay the availability of materials.

Viewing Items on Course Reserve

Go into the BU Libraries Search catalog and click on the search tab labeled “Search Course Reserves.

Choose either Course Number or Professor’s Name.

For the course number search enter the FULL number, e.g. RS600 or ED100. (You may find two different listings for a course, for example TM830 and TM930. Because some courses have more than one course number, both of those links will take you to the same course reserve.)

For the professor’s name search you generally only need their last name. In some cases there are professors with the same last name; just look through the courses listed for each professor to find your course.