Course Reserve

Request an Interlibrary Loan

At the beginning of each semester, faculty members place books and other material needed for their classes that semester on Course Reserve. Our goal is to own each book that faculty require or recommend for classes over the semester. You can search what items are on course reserve for your class by clicking below on the “Search Course Reserves” link, and typing the professor’s name on the class code (for example, TO800).

Search Course Reserves

Borrowing Length

Course Reserve materials are found at the School of Theology circulation desk. Either bring the Library of Congress call number to the desk, or give us the title, author, class code, or professor name, and we will check the item out to you.

There are four different borrowing lengths for course reserve materials; the record in the online catalog and the slip around the course reserve will tell you the length of time you have with the material. Please remember that all course reserve material is not renewable; this is because we want to make sure that anyone else that was looking for the material has a chance to see it.

  1. 2 hour/Library Use Only. These items are checked out for two hours at a time and do not leave the library.
  2. 2 hour/Overnight. These items are checked out for two hours at a time, and are able to leave the library. If you check out the item less than 2 hours before the library closes, it is due back 2 hours after we open on the next day we are open.
  3. 3 day.
  4. 7 day.

The most popular of these reserve borrowing lengths is 2 hour/Overnight, because it offers users the ability to read or scan a chapter and then return it for the next person to access it. Loan periods are determined by the professor and exceptions cannot be made without written notification from the professor.

Search Course Reserves

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

Find the item you are looking for and write down the call number to show to Circulation Desk staff.

What if my professor hasn’t placed the item I need on reserve?

Some instructors choose not to place materials on reserve because they provide electronic readings or prefer that their students purchase the text. Others may intend to put items on reserve but have to delay while they finalize their syllabus. Some reserve items may be on order for the library and simply have not yet arrived.

If your instructor has indicated that the readings are on reserve and they are not, please let your TA or your instructor know as soon as possible. Because the library relies on instructors to provide the necessary information on which books they have chosen to place on reserve, alerting the library will not make the reserves immediately available, but may start dialogue between the library and the instructor. A course reserve guide for instructors and their TAs is available here.

If you have any questions, click here or email us at