Course Reserves Policies

To place items on reserve for your course, please email  a copy of your class syllabus to: Jeremy Shields ( Library staff will use the syllabi to create a customized course reserve list for your class. These lists are only available to Boston University students, faculty, and staff, after logging in with their BU username and password.

Deadlines: Please submit fall course reserves by July 1; spring course reserves by December 1, and summer course reserves by May 1Submission of any reserve lists after the deadlines could significantly delay the availability of materials.

  • If available, the library will provide or purchase a multi-user electronic copy of each book that is a required reading. Note that not all electronic resources are available to libraries, however; for example, if you see an item is available as a Kindle e-book, due to licensing reasons, we cannot purchase that book as a library. We will communicate to you what items are available as e-books.
  • If no e-book is available, a hardcopy will be provided on physical reserve at the Circulation Desk. All physical items on reserve have a borrowing policy of two hours/overnight. Reserve items borrowed less than two hours before the library closes, are due back two hours after it opens on the next business day. Reserve materials cannot be renewed and are available on first come, first served basis.
    • Items that are currently checked out to patrons will be recalled by library staff for reserve.
    • Items available at other BU libraries will be transferred to the Theology Library for the duration of the semester.
    • If no hardcopy is owned by BU, one 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 reserve lists on time so that all books will be ready before they are needed.
  • Scans: The library can make portions of materials (e.g. a chapter within a book or a single article within a journal volume)  available as scans on the course reserve list. These requests must abide by US Copyright Law;  please note, that means that we usually cannot scan an entire resource.

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

To add your course reserve list to Blackboard, simply open Blackboard to a page where you would add your syllabus or upload PDF readings. Under the “tools” drop down menu, go to “Course Readings – BU Libraries;” name the link “STH Library Course Reserves;” submit on the bottom portion of the page; and it should automatically link to the list we created for your class. (If it doesn’t, and asks you to start creating one, let us know so we can fix it.) Or, if you prefer, simply use the link to your class’s list from our course reserve landing page ( and place it in your courses Blackboard menu.