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Course Reserves: Overview

Guide to using Library E-Reserves and Print Reserves Services

E-Reserves Requests During COVID-19

Due to the current COVID-19 Crisis, some e-reserve services are being impacted. Digitization of print resources has been limited until further notice. We are working to ensure access to digital resources is available and accessible to the OCADU community.

UPDATE June 15, 2021:  Staff access to print collections, for the purpose of digitization, is limited as part of the recent campus closure. Please allow for longer than normal processing times. When submitting requests please indicate assignment dates to aid staff in prioritizing reading requests.

  • Online collections are available 24/7 from Dorothy H. Hoover Library
  • Readings requests will be acquired and fulfilled as digital copies where available, Monday-Friday.
  • All library e-reserves remain available via Canvas. However, library print reserves are not available as our facilities are closed. Students are encouraged to check with their professors with questions about revised course readings.
    • Items scanned prior to the University closure can be cloned to Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 courses.  
  • For access to subject-specific databases and resources, please use our Library Subject Guides 

We thank you for your patience and understanding, and encourage you to do your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Getting Started

OCAD U offers an electronic reserves service fully integrated with, and available to, all Canvas Courses. 

  • Instructors can initiate the E-Reserves service by clicking through on the Course Reserves tab in your Canvas courses and entering your requests. 
  • To make the tab visible to students in your course, follow the instructions in this Knowledge Base article to add it to your Course Navigation Menu. 

Service Alerts

Due to the current COVID-19 Crisis, some E-Reserve services are being impacted. Digitization of print resources is limited. Please allow for longer than normal processing times. Faculty can request e-resources through our library catalogue. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Having trouble accessing Course Reserves? Contact us for help.

Overview of Course Reserves

The Dorothy H. Hoover Library at OCADU offers a Course Reserve service, available through Canvas, through which instructors can request readings to be digitized, linked or placed on physical reserve within the library. This service allows students to locate and access all required course readings on Canvas, and ensures that all readings comply with copyright law and the University's digital content & reproduction licenses.  


Using this system, faculty can:

  • Place required readings on reserve through the Course Reserves online form which submits requests directly to the Library's E-Reserves unit
  • Request required books and other materials to be added to the library collection (allow 4 - 6 weeks for new books)
  • Track reserve requests online
  • Track student use of online reserves
  • Tag readings to organize them by week, assignment or by specific keywords
  • Easily clone and modify previous reading lists to new course iterations 

Simply input citation information for required readings into the online form and E-Reserves staff will check copyright allowances, acquire, scan or link readings for you and make them available in a single access point in Canvas.

E-Reserves staff can locate and bring in readings from universities across Ontario. All readings that are digitized by staff are high quality, copyright/license compliant, accessible and in an easily readable PDF format. 

The Course Reserves tab can give students access to PDFs, ebooks, books held on short-term loan in the library, articles in library databases and other online resources. 

To ensure your requests are processed in time, please submit requests four weeks before they are required and fill in full citation information. For assistance using the online request form, see the Adding Reserves tab in this guide. 

Service Boundaries

Required readings must comply with copyright allowances in order to be posted to Canvas. Typically, no more than 20% of a print work can be made available digitally. If you want to use more than 20% of a print work, you should request to have the book placed on reserve in the library or have copies ordered into the bookstore.

E-Reserves service is limited to required (i.e. assigned) readings only, and is not intended to fulfill supplemental or suggested student reading requests. 


Students can access readings and reserve items directly through the Course Reserves tab in their Canvas course pages. They can also search for physical reserve items through the Reserve Collection search engine in the library's online catalogue. For an overview of the reserves pages, see the student section of this guide.

Canvas Course Reserves Tab

Within the new Course Reserves tab in Canvas you can access a variety of pages to enter and monitor course reserves.

The "Reserve Items" page allows you to see the items available in your course, check the status of an item, and subscribe for account alerts


The "Current Classes" page allows you to access the course reserve pages for each of your current classes, as well as past and upcoming courses. From these pages, you can clone readings that you would like to use in other courses.

From the "Add a Reserve Item" page you can add and request readings to be put on E-Reserve or physical reserve in the library.

Library Collections Online