Course Reserves

picture of open reserve shelves with textbooks

We provide textbooks and course materials for most University of Utah classes.

Make a Request

Find Us

The Open Reserve collection is located in the southwest corner of Level 3 in the Marriott Library. The closest entrance is the east entrance just off the Library Plaza. Collection Services and Reserve staff are located nearby to provide assistance as needed.

Use the Collection

Textbooks are available on the open shelving all hours the library is open. Students can scan what is needed for personal use at the free KIC scanners located next to the collection. Books can also be used anywhere in the library. Some items even check out for short loans of 24 hours or 3 days.

Make a Request

Anyone -- instructors, students, TAs, and staff -- can submit a Reserve request. Be sure to provide us with the course number and enough information to ensure we provide the correct material.

If the textbook you need isn't here, the library will buy it. Submit your request before the semester begins to ensure it is available on the first day of class.

Additional Information

For more detailed instructions or information about our services and placing requests, select the appropriate option below.

Additional Information for Instructors

It's never too late! Use our online form to submit a reserve request at any point during the semester. You will receive a confirmation email that we received the request. Requests are processed in the order received, so submit it as soon as possible to ensure materials are available to your students.

Submit Your Reserve Request

Reserve Collection

What is Open Reserve?

An Open Reserve model allows students to use course materials more freely and aids in discovery of related materials on the Open Reserve shelves. Rather than holding course materials behind a desk or in a locked area (a closed reserve model), students can browse freely in the Open Reserve collection. Items can either be used within the library or checked out for overnight use.

Open Reserve allows for three loan options:

  • Non-circulating: For heaviest use items to create availability within the library. These items do not check out and do not leave the library. Students are free to use them anywhere in the building.
  • 24 hours: General use loan period for textbooks, reference materials, DVDs, etc. This option allows students to take materials home overnight, maximizing access and opportunity for study.
  • 3 days: For items intended to be read thoroughly or used longer such as novels. A 3 day loan period is encouraged for items such as supplementary materials, optional readings, and low use items.

E-Reserves: Electronic Reserve readings continue to be facilitated by the Reserve staff through our online form. If hosting readings on Canvas allows greater access by your students, we encourage you to do so. The University's Policy 7-013 regarding copyrighted works can guide your activities.


Course Reserve Policies

Personal copies: We do not accept personal copies for temporary use in the Open Reserve collection. If you have materials you wish to be made available to your students through Reserve, you may donate them to the library. At the end of the semester, the items will remain the property of the Marriott Library and may be circulated or discarded at the discretion of staff.

Processing: Requests are processed in the order received. Rush requests are not given priority over requests received in a timely manner. Submit requests at least four weeks in advance of the semester to ensure that the material will be available to your students on the first day of classes. All requests must be submitted via the online form. Requests will not be accepted via email. Class textbooks will be purchased for Reserve at your request. Media (DVD, VHS, CD) can also be placed on Reserve.

Copyright: In Accordance with University of Utah Policy 7-013 "Copying of Copyrighted Works," reserve requests must be made through the library's online form. The online form will provide the required Fair Use Questions for electronic citations. Faculty must resubmit the online form and associated Fair Use Evaluations for each semester an e-reserve should be accessible. Electronic Reserve scanning requests must include the citation and copyright information. Items of unknown origin cannot be scanned for electronic reserve. Content cannot be removed in order to post additional content from the same source.

Streaming media: Streaming media requests must be completed through Suggest a Purchase. Contact Joni Clayton with questions or concerns.

Consultations: If you would like to meet with the Reserve team to discuss how Open Reserves can best serve your class and student needs, please contact us by phone or email to schedule a consultation.


Additional Information

  • Course Reserve lists are updated every 24 hours.
  • At the end of each semester, all materials will be removed from Reserve.
  • Student papers require written authorization from the student in order to be posted on e-reserve.

Additional Information for Students

Our goal is to help you spend less on course materials. We are happy to provide required textbooks, supplementary materials, and electronic resources like e-books and chapter selections or articles. If you notice a textbook you need is checked out, we'll get it back and put it on Reserve. And if we don't have the material you need, we'll buy it. That's true for any time during the semester, from the first day of classes to the last day of finals. Just let us know what we're missing.

Request a textbook

Once we have received at least one request from the instructor or a student or TA, the class's materials will be listed on our website as a reading list. You can also view electronic resources in that same reading list. To access your class reading list, search your instructor's name or the course number in the Course Reserve tab on our main page. The full reading list will include e-reserves as PDFs, which you can download or print. More information is available on our Course Reserves How-To Guide. Email us with questions or concerns. We want to help!


There's no question this is an expensive collection to provide, to maintain, and to continually update. So why are we doing it? The numbers explain it better than we can:


Financial cost

Nationally, the statistics are bleak. Textbook prices have increased by 800% over the last 30 years. According to the Government Accountability Office, just in the last decade textbook costs to students have increased by 82%, three times the rate of inflation. It's now estimated that the average undergraduate at a state institution pays $1,250 per year for course materials. Here at the University of Utah, the average assigned textbook costs $91. For an individual working towards a bachelor's degree, the required 40 classes means they will spend $3,640 just on their required courses.


Academic cost

Unfortunately, the financial cost of course materials has become so high that we see it affecting academic outcomes. Specifically because of financial constraints, 65% of students report they have decided not to purchase a required textbook for a course. Of those students, a whopping 94% reported concern this decision would negatively impact their grade. The Marriott Library is dedicated to promoting academic success, so these are numbers we are trying to address.


What we're doing about it

Our collection of course materials serves hundreds of students each day and tens of thousands over the course of a semester. With roughly 2,000 items available at the Open Reserve shelving, we estimate we're saving students $182,000 each semester with our physical collection alone. It's hard to guess what kind of impact our electronic resources have. When instructors use our service to make one chapter from a book or one article available electronically to students, a whole class is saved from purchasing an additional material. Over the years since e-reserves began, we have provided 72,000 electronic readings to students. We also purchase e-book licenses when possible, allowing multiple students and sometimes even a whole class to access their textbook from their laptops or mobile devices in class, at home, and on the go. These e-books save students additional hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So let us help you or your students. Save money on textbooks and use Course Reserve's services instead. We just need you to tell us what we're missing.

Request a textbook

Convinced? We're here to help. Get in touch today.