Course Readings

General Information
Physical Reserves
Electronic Reserves
Syllabus Service
Reserves Deadlines
Fair Dealing and Condition

Request Course Readings

Open book on tableThe Course Readings Collection is a repository of required and supplementary course materials that are requested by faculty members so that their students can be assured of timely, short term access to required course readings. Course Readings is designed to make requesting and accessing supplementary course material, regardless of format, easy both for instructors and for students.

To place a course reserve request, please log in with your Western Identity credentials on the Course Readings page.

If you have any questions regarding the service or how to make requests, please email

Accessing Course Readings…

Accessing Course Readings can be done a couple of ways. It fully integrates into OWL, Western’s Learning Management System. Instructors activate the Course Readings tool, just like adding the gradebook or drop box to the course. Once done, the link appears in the OWL side navigation and it is a click away for instructors to request and track items, and for students to view and connect to supplementary course material.

For courses that don’t use OWL, instructors and students can access Course Readings via the web login at:

For Students…

Readings are readily available to students behind a single login for either the OWL or web version and integrated in one place. Only courses in which individuals are enrolled will display, and for each course the readings can be arranged to follow the syllabus and align with their research and study schedule. Students can also organize their readings using personal tags and a list of favourites across courses. Of course, a major benefit is that for online material, readings and other supplementary course materials are available anywhere, 24-7.

For Instructors…

Using Course Readings will ensure online availability of material wherever possible and in the best way, for convenient access for students. Requesting material is flexible. Format icons open simple web forms for fast self-service. A syllabus icon allows for upload of a pdf or word version and library staff handles the rest, locating and making material available the best possible way. Instructors are able to view the live status of materials in processing, as well as aggregated statistics on student usage of individual items which in turn can inform curriculum evaluation and redevelopment. Readings are automatically deactivated at the end of the course, and can be instantly imported from past and current courses.

To help us prepare and ensure that materials are available to your students in a timely fashion, please submit course reserve requests as early as possible, with a minimum of two weeks before the start of class.

Printed Resources for Reserve

Please Note: We are not able to place physical books on reserve while the Beryl Ivey Library is closed. The Library will acquire electronic copies of course readings material where possible.

Materials will be placed on reserve in the library solely at the initiative of a faculty member.

Submit requests for reserve items at least two weeks in advance of the beginning of the semester to ensure that the material will be available to your students on the first day of classes.

Please allow library staff members a minimum of one week to process reserve requests after classes have begun.

Requests are processed in the order we receive them.

How to Submit Materials for Reserve

You may submit materials for reserve by submitting them on the Course Readings website.

All items placed on reserve must have a library barcode. The barcode is used to check-out and check-in reserve items on the library computer system. The library will not accept requests for items to be placed on reserve that cannot be barcoded.

Removal of Materials from Reserve

After the final exam for each course (or class if no exam) the library will automatically remove all items from reserve that were not requested to remain on reserve by a faculty member. Removed items will be returned to their owning location, i.e. to individual professors, owning library etc.

Lost or Missing Reserve Items

The library will immediately report lost or missing reserve items to course professors. It is the responsibility of the course professor to initiate the purchase of a replacement text. It is the responsibility of the course professor to provide replacement copies of lost, missing or stolen course readings, slides or notes.

Library staff members will, to the best of their ability, maintain the order and security of the library reserves collection. The library is not responsible for personal course materials (personal copies of textbooks, readings etc.) that are lost or stolen once they have been placed on reserve.


Each course listing is limited to a total of 20 physical items for labour, time, and copyright considerations.


If course readings are required in an alternative format please see our Accessibility page or contact the Access Services Coordinator.

Electronic Resources for Reserves

All requests for materials to be placed on electronic reserves will be at the initiative of the faculty solely for the non-commercial, educational use of students.

The library retains the right to refuse E-Reserve requests which it deems may be in violation of copyright law, or where a transactional license may need to be procured.

How to submit materials for Electronic Reserve

All course readings, including electronic materials, should be requested through the Course Readings web site.

Acceptable Materials

Fair dealing for the limited purpose of research or private study, criticism or review, or reporting current events does not infringe copyright, but is qualified by a number of considerations. Fair dealing in the digital environment is not yet clearly defined by the courts, and it could be unwise to assume that digital copying of copyrighted material for academic purposes is considered fair dealing. The following items are acceptable for electronic reserve:

  1. Class notes and slide presentations created by a professor.
  2. Journal articles that are available in our library system either electronically or in print copy.
  3. Links to webpages that are freely available on the Internet for public use.
  4. Scanned materials that fall within the Fair Dealing and Educational Institutions exemption.

Unacceptable materials for Electronic Reserve

  1. Journal articles that are not available through the Shared Western Libraries system including interlibrary loan material
  2. Coursepacks or articles, chapters etc. that are also included in a coursepack that students are expected to purchase
  3. Whole books or complete issues of a journal
  4. Links to websites that are fee-based for which we do not hold a subscription
  5. Any other copyrighted material


If course readings are required in an alternative format please see our Accessibility page or contact the Access Services Coordinator.

Using the Syllabus Service

Library Staff will create Course Reading entries for items on your syllabus for items that are available online.

To submit your syllabus:

  • Choose a current or upcoming course
  • Select “Add Course Readings”
  • Choose the “Syllabus Service”
  • Upload your syllabus as a Word or PDF document.


  • Submit individual request forms for items you intend to supply, e.g.: previously scanned books or articles, etc., or are requesting the library purchase
  • Ensure your syllabus includes complete citation information


The readiness of the collection for the beginning of each term is critical. To help us prepare and ensure that materials are available to your students in a timely fashion, please submit course reserve requests as early as possible, with a minimum of two weeks before the start of class.

Fair Dealing Guidelines

What Can I Copy?

Before you can copy materials, you must first determine whether you are able to copy specific works. Below is a simple five-question guide to assist in making decisions regarding your rights and responsibilities concerning the use of a work:

  1. Is the material you wish to copy protected by copyright?
    1. Does copyright exist for this material? See the Terms of Copyright section of the CCA or Copyright @ Western’s Term Protection Guidelines for more information.
  2. Is the proposed use “substantial”?
    1. Substantial use is not a discrete amount; rather, it is dependent on context and the extent of the material used. Please refer to Copyright @ Western’s Substantiality Guidelines.
  3. Does permission exist in the form of a license?
    1. Your ability to use a work is dictated by the licensing agreement negotiated with Western or Affiliate libraries. For more information about Licensing, please refer to Copyright @ Western’s Licensed Use Guidelines.
  4. Is the use allowed under a statutory exemption?
    1. Are you using the work for a purpose that constitutes:

i.    Fair Dealing?

ii.    Personal use?

iii.    Educational use?

  1. Do you need to secure copyright clearance?
    1. When all other options for use cannot be satisfied, it is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright holder.

These are only general guidelines. Please refer to Copyright @ Western’s Copyright Decision Map for more information regarding what can and cannot be copied and/or placed on reserve.

All items on library reserve must adhere to the Canadian Copyright Act or fall within Fair Dealing legislation (Section 29 of the CCA).

Beryl Ivey Library staff will analyze all library reserve requests for copyright and/or fair dealing compliance and will not approve requests that do not meet the requirements.

Condition of Online Materials

It is very important that all slides and images are in grayscale or black and white. Please do not submit colour files. It is very costly for students to print notes or slides in colour.

Please ensure that all slides have a white background and black font. Coloured or dark backgrounds use a very large amount of ink toner when printed. This can be costly for both the library and students.