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Course Reserves

At Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, we want to make it easy for your students to access all the information they need. We will buy or license almost all assigned readings, as long as we know about them. 

Send us the syllabus for your class and we will buy, license, or scan all the assigned readings: CWMLreserves@yale.edu

How does it work?

  • If Yale owns or licenses the readings in your syllabus, print readings will be available in the Medical Library or at the YSN campus and electronic readings will be available on Canvas under 'Course Reserves.'
  • If Yale does not own or license the readings in your syllabus, the instructor must complete a fair use assessment. After the assessment is completed, electronic readings will be made available on Canvas under 'Course Reserves.'
Using print reserves

Is everything available in print?
No, relatively few readings are provided in print -- usually textbooks. Most readings are available electronically.

How many copies of these print books are there?
It depends on the size of the class. You can see how many copies we have, and whether they are currently checked in or out, in the library catalogs Orbis and Books+. If you and your colleagues are using a book a lot, we will get more copies.

How long can I borrow a book for?
Usually, print reserve books will be on 24-hour or 3-day reserve; you can take them out of the library. Occasionally, if a book is in very high demand or your professor's personal copy, we'll make it 4-hour reserve; those books have to stay inside the library.

What happens if I keep a book longer than I am supposed to?
You feel guilty, your fellow students can't read the textbook, and you have to pay a fine. Please share the books!

How long will print reserve books be available?
The books will be on reserve for the semester. After the semester ends, they will go back to their normal locations. You can request books from all these locations for delivery at the medical library circulation desk through the library catalogs Orbis and Books+.

My print textbook isn't on reserve! Why not? What should I do?
First, check to see if we have the e-book. If not, email CWMLreserves@yale.edu or call 203-785-4346.

General FAQWhen do I send my syllabus?
The earlier the better! Syllabi are processed as they arrive. We are happy to buy, license, request, or scan the materials that you have selected, but it takes time.

Which readings from my syllabus will be available electronically in Canvas?

  • Journal articles
  • Books and book chapters (if we can license an e-book from the publisher)
  • Scans of book chapters 

Other readings will be available in print at the library.

How do I make something available electronically if the library does not own it, or only owns it in print?

To make these items available as a downloadable PDF for your students, we require that the instructor conduct a fair use assessment.  Tools for determining fair use can be found at https://ogc.yale.edu/ogc/fair-use-tools.  After reviewing your syllabus, the reserves team will send a follow up email with information on any items that require this ruling.  

Where are the readings in Canvas?
In the Course Reserves tab of Canvas.

How are the readings organized in the Course Reserves tab?
The groupings you use on your syllabus will show up as tags in the Course Reserves tab. If you label readings "Week 1," "Week 2," and so forth, you'll see those tags.

So, does the library manage Canvas?
No. The Center for Teaching and Learning supports Canvas and their contact information is canvas@yale.edu.

Can I still add my own readings to the Course Reserves tab?
Yes, you can add links to your Course Reserves tab but please don't upload PDFs. If you're using a reading that's not already part of our collection, we will get a PDF (or a print copy) and pay the appropriate permissions fees for you. 

Can I still distribute files to my students through my course website?
You can share documents and files with your students on the course website in the Files section of Canvas. We encourage you to use Course Reserves for your students' readings.

Can I still bring personal copies of print books to the library to put on reserve?
Sure! We'll have to put bar code stickers on it, but you're welcome to lend us print books so that your students can use them. Students can borrow personal copies for four hours at a time to use inside the library.