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Course Reserves: Information for Students

Table of Contents

General Information on Reserves

The Reserves collection includes items that are needed for specific courses as requested by course instructors, usually as required reading. Items on Course Reserves fall into two basic categories:

  • Electronic Reserves mainly consist of articles in e-journals and PDFs of scanned articles or book chapters. E-reserves may be accessed from anywhere through ELMS.
  • Book and Media Reserves consist of books, compact discs, video recordings, and other physical items. To access these materials you will need to use ELMS to determine which library holds the item you need. 

Identifying and Locating Reserve Materials

Electronic Reserves (e.g., articles and chapters in PDF format) and listings of hard copy reserves (e.g., books) are made available through your course in ELMS.

How to Access Course Reserves

Reserve items are available for download/viewing if they are PDF files and web page/database links. Hard copies, such as books, will have the library and call number when you click the title.

If you have any problems using links to the online catalog from the Course Reserves system in Internet Explorer, please see our Reserves Help page. Assistance with ELMS is available from the DivIT Help Desk.

If you do not see your course in ELMS or an item you expected to be listed for reserve, contact us at

Electronic Reserves (E-Reserves)

Reserve items in electronic formats are linked directly from your ELMS courses. Please visit our Reserves Help page if you are having trouble opening/viewing the pdfs.

Books and Media on Reserve

Books and media on reserve are stored in the various University of Maryland libraries. Check your course in ELMS to determine which library houses the particular items you need. Also, if you think your course may be among the most enrolled courses on campus, please check our Top 50 Textbook Reserves program to see if the library has a copy of your textbook. Depending on the library, you may need to provide a call number to get the item you need. Check with individual libraries for more information. In general, the following policies apply:

Borrowing Reserve Materials

  • Items are available for either a two hour or a twenty-four hour loan period as requested by your professor
  • You will need your UM identification card to borrow reserve items.
  • All reserve materials must be returned to the Reserves Desk from which they were checked out

Renewal of Reserve Materials

In general, an item on 2-hour reserve may be renewed in person as often as the borrower wishes, as long as there are no other requests for it. Users of 24-hour reserve items must wait one day after returning an item before checking it out again. Note: Reserve items may be renewed only at the Reserves Desk from which they were borrowed and can not be renewed at other circulation desks or in My Account.

Fines for Reserve Materials

Fines are imposed in an effort to guarantee that all borrowers will have full access to high-demand materials. To further guarantee this access, fine rates are higher than normal circulation fine rates.

The fine rate for reserve items is $2.50 for each hour or portion of an hour overdue. This policy applies to both 2-hour and 24-hour loan items.

Please remember that you are responsible for items you checked out. Handle each item with care and return it promptly. A fine may be imposed for mishandled or damaged materials. Do not allow other students to borrow reserve items that are checked out in your name.