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Course Reserves: Information for Students

Table of Contents

 General Information on Reserves  Identifying and Locating Reserve Materials Using ELMS
 Electronic Reserves ("E-Reserves")
 Books and Media on Reserve

General Information on Reserves

The Reserves collection includes items that are being used 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 any computer through your ELMS (powered by Blackboard) account.
  • Books and Media 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. See Books and Media below for information on special policies regarding these materials.

The remainder of this page is devoted to using ELMS to access reserve items, and to specific information on E-reserves and hard copy reserve materials. If you do not find what you need here, please contact Reserves staff for help.

If you are uncertain how to access Course Reserves, please view our video tutorial.  

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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. Here's how to access your ELMS course and view your course reserves:

  1. Go to ELMS
  2. Log in with your Directory ID and password
  3. Select your course under "Courses"
  4. Click "Modules" in the left navigation menu
  5. In the "Libraries" module, select "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, call number, and information on availability* when you click the title.

*If you have any problems using links to the online catalog from the Course Reserves system in Internet Explorer, you can try using Firefox or setting IE to display "mixed content":

  1. Open IE
  2. Go to: Tools > Internet Options > Security > Custom Level...
  3. Scroll down to the 'Miscellaneous' section
  4. Set the 'Display mixed content' setting to 'Enable'
  5. Click 'OK' and then 'Yes' and 'OK' again
  6. Restart IE

 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 any reserves staff member.

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Reserve items in electronic formats are linked to directly from your ELMS courses. See Identifying and Locating Reserve Materials above for information on using ELMS.

Some items may require authentication through Research Port. See the Guide to Research Port for information about logging in.

Reserves items in PDF format require Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or higher. [Download Adobe Reader].

Opening and Viewing PDFs from Course Reserves

Internet Explorer (Win/Mac) and Firefox (Win)

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader
  2. If still having problems, set up Adobe Reader to NOT open the PDFs in the browser:
    1. Start Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
    2. Choose Edit > Preferences.
    3. Select Internet on the left.
    4. Deselect Display PDF In Browser Using [Acrobat application], and then click OK.
    5. Quit Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
    6. The next time you open a PDF, choose the program to open it (e.g., can choose for Adobe Reader to open every time).
  3. If still having problems, try downloading Foxit Reader and setting that to open PDFs.

Firefox (Mac)
Same as above except Foxit Reader is not available on Macs. If your computer tries to open an ares.dll file and fails, try saving or re-naming the file as ares.pdf before re-opening.

Safari (Mac)
Same as above but there are other known problems with Safari and PDFs, in general. See the Adobe help page for using Safari.

Preview (Mac)
Some of the issues with viewing PDFs on Macs can be attributed to incompatibilities with Mac Preview, which is the default viewer for PDFs in Mac OS X. Once you have the latest Adobe Reader program downloaded and installed, you can change the file association for PDF files so that PDFs open in Adobe Reader instead:

  1. Select any PDF file and choose File > Get Info.
  2. Choose Adobe Reader as the application you want to open PDF files from the Open With menu.
  3. Click Change All, and then click Continue.

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Books and Media

Books and media on reserve are stored in UM's various libraries. Check your course in ELMS to determine which library houses the particular items you need. 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.
  • There is a limit of three items per person checked out at one time
  • 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 reserve may be renewed 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.

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