Reserves information for Faculty

VCU Libraries also supports professors looking to lower textbook costs using library ebooks or open educational resources (OER). If you are interested in learning more or have questions about OER or affordable course content, contact Karen Bjork, Head of Digital Libraries and Publishing, or visit the Open and Affordable Course Content page.  

To recommend that the library purchase a book (not a required textbook) which can be used as course content, use the purchase request form or contact Karen Cary.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the course reserves team at

Materials accepted

  • Library-owned materials from the circulating collections
  • Instructor- or department-owned materials including books, textbooks, VHS tapes, and DVDs
  • Reproductions of materials with copyright permission, such as journal articles, chapters from books and music pieces from sound recordings
  • Instructor- or department-owned textbooks marked as instructor or desk copies, as long as the instructor provides the written policy or permission of the publisher that would permit the textbook to be placed on reserve
  • Please note that VCU Libraries assumes no liability for damage to or loss of personal items placed on reserve.

VCU Libraries reserves the right to reject for reserves any material that it deems violates copyright law. Faculty members are responsible for acquiring permissions beyond those provided by the Copyright Act.

Collection Management will consider purchasing suggested materials that are not in the Libraries' collection.


You can submit course requests for Cabell Library through this form: Course Reserve Requests. For course reserve requests for the Health Sciences Library, please email libhscirc@vcu.eduMake sure to include your name, course number and course name (BIOL 101 Biological Concepts), and the loan period for each item you want to put on reserve (2 hours, 4 hours, 24 hours, 3 days or 7 days).

Materials delivered must be accompanied by one of the following:

  • A copy of the email request sent. 
  • A copy of the email response you received from your email submission.  

Submit materials in first-use priority and indicate the assignment "start" and "end" date. This allows prioritized processing at the beginning of the semester.

Processing time

Materials are processed in the order of receipt. A confirmation email will be sent to the instructor when processing is complete.

Processing time:

  • 1 week at the beginning of a semester
  • 3 working days during slower periods
  • Longer time periods may be required for recalled materials or new purchases

Review your course listing.

Additions and removals

Items can be added to or removed from an existing course by emailing for Cabell Library course reserves and for Health Sciences Library course reserves. You can also deactivate a course via email. If you are taking a course off of reserve, you can indicate the preferred method of return for your personal items -- campus mail or pick up from the library.


If the same material is used for another semester, you must reactivate the course via email.  Otherwise, your course will not display in the reserves list for the next semester and materials will be removed from reserves. At the end of the semester, you will receive an email reminder to update your course reserves.