Instructors may place articles or books, either personal copies or items from the library collection, on reserve for their students to use in reference to particular courses. This ensures equal access to the materials for all members of a class. Each reserve item must be accompanied by a Reserve Request and Copyright Compliance Form signed by the instructor, which is available below for downloading or behind the circulation desk.

All reserve materials are kept behind the circulation services desk. Each reserve item has a reserve period chosen by the instructor, which specifies the length of time it can be borrowed, and whether it can be used outside the library. The following are the available reserve periods.

  • 3-hour / in-library use only: Reserve items are checked out for use in the library in three hour time intervals. Materials are not allowed to leave the library.
  • 3-day: Materials are due 72 hours after they are checked out.
  • 14-day: Materials are due 2 weeks after they are checked out.

For Students

To borrow reserve items, you must have your current MHU ID with you. The check-out period will depend on what the professor has specified. The most common check-out period is for 3-hour / in-library use only. If reserve items are returned late, there will be a late fine of $.25 for every hour it is overdue. If a library patron has fines, no new material will be checked out until the patron’s record is clear.

Reserve Guidelines

Click here to view Renfro Library Reserve Guidelines. Here are a few essential things to consider when placing materials on reserve.

  • Reserve items are processed as they are received and are usually available within 48 hours of receipt. It is helpful to receive reserve materials two weeks prior to when classes begin.
  • COPYRIGHT! – see the section below
  • In keeping with copyright guidelines that regulate the number of copies that may be placed on reserve, Renfro Library uses the following calculation:
    # of students using material = # of copies placed on reserve
    # >0-25 = 1 copy
    # >26-50 = 2 copies
    # >51-75 = 3 copies
    # >76-100 = 4 copies
    # >100 + = 5 copies
  • Items may only be placed on reserve for ONE SEMESTER without obtaining copyright permission.
  • The reserve procedure is automated and items must be processed with a barcode and other identifying stickers. Although these markers are not permanent, there is the possibility of damaging the reserve materials. All materials are placed on reserve at the risk of the instructor.
  • While it is not the responsibility of the faculty or the library to monitor photocopying, the intention of placing items on reserve is for their use within the library, not for reproducing the materials.


Reserves and copyright compliance are inevitably entangled. There is no definitive answer to what is acceptable and what is not. Understanding copyright law and using your best judgment is the most appropriate measure that can be taken. There are two laws that effect copyright in regards to education,Fair Use and The TEACH Act. This will only reflect Fair Use because the TEACH Act is associated primarily with face to face interaction. The following information deals mainly with cases involving text. Artistic works (artwork, music, film) and electronic materials can include other considerations. Always consider the four factors of Fair Use. They must all be analyzed and considered equally.

What is the purpose of the use?

    Is it educational in nature? Is it for use by a non-profit? Is their restricted access? Is it a parody?

What is the nature of the work?

    Is it published? Is it factual information/non-fiction?

What is the amount and substantiality to the work as a whole?

    Are you using a small portion? Is the portion insignificant to the work as a whole? Is the amount needed appropriate for educational purposes?

What is the effect on the potential market?

    Did you legally purchase the material? How many copies will be made? Is there a significant effect on the market?

To avoid copyright complications we strongly encourage you to use library resources! When materials are purchased for the library we pay a fee for multiple uses avoiding many copyright complexities. In addition, materials in public domain, creative commons, open-access journals and information are available for use.

Copyright Resources:

Reserve Forms


For further questions, please email, ext. 1454.