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Learn about Course Reserves and Fair use


March Cordes Chairperson, Kathleen Lehman, Head of User Services with the University of Arkansas Libraries, met with faculty to teach us how the library can help us get materials to our students without violating copyright laws.

There are three main course reserve services offered by the libraries that can help keep you in the clear:

  • Course Reserve Collection
    • These are physical books that are part of the Libraries’ collections or instructors’ personal copies. These copies are placed into the collection by instructor or student request. If you let the library know about a book you are using in your course, they can purchase it and put it into course reserve. These are rotated out at the end of each semester some make sure to inform the library if you are using it again. They can also help you with e-books, just let them know!
  • Library eReserves links in Blackboard
    • The Library can add links to Blackboard for articles, book excerpts, or streaming media that you would like your students to access. If the Library already has access to this material that’s great and if they don’t, they will work to obtain the Copyright to access the material. Remember, obtaining these permissions may take time and sometimes are not available at all, so try to give the librarians and yourself as much of a heads up as possible
  • Open Educational Resources

During faculty discussion we also went over the five essential facts about fair use.  This is a topic that confuses a lot of us so these may help you when determining which materials you post in your course:

  1. Fair use is intentionally open and flexible
  2. Fair use may apply to a variety of purposes
  3. There are four fair use factors to consider to determine if fair use applies:
    • The purpose and character of the use
    • The nature of the copyrighted work
    • The amount/substantiality of the use
    • The effect of the use on the potential market
  4. The ultimate determinate of fair use is a judge in the court of law
  5. Fair use applies to all users

For more information check out

For more information on how the Libraries can help your student access your course content, contact Kathleen Lehman here.

If you would like more information on our Libraries’ resources, you can reach out to these addresses:

Course Reserves:

Open Educational Resources:

General Library:

This content was developed from a presentation by Kathleen Lehman which was sponsored by the The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center (TFSC) at the University of Arkansas.