Instructor’s guide to course reserves

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Course reserves is a service that supports UW courses by providing access to materials in high demand by a large number of students.  UW Tacoma course materials can be made available at the UW Tacoma Library TLB circulation desk. Materials are available on reserve for the duration of the specified quarter.


The library proactively purchases all UW Tacoma course textbooks that cost $75 or more listed at the UW Bookstore. The sooner instructors submit their textbook requests to the bookstore, the sooner the library can order a copy, so we encourage instructors to submit their requests well before the quarter starts to give time for textbooks to be ordered, delivered, and processed.

If there are textbooks for your class that cost less than $75 you can still ask that we purchase them and place them on reserve - just fill out our purchase request form and indicate it is for course reserve.

Textbooks are shelved in the reserve collection at the circulation desk on the first floor of the TLB. All textbooks purchased for course use are first come first serve, and checkout for 4 hours at a time.

Reserves at UW Libraries

Instructors may request that UW library materials be set aside on reserve and/or provide their own materials to the library for reserve. Once placed on reserve, these materials can be checked out from the UW Tacoma Library’s circulation desk in the TLB Building.

Reserves have short loan periods so that they are accessible to many students. The possible loan periods for reserve materials are:

  • 2 hours
  • 4 hours
  • 4 hour, library use only
  • 24 hours (1 day)
  • 72 hours (3 days)

Reserve Request Forms

Submission Deadline

There is no deadline for submitting your reserve list, but it is recommended that instructors submit their requests and/or materials as early as possible. Reserve lists are processed in the order in which they are received. The quarter interim and the first two weeks of the quarter are the busiest time for processing reserves, and materials can take up to two weeks to be processed during this period. Submissions at other times can generally be processed within a few working days.

Submitting Requests for UW Library Materials

Most circulating UW Library materials can be placed on reserve at the UWT Library. Reserve request forms are available at the circulation desk, but can also be filled out online. UW books can be requested online using the Course Reserves Request Form.

Please note that it can take two weeks or more to acquire library materials for reserve if another user has checked them out. Materials may also be unavailable if they have already been placed on reserve at another library unit.

If the UW Libraries do not have the desired material, subject librarians can assist instructors in ordering a copy. Such orders generally take several weeks to be filled and should be arranged about one quarter before the material is needed.

Submitting Personal Materials

Instructors can submit their own books and other materials for reserve at the UW Tacoma Library circulation desk.

Some examples of things that can be put on reserve are:

  • Personal copies of class textbooks
  • Supplemental readings
  • DVD/VHS or other media
  • Maps
  • Scientific kits such as rock samples or other interactive objects
  • Art for student review

If there is something not listed that you’d like your class to have access to, just ask our staff, and we are happy to try and find a way to get it on reserve.

When materials are submitted they should be accompanied by a Personal Copy Reserve Form to provide staff with the necessary course and item information.

Barcodes and labels will be applied to non-library reserve materials so they can be checked out. Additionally, reserve materials are often heavily used and the library does not assume responsibility for damage to or loss of instructor materials. These factors should be taken into account before personal materials are submitted.

Media & Streaming Information

Instructors may put UW Library media material on reserve using the Media Material Request Form. UW Tacoma Library also supports streaming services for instructors to the extent possible. For more information about Media services available to faculty, please visit our Information page.

Electronic Reserves

Faculty are directed to host their materials on their Canvas course management page. If you would like more information, please visit our Electronic Reserves Support Page.

If you need assistance with your Canvas course pages, Academic Technologies has created an e-Reserves guide for Canvas. If you need further assistance, you can contact Academic Technologies at