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The Reserve Collection is located at the Check-Out & Reserves Desk in Penfield Library. The purpose of this service is to provide access to material designated as required reading for the students enrolled in their courses.

A SUNY Oswego ID must be presented in order to sign out reserve materials. Most reserve materials are restricted to a two-hour loan, although other loan periods are available.

Place Items on Reserve

Items placed on reserve should be required reading for all class members.

Please do not assign reserve reading until informed by the Reserves Department that materials are available for students to check out.

All items on reserve must meet Fair Use standards of the U.S. Copyright Law (section 107). It is the responsibility of the instructor placing material on reserve at the library to abide by copyright guidelines. Learn more about Copyright in the Classroom.

What can be put on reserve

  • Circulating Materials (Books, Videos, Music Discs, etc.)
  • Personal Materials
    • We will label and barcode items. This does not harm the books.
    • The library will not be able to replace any stolen or damaged material.
  • Photocopied Materials
    • Unless instructed otherwise, we use links to our databases for articles we own electronically.
    • An authorization form is required for student work to be placed on reserves.
    • We will scan paper copies of articles and place them in e-reserves unless instructed otherwise.

What cannot be put on reserve

  • Interlibrary Loan Materials
  • Reference Materials
    • Reference Materials that need to be used for class can be placed on ready reference. Contact the Coordinator of Reference with requests.
  • Items from Special Collections
  • Materials from other libraries
  • Materials that exceed Fair Use. Below are some general guidelines to determine fair use:
    • No more than 10% or 1 chapter from a book
    • One short story, short essay, or short poem
    • One article from a journal or newspaper
    • One chart, diagram, graph, drawing, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper
    • Up to 10% but not more than 30 seconds of a music recording or music video (Anything published before 1907 is in the public domain, and is exempt from these requirements)
    • More information on copyright and fair use

Submitting your requests

To begin the process of putting materials on reserve in the library, complete the Reserves Request Form, which is available online and at the Check-Out & Reserves Desk. Submit the completed form and all materials to the Check-Out & Reserves Desk. For e-reserves we accept email submissions. Send these and a completed form to

If the form is not completed or the material is not brought with it, we will be unable to process your request.

If you need to provide a URL to a journal article in one of the library's databases, check out these directions to make sure you send a persistent URL.

Loan Periods

  • Library Use Only, with 1 Hour, 2 Hours, or 3 Hours and Due at Closing Loan Periods
    Item must be used in the library.
  • 3 Days
    Item is loaned for 3 days and may be taken out of the library
  • 1 Week
    Item is loaned for one week and may be taken out of the library

Overdue fines accrue at the rate of $1.00 per hour per item, maximum $25.00 per item. Reserve materials must be returned directly to the Check-Out & Reserves Desk - returns to the outside book drop may result in an overdue fine.

Removal date

This is the date the material is no longer needed on reserve. All materials will automatically be removed from reserve at the end of the semester, unless an extension has been requested.

Processing Time

Items provided will be available within 5 business days. Allow sufficient time for processing. Please wait until contacted by the Reserves Department before assigning the material to your class. When your request has been processed, the Reserves Department will email you.

Using reserve materials

A complete list of materials on reserve is maintained in notebooks at the Check-Out & Reserves Desk. The lists are arranged by the instructor's last name.

Reserve materials are included in our Course Reserves system, and may be searched by the course number, instructor's name, author, and/or title.

A SUNY Oswego ID must be presented in order to sign out reserve materials.


The Library Confidentiality Act (7B McK 4509 [CPLR 4509]) protects the privacy of users of library materials. Under this law we may not disclose any circulation records, including reserve records, without a subpoena or a court order. Please do not ask us to provide you with a list of students who have read the reserve material.

If you have any questions concerning reserve policies, please contact the Reserves Department at 315-312-4268 or


If you have questions or would like assistance, you can: