Reserves services for Faculty

Placing assigned or suggested course readings on Reserve provides equitable and direct access for everyone in a class. Students locate the readings by searching the SFU catalogue by course number or instructor name.

For faculty and instructors: Add items to Reserves.

Scanning print materials and finding alternative formats to be placed on Reserve

You can request scans of materials through the Reserves system and we can provide scans of print articles and book chapters within copyright guidelines, to use instructor's scans of portions of books.  Please reach out to your local SFU Library reserves team for help finding alternatives to print Reserve materials.

See Copyright and Teaching Infographic (text version) and Copyright Clearance Fund for copyright guidance for Reserve Scanned copies.

To see if the Library can source a streaming version of a film you require for your course, email You may also find useful films for your classes through Films on Demand, a source of over 34,000 streaming instructional films that have direct URLs for easy linking, and are segmented for instructional use.

To find open textbooks, see Finding and evaluating OER: Open Educational Resources.


Bennett Library Reserves for SFU Burnaby courses and Belzberg Library for SFU Vancouver courses: 778.782.3271

Fraser Library for SFU Surrey courses: 778.782.7411

Designated requesters

Instructors may delegate others (Departmental Assistants, Tutor Assistants, or Tutor Markers) to submit requests on their behalf by completing the Course Reserves requesting system and providing their delegate with their email name and the password they have created.

To place readings on Reserve or to delegate another person to place requests requires:

  • A current SFU Library card (a SFU ID card ). Newly appointed instructors without a library card may contact Reserves staff at the appropriate campus location  to make arrangements
  • An email address registered on the instructor’s library record. To register an email address with the Library, click here.

Before designating someone else to use your account, please view your library record to make sure that your personal information is complete and up-to-date.

More information on Reserve services

Which loan periods can be assigned to materials on Reserve?

Loan periods available to be selected on the Reserves Requesting Form are:
2 hours, 4 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days

When should requests be submitted?

For access by:

please place your request before:

Start of Fall Semester

2nd week of June

Start of Spring Semester 

2nd week of October

Start of Summer Semester  

2nd week of February

Start of Intersession

2nd week of February

Start of Summer Session 

2nd week of February

Please allow at least two months for the ordering and receipt of any books not already held by the SFU Library.
Later submissions are always accepted but may not be available for the start of the semester.

Are there limits on the number of items an instructor can place on Reserve?


There is a limit of up to 30 titles per course. One (1) copy per 50 students up to a maximum of three (3) copies (additional copies may be requested if they are already owned by the library). Some electronic books have a license that limits the number of users who can access the materials at the same time. If there are limits to the number of simultaneous users, the same one (1) copy/licence per 50 students up to a maximum of three (3) copies, applies.

Online articles

There is no limit. For articles available from the SFU Library electronic journals collection, a link will be made from the Reserves record for the course rather than providing a print or paper copy.

How can an instructor check the status of Reserve requests?

Log into the Course Reserves requesting system and choose to “View all items requested.”

How can an instructor make changes to the material on Reserve for a course?

To change loan periods, log into the Course Reserves requesting system page and choose to “Modify loan period.”

For other changes, e.g. to remove material for Reserves prior to the end of the semester, contact Reserve Processing staff at the appropriate Reserve office for your campus.

What happens when the course or semester ends?

If the course will be offered again the next semester, the materials can be retained in Reserves. To retain materials, the requestor can access Course Reserves requesting system, choose the View all items requested, check all items that are to remain in Reserves, and resubmit.

Unless there has been a request to retain the materials in Reserves for the course offering the next semester, at the end of the exam period for that semester:

  • Books will be returned to their regular library location
  • Professor’s or Departmental copies can be retrieved by the requestor, or will be returned to the department by campus mail
  • Course records, including online attachments, will be deleted

Can student use of Reserve materials be tracked?

Statistics are recorded for the use of each item on reserve for each course for each semester. This information may be helpful when compiling future course reading lists.

Please request this information by contacting Reserves staff of the library on the campus where the course is offered.

How can students borrow Reserve materials?

Reserves materials in electronic format are linked from the SFU Library home page under the Reserves link. Reserve materials in print format are assigned specific limited loan periods and placed in the Reserves section of the library of the campus where the course is offered. For more information on borrowing Reserves materials, see Borrowing materials from the Reserves collection.

How can lectures be recorded?

At all three SFU campuses, lectures can be recorded in digital audio format (WMA and MP3) on request, and may be heard or downloaded at any computer when the student is signed on to the SFU network. For information about lecture recordings, please contact or review the digital lecture frequently asked questions.