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About Reserve Materials

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What are Reserve Materials?

Reserve materials are required or recommended readings, recordings, or films to be shared by all members of a given class. Each campus library has a reserve collection at the circulation desk (more about reserves in the Con and Science libraries). Reserve materials have short loan periods and high fines to insure that all students have equal access.

What is on reserve?

  • Search OBIS by course or by professor/instructor.
  • Professors also make readings available online via Blackboard - check your syllabus for details.

What if the item I need is checked out?

Ask the desk attendant to place the item on "Do Not Renew." While we don't hold reserve items for specific borrowers, this will prevent the item from being renewed by the current borrower for 15 minutes after it is returned.

Borrowing Reserve Materials

  • Anyone with a valid Oberlin College ID may borrow reserve materials.
  • There is a limit of a total of two reserve items at any time, no matter which library they are from.
  • Circulation supervisors can extend borrowing privileges to courtesy borrowers who are enrolled in the class or obtain written permission from the instructor.

Loan Periods

Reserve loan periods range from 2 to 24 hours. Some materials are limited to in library use only, but most circulate overnight. Reserve materials have high overdue fines, so ALWAYS determine the exact date and time reserve materials are due before leaving the desk.

Reserve policies are meant to ensure the greatest access to class materials to the greatest number of students.


Reserve materials cannot be renewed online.

Borrowers can request a renewal in person if no other patron has placed a "Do Not Renew" hold on the item. If there is a hold, borrowers must wait 15 minutes before checking the item out again.


Overdue notices are emailed several times a day; contact a reserve supervisor as soon as possible if you believe our records are incorrect.

Overdue fines are $2.00 per hour, per item. Our goal is to encourage you to remember to return materials on time so that all members of your class will have access to the material.

More about fines.


Ask a reserve supervisor.

Last updated:
July 8, 2013