Course reserves

Course reserve materials are items that the library holds aside for a class, such as books, licensed electronic resources, or media. These items are shared among everyone in the class, and each student has a limited period of time to use them. The borrowing duration is determined by the instructors and may vary from a few hours to a few days.

For instructors

Instructors and teaching assistants at Stanford University have the option to reserve items for a specific course. 

More information for instructors

Request print or electronic reservesRequest video or audio reserves

For students

Students can easily search for course reserves by entering the course ID, the instructor's name, or the title of the item. Availability status is also shown. 

More information for students

Find items on reserve

More information for instructors 

  • Print and electronic reserves include books and licensed electronic materials. 
  • Media reserves include online streaming options and Blu-Ray and DVD for video and CD for audio. 
  • The availability of digital content may differ. We will make every effort to assist you within the limits of copyright regulations.
  • If a digital item is unavailable, we will attempt to locate a physical item as a replacement.
  • We will purchase a copy of the material if the library doesn't currently own it.
  • You can place items you own on reserve at the library. 
  • If you include the date needed in your request, we will do our best to meet your needs. 


Important dates

Priority is given to requests submitted by these dates:

  • Fall term: September 4, 2023
  • Winter term: December 15, 2023
  • Spring term: March 18, 2024
  • Summer term: June 10, 2024


Please be aware that if you are requesting electronic or print materials that are already owned by Stanford Libraries, the fulfillment timeline is expected to be from 2 to 5 business days. However, if any electronic material needs to be purchased, it may take approximately 1 to 3 weeks to fulfill your request, and up to 6 weeks in some cases. If you are requesting print materials that need to be purchased, it may take approximately 4 to 8 weeks to fulfill your request. Media fulfillment timelines may vary.

More information for students

  • Physical items, such as books, are available to borrow from one of the Stanford Libraries locations. The borrowing time for these items can range from 1 to 4 hours or 1 to 3 days. Both location and borrowing duration are set by your instructor. Renewals are not permitted.
  • Media items can be borrowed from the Media & Microtext Center or Art Library circulation desk
  • Electronic items can be accessed via SearchWorks, the Stanford Libraries catalog, or Canvas.
  • To find a reserved item or check its availability status or pickup location, go to the course reserves in SearchWorks.
  • Items must be returned directly to the circulation desk of the library from which they were borrowed.

Questions about course reserves?

Email the course reserves office or call 650-723-1493