Faculty Course Reserves

Access Services’ goal is to ensure that required or supplemental readings are available and accessible to enrolled students while complying with U.S. Copyright Law.

Kenyon College Library and Information Services department (LBIS) recognizes the importance of intellectual property to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. In fulfilling its ethical and legal obligations, Kenyon LBIS strives to comply with copyright laws, regulations, and agreements in the responsible use of information for teaching and learning.  To that end, Kenyon LBIS seeks to provide a balance between the "fair use" of information for these purposes and the right of the owners of the information to exercise reasonable control of its use.

All members of the Kenyon community should work together to comply with U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Those who disregard the copyright compliance guidelines of Kenyon LBIS place themselves at risk for possible legal action and may incur personal liability. Furthermore, Kenyon LBIS reserves the right to refuse service if, in its judgment, providing that service would involve violation of U.S. copyright law.  

The purpose of this website is to provide the Kenyon community with information and guidance on copyright compliance relating to reserves. The information provided is not legal advice.  If you are seeking legal assistance please contact a legal professional. For a more in depth information and background on copyright law for education please see the copyright libguide.

Getting Started

Faculty have two workflow options for posting materials to e-reserves. Both options require that all materials are evaluated to determine whether permission needs to be secured prior to use. There are several excemptions under copyright law that allow usage without obtaining permission, such as fair use and the public domain.

  • Access Services will scan, post, and pay copyright fees as needed.
  • Faculty can post, evaluate for fair use, obtain permission and pay necessary fees as needed on their own. Access Services can be contacted for assistance with obtaining permissions, but this should be done before items are posted.

Step 1: Any item posted must:

  1. Be accessible only to students currently enrolled (Moodle or E-reserves).
  2. Be posted for one semester at a time.
  3. Be a legally obtained copy.
  4. Display the copyright (107) statement or stamp (download statement).
  5. Have a full bibliographic citation and rightsholder citation.
  6. Have permission secured before posting, if deemed necessary.

Step 2: Evaluate the material to determine copyright status

It is available from a full-text database that I can link to.
It is in the public domain (published before 1923) or a government document. There are many variables after 1923 to determine if an item is in the public domain. Use the Copyright Slider to assist in determining copyright status.
It is from an open source or creative commons license agreement that allows copying and/or linking to the material.

If the item is covered by any of the criteria above, link or post the item to Moodle/E-Reserves.

If the item is not covered by the criteria above, continue below.

Step 3: Evaluate whether the material falls under Fair Use

Balance all four fair use factors. Helpful resources are the Fair Use Checklist attached to the digital reserves submission form and the Fair Use Evaluator.

If the item is covered by the criteria above, link or post the item to Moodle/E-Reserves.

If the item is not covered by the criteria above, continue below.

Step 4: Obtain Permissions

Copyright permission must be obtained before posting your item and there may be permission fees.  If you post items on your own, then you assume responsibility for copyright compliance and fees. The Copyright Clearance Center is a useful place to request permission and pay fees.

(Download Flowchart)

Digital Reserves Platforms

Both of the following options are easily accessible by students and provide a way to share assigned course materials, such as a small portion of a book or a journal article.

E-Reserves is Kenyon's electronic reserve system. It allows for the sharing of files between the instructor and students in a given course and can be linked to your course LibGuide. Many file types are supported, including images, word processing files, and audio files. Most often, E-Reserves is used to provide PDFs of required readings or persistent links to journal articles.

Moodle is Kenyon's course management system. For a full description please see the CIP Moodle page. For the purpose of disseminating digital course materials, Moodle is much more robust than the electronic reserve system in terms of the variety of features and level of control it provides the professor to modify page layout, add different elements, etc.

Digital Reserves Submission Form

Evaluating Materials

Framework for Analysis:

  1. Is the work protected by copyright law?
  2. Is there a specific exception in copyright law that governs my particular use?
  3. Is there a license that covers my use?
  4. Is my use covered under "Fair Use"?
  5. Do I need permission from the copyright holder to use the material?


These tools are meant to assist the user in understanding and the process of considering fair use. They cannot guarantee that an item is in the Public Domain or that a usage does not impinge on copyright. Each of the factors should be weighed so that the rights of the copyright holder are balanced with societal needs.

Linking to Articles/Journals/E-Content

When posting content, first check to see if we have access to an electronic copy of the work.  If we have access to the item, the permalink/stable URL can be posted without obtaining copyright permissions because the item is already licensed through the library collection. It is considered copyright best practice to post links versus actual content in order to avoid problems with copyright and licensing restrictions. Access can be found by searching the library catalog. Please note that some e-content can only be accessed by one user at a time.

Obtaining Permissions

Permissions should be sought before posting a work to electronic reserves or course management system.

One of the first places a person can look to obtain permissions is the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). The CCC offers easily accessible copyright licenses and content solutions. Generally, licenses are granted for a fee based on a per page, per user basis. Permissions through the CCC can often be secured immediately while it may take from 6-12 weeks if contacting the rightsholder directly. When applying for permissions check to see if the rightsholder lists a response time.

Contacting Rightsholder Directly

If permissions cannot be obtained through the CCC, the rightsholder must be contacted directly. Rights can be held by various entities so when requesting permissions you will want to ensure that you are contacting the current rightsholder. Typically if a publisher holds the rights to a work there will be a form accessible on their website that requires you to fill out bibliographic information to obtain permission. If they do not have a form or you are contacting the author/another individual or institution who holds the rights you will want to have bibliographic information on hand such as:

Title of Item
Copyright Year / Location
Chapter/Selection Title
Selection Author
Page Numbers
Total number of pages used
Semester (i.e. Fall 2016)
Course Name/Number
Number of students in the course
Instructor name

It is also helpful to mention where and how the work will be accessed; i.e. a course management system like Moodle or a password protected electronic reserve system like E-Reserves.  

 Sample Letter/Email

To whom it may concern,

I'm writing from Kenyon College to request permission to use a portion of Insert Title of Work Here. The selection I would like to use is "Chapter or selection title," pp. xx-xx. The text will be posted to a password protected course management system, Moodle, for Name of Class (CRN101) during the (fall/spring) semester of 20xx. The text would only be accessible by the xx students enrolled in the course. Once the course concludes the Moodle course is archived and no longer available for student access.

The bibliographic information of the source being used is listed below.

Title: Insert Title of Work Here
Author/Editor: Lastname, First
Chapter/Selection Title: List the Chapter Title
(Chapter/Selection Author if different): Lastname, First
Page Numbers: 18-34
Total Number of Pages: 17
Publisher: List Publisher Name
Copyright Year: 2016

Thank you for your consideration and please let me know if there is any more information that you may require to process this request.

Thank you,

 Make sure to keep records of correspondence and contracts. 


Each scanned item posted to Moodle or E-Reserves must contain the Copyright Warning, the title and copyright pages, a clear scan of the selection, and full bibliographic information. When linking an item, best practice is to use the permalink/stable URL and all of the bibliographic information.

Alternatives/Permissions Denied/Too Expensive

If you are unsuccessful in obtaining permissions, the fees are too high, or the permissions have been denied by the rightsholder, LBIS will work with you to try to find a suitable alternative.

If the item has already been posted it needs to be removed immediately. 

Possible solutions:

  • Contact your library liason to see if an ebook version can be purchased.
  • Purchase a license for online access for future use.
  • Work with LBIS to see if material can be adjusted to fall within fair use. 

Print Reserves

Print reserves have been suspended for the Fall of 2020 due to COVID-19 safety precautions.  Concerted efforts are being made to provide needed material through library databases and digital reserves. 

Multimedia Reserves


Kenyon subscribes to a number of video streaming options, which may be accessed through the library's database list here. These films are also searchable through the CONSORT catalog.

All films for which Kenyon has purchased streaming rights may be used for in-classroom instruction or for supplemental viewing outside of class. Additionally, many streaming films may be used for non-commercial, public screenings on Kenyon's campus, but please consult the database's terms of use and a library staff person to verify that you may use a streaming media title for a public screening.

DVDs will no longer be placed on reserve for checkout to comply with COVID-19 safety precautions.   Please contact Graham Coursey, courseyg@kenyon.edu if you have a request that can not be provided via the library databases. You may also submit film reserve requests using this form.


For more information about print or digital or multimedia reserves, contact:


 Digital Reserves:

Jennifer Beck, beckj@kenyon.edu

Multimedia Reserves:

Graham Coursey, courseyg@kenyon.edu