There are three means to place a course reading online:

Course Readings Posted to onCourse or Websites

When class readings are placed on a course Website or onCourse first determine whether the use of the material falls within the fair use guidelines. Consult the Copyright Decision Map before seeking permission. If, in the analysis, the item does not fall within the allowed usage, then it is the instructor’s responsibility to seek permission. The library offers suggestions for this procedure on our Website also.

Electronic Reserve

If using e-reserves, the library will obtain permission to place the requested copyrighted material online. Policies, procedures and guidelines to use the electronic reserve system are posted on the Library Website.

The library’s reserve reading service exists to provide Wheaton College students with course materials at the request of a faculty member. The United States Copyright Act provides special, limited exemptions for certain classroom use of copyrighted materials (the “fair use” exemption) and grants libraries limited exemptions to copy materials for library patrons. This policy is designed to preserve the rights of copyright owners while utilizing these exemptions to provide materials to serve the College’s non-profit mission.

Photocopies or electronic copies can only be made in accordance with Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act, at the request of a course instructor. All library material purchased by the college is lawfully acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of copies. The electronic reserve system will facilitate making multiple copies for classroom use by students in accordance with the law.

  • Use of material that meets the four-factor fair use test in the Copyright Act will be considered fair use.
  • Material will only be placed on reserve at the request of a faculty member.
  • Material placed on reserve will be for the non-commercial, educational use of students.
  • The material will be limited to a small part of the total work: single articles or chapters; several charts, graphs or illustrations.
  • The total amount of material included in the reserve system for a specific course as a matter of fair use should be a small proportion of the total assigned reading for a particular course.
Exempt materials

Works not covered by copyright, government publications, materials for which the professor or instructor owns the copyright, and works in the public domain do not require copyright permission.

Material requiring permission of copyright owner

Wallace Library will be responsible for seeking and managing copyright permission for materials or uses that do not qualify for the fair use exemption and will pay any reasonable fees charged.

  • All letters of permission received from publishers, evidence of fees paid, and the evidence of permission granted by the publisher will be kept on file at the Wallace Library. Specific publisher requirements will be followed.
  • Copies of materials which require copyright permissions and for which appropriate permissions cannot be obtained will not be placed on reserve.
  • If a document is available as electronic full text and the college’s license allows, a hypertext link will be set up in the reserve system to the electronic text.
  • Course packs may not be placed on reserve.
  • Materials on reserve will be accessible by faculty name or course name through the online public access catalog, HELIN. Reserve items are also listed by course in the Reserve binders at the Circulation desk.
  • Reserve materials will no longer be available through the reserve system after the end of the courses for which the material was intended.
  • Materials included in the reserve system will include appropriate citations or attributions to their sources.
  • Materials included in the reserve system will include any copyright notice on the original.
  • A copyright notice will appear in the online reserve system on documents posted for reserve reading to indicate that copyright law may cover the material. The copyright warning must be accepted before use of electronic reserve materials. The copyright notice will read:

Notice: Warning concerning copyright restrictions. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

  • Reserve materials not in compliance with copyright law will be removed from the reserve system.
  • The library staff maintains the right to deny placement on reserves any material it judges to be beyond the boundaries of fair use.
  • Wallace library retains the right to change the copyright policy as necessary.

Questions about Reserves? Contact:

Maryann Geppner
Coordinator of Access Services; x3708


Questions about copyright law? Contact:

Kate Boylan
Director, Archives & Digital Initiatives; x5821
Lauren Slingluff
Interim Dean & Director, Collections & Resources; x3733