Course Reserves

Crowded Book Shelves in Olin

Reserves are materials and resources which have been set aside by a professor to be used for a class.

Electronic Course Reserves

Ares is an online course reserves system for PDFs of journal articles or book chapters, streaming video/audio, and other readings or assignments. To find electronic course reserves in Ares:

  1. Using the button below, login with your WUSTL Key.
  2. Courses you are enrolled in are displayed on the main menu.
  3. Click on the course to see reserve items that your instructor has made available.

If you have registered late or do not see a course on the main Ares menu, contact Olin Library Reserves staff by email at or by phone at (314) 935-5451 for assistance.

Ares allows you to manage course materials online. All reserve requests can be submitted through Ares including electronic readings as well as physical materials such as books, DVDs, etc. Olin Library pulls items from our stacks to be put on the Reserve shelf and/or scans needed readings for students to download from Ares.

Cross-listed courses and sections are separate in Ares; they are not merged into a single course. Reserves staff can work with you to ensure all students enrolled in your course can access to your materials.

Reserves services at other campus libraries may vary; contact your departmental library for more details. You can also manage your courses in Ares, upload new reserve items, and import readings from courses within the past five years. Ares retains a rolling five years of course materials. PDFs of book chapters and journal articles are deleted if not used in five or more years. Please store citations and course materials elsewhere if needed for over five years.

Washington University Libraries provide audio and video streaming services for materials held in the John M. Olin Library and the Gaylord Music Library collections which are needed for course reserve. Contact Olin Library Reserves staff regarding film streaming and Music Library staff regarding audio streaming.

To access your course materials in Ares:

  1. Click on the button below
  2. Log in with your WUSTL Key
  3. Email Olin Library Reserves staff if you are a new faculty member and do not have a WUSTL Key yet

You can link directly from Canvas to articles in University Libraries-subscribed databases by using the permalink for a source.

For more information on how to do this, or to get assistance from a librarian, please see our guide Integrating the Library into Canvas.

Physical Course Reserves

Physical course reserves (i.e., books, print materials, DVDs) have a call number and are listed in the University Libraries Catalog.

To find physical course reserves in the library catalog:

  1. Using the button below, search by the course number or instructor’s name.
  2. The catalog will indicate which library is holding the materials for your course.
  3. Go to the appropriate library’s help desk to request an item on reserve.

Faculty members may request that materials (i.e., books, print materials, DVDs) relating to a course be made available for a limited check-out period. 

Full-time and emeritus faculty members may assign proxy borrowers (see Proxy Borrowing) who are allowed to perform library transactions on their behalf. 

If University Libraries do not own needed materials, you can place your copy on reserve or recommend that the item is purchased for the University Libraries collections. John M. Olin Library, as well as several other campus libraries, offer Reserve services.

Please note that cross-listed courses and sections are separate in Ares; they are not merged into a single course. Reserves staff can work with you to ensure all students enrolled in your course have access to your materials.

To place materials on physical course reserve:

  1. Click the button below for Ares, the University Libraries’ eReserves system.
  2. Login to Ares with your WUSTL key.
  3. Following the online instructions, fill out the form as completely as possible.
  4. Submit the form.

Contact Reserves by phone at (314) 935-5451 or via email ( for assistance or to schedule a Reserves consultation.

Distributed Libraries

Library locations beyond Olin Library, including the Brown School and Law School libraries, also provide course reserve services at their locations. Contact those libraries directly for assistance.

Fair Use Guidelines

Students and instructors are responsible for operating within fair use guidelines when using reserve materials. Refer to the STS Copyright Infringement Policy, the University copyright website, the University Libraries copyright research guide, or Media Rights research guide for more information. for more information.

Copyright Restrictions Note

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17. United States Code) governs the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to reproduce materials. 

One of these conditions is that reproduction not be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” Any person who copies or re-distributes this material in any way inconsistent with Title 17 and its “fair use” provisions may be liable for copyright infringement.