Course reserves

"J.J. Mansalay scans a book that will be available via e-reserves"
J.J. Mansalay scans a book that will be available via e-reserves. (Photo by Jami Smith for the UC Berkeley Library)

Through the course reserves program, the UC Berkeley Library helps students save money by providing them with free access to copies of the books and videos they need for their classes. The Library will acquire textbooks or other required instructional materials depending on budget, staffing considerations, and material availability; the Library welcomes donated copies of the required textbooks and other instructional materials. The Library will continue to provide course reserves digitally, at least through 2023, since that approach expands the availability of content to students 24 hours a day (if they log in through the VPN or use library proxy), even in the case of campus emergencies or health/safety challenges. Print course reserves are not supported at this time.

For students

Go to your classes’ bCourses sites to find links to required books, videos, and articles that your instructors have selected for the semester. Some instructors may provide these links on their syllabi or through another course management system. If you do not see these links for a particular class, ask your instructor. If the course reserve program is beneficial to you, please let your instructor know, so they are encouraged to submit their required materials for other courses.

For instructors

Fall 2023

Priority deadline: June 5, 2023. Please submit lists of required books and videos for your fall courses via email to In the email, please include your course number/title and a list of your required items. For each item, please tell us the title, author, date/edition, and other bibliographic details. It is important to include items you wish to reuse from previous semesters, as we still need to activate those in the system. Requests received after June 5, 2023,  may not be available for the start of the semester. For the benefit of our students, we encourage you to submit your requests as soon as possible.

Summer 2023

The priority deadline for summer e-reserves requests has passed, but we will continue to accept requests through June 6, 2023. 

What to expect

Instructors submit their required book and video requests to the Library. Once the items are available, each instructor will receive an email with the direct links to those items, which the instructor provides to their students via their bCourses site and/or in their syllabus. Copyrighted books that cannot be purchased as e-books from vendors will be made available through a controlled digital lending platform, UC BEARS.


  • Content is available 24/7 through an ADA-compliant (accessible) viewer.
  • Digitized items are not available for download or printing (in portion or entirety).
  • Digitized items are available only to users with a CalNet login.
  • The number of simultaneous users is determined by the number of UC Berkeley-owned physical copies.
  • The UC Berkeley-owned physical copies are not available for on-site use or checkout during the semester that they are made available through UC BEARS.
  • Digital items can be checked out for 120 minutes, and items are renewable at the end of the loan period if another user has not checked them out already.
  • Users are able to see if an item is available for checkout or, if in use, when the item will become available.