“Electronic Reserves in the Science Library: Tips, Techniques, and User Perceptions

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Taylor & Francis


Electronic reserve programs (“e-reserves”) have brought a new perspective to a very traditional library service. Reserve services hold materials for a certain population’s use and circulate them for short periods of time. Not limited to academic environments, reserve services can be found in special libraries and public libraries, but are traditionally a function of academic libraries in support of classroom teaching. Because there is a heavy demand placed on a limited group of materials (the reason they were initially selected for reserve), stresses on the reserve collection are legion, and include high rates of vandalism and theft, followed by endless fines and billing. This notoriously difficult collection has now been effectively moved online in many institutions, offering users better access and eliminating, or at least redirecting, many of the collection management challenges. The technology involved is relatively inexpensive and easily mastered. Libraries offering e-reserves can simply move existing programs online, or expand the service by offering e-books, videos, and links to related sites. Tips and techniques for implementing an e-reserves service in a science library are presented, copyright issues are addressed, and use and perceptions of e-reserves at the UIUC Chemistry library are examined.


This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Science and Technology Libraries © 2001 [copyright Taylor & Francis]; Science and Technology Libraries is available online at: DOI:10.1300/J122v20n02_10