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Course & Subject Guides

Tips for Navigating Owen Library - Johnstown Campus: Accessing Course Reserves

Don't get lost in Owen Library! Learn how to find and access various resources & services available at Owen Library or through Pitt's University Library System.

What are course reserves?

Course reserves are materials available through the Library that are placed on reserve by instructors to supplement classroom instruction. This material may or may not include a copy of the course textbook. Print (books and photocopies) and audiovisual materials are located at the Information Desk on the 1st Floor. Additionally, materials such as writing citation style manuals, biology models/samples, and GRE & PRAXIS study guides are kept permanently on reserve. Course reserves may be borrowed for a limited loan period to ensure access by all students in a course.

Some of your instructors may also post assigned course readings as electronic or digital audio reserves. E-reserves and audio reserves are accessible 24/7 from any computer connected to the Internet.

How do I find a book or DVD on reserve?

When requesting print or audiovisual reserves at the Information Desk, please provide the item's call number. Library staff will then retrieve the item for you. Search PittCat for a known title, using the Course Reserves search scope. You can filter your results list by Course Code or Course Name if needed. Or you can browse Course Reserves by searching for an instructor's name, course name, or course code. Printed reserve lists are also maintained in a binder at the Information Desk.

Only two reserve items may be used at one time. 2-hour reserves may be renewed once. Extended loan reserves have no renewals. 2-hour reserves may also be borrowed overnight two hours before the library closes, and must be returned the following morning within the first hour the library opens to avoid any fines.

Overdue fines are $1.00 per hour for 2-hour reserves and $1.00 per day for 24-hour, 3-day, and 7-day reserves.

Can I make photocopies of reserve materials?

Owen Library staff will photocopy materials on request at $.25 per page. Staff will endeavor to provide photocopy orders of 10 pages or less at time of request. Larger photocopy orders will generally be ready by day's end. Please keep in mind that copyright laws are applicable to course reserves. Any photocopying that you do should be limited to scholarly purposes.

Is there a scanner I can use in the Library?

There are two scanners available for public use at no charge. They are located on the 1st Floor.

How do I access audio reserves?

If your instructor has placed recordings on audio reserves, you will be able to access them 24/7 through Box on any computer connected to the Internet. Your instructor will provide you with the link.

How do I access e-reserves?

If your instructor has placed materials on E-reserves, you will be able to access them 24/7 from any computer connected to the Internet. You will need a password to access the readings and this should have been given to you by your instructor. The Library does not distribute passwords.

  1. Search PittCat for a course, using the Course Reserves search scope to look for your instructor's name, course name, or course code.
  2. Then click on the *E-RESERVES* link for your course.
  3. In the item record, select "view full text." 
  4. Enter the password given to you by your instructor and click continue to agree to the library's restrictions. Passwords are case sensitive.
  5. A list of assigned readings will appear. Click on the title to access individual items.

Some tips about downloading readings on E-reserve:

  • Items on E-reserve may come in a variety of formats, e.g. Word document, PDF, PowerPoint, web page, etc.
  • If you are off campus, you may be prompted to enter your Pitt user name and password to view certain items. You should then be taken directly to the appropriate page.
  • If the reading is a PDF, you will need to have Adobe Reader (which allows you to open and view PDFs) installed on your computer. If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can download it from Adobe for free.

How can I print?

  • A Mt. Cat Mobile printer is available near the public computers on the 1st Floor as well as in the campus' computer labs.
  • To print readings from library databases, use the print function of the database for best results.
  • To print a PDF file, you must use the print icon in the Acrobat toolbar.