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Affordable and Open Educational Resources

This guide will assist NYU instructors in understanding the basics in finding, using, or creating affordable and open course content.

Faculty Course Reserves

NYU Libraries is happy to place required course materials Reserve for instructors and students.

The Course Reserves System offers the following benefits:

  • Reducing reliance on email communication. Once submitted, the processing status of a request can be tracked within the Course Reserves System

  • Access all reserve materials (physical and electronic) at one central and secure site

  • Links to e-journal articles and ebooks are stable and accessible from on and off-campus

  • Integration with the NYU LMS (Brightspace)

  • Easily clone items from previous or current courses.

  • Adding proxy users who can request reserve items on behalf of an instructor

Instructors can make Reserve Requests by navigating to or through the NYU LMS (Brightspace) by navigating to the Course Reserves tool under the “More Tools” option on the navigation bar. Instructors can use the Course Reserves Guide for Instructors to learn more about requesting material. 

Course Reserves takes a digital-first approach and will provide access to unlimited access to licensed electronic resources whenever possible. If an unlimited access electronic copy cannot be provided the library will attempt to purchase single-user copies. 

Physical copies of items can be placed on Reserve at the Circulation Desk. Items on Reserve have shorter checkout times, typically 2 to 4 hours, in order to allow access to the item for more users. Users can use the checkout time to read the assigned material or make copies or scans.

Scan Limits

The library can also produce scans of material to place on Reserves within the course reserves system. Course Reserves can only post 15% - 20% of an item, or 2 chapters, whichever limit is hit first. The limit is for the entire semester.

Purchasing Limits

There are items that Libraries cannot purchase electronically because of licensing restrictions or because libraries must purchase electronic materials from vendors that specialize in licensing for library use. There are certain publishers that do not allow libraries to purchase electronic versions of their publications.

Student Course Reserves

  1. Students can check their course at to see if the instructor has already requested items for Course Reserves. Electronic items can be viewed online, and physical items can be checked out at the Circulation Desk during open hours.
  2. Check the Library website to see if the library owns a digital copy. If there is only a physical copy, check to see if the item is already in the Reserve Collection. If the item is in the Reserve collection,  that item can be checked out for 4 hours at the Circulation Desk. If only a scan is needed, fill out the student request form so we can make the scan available for everyone in the class. 
  3. If the item is not in the catalog, Course Material can also be requested via E-ZBorrow if available at one of our partner libraries, and you would like to have a physical copy to check out for the semester. 
  4. If the item/reading is required for your course, and it is not found in Bobcat or E-ZBorrow, Use the Course Reserves Student Request Form to get started so that we can look into activating the item for everyone in the class. 

Bookstore Matching Project

At the beginning of each semester, the library takes data from the bookstore, student registration, course reserves, and the library catalog and uses a matching process to find electronic copies already owned/leased by the library. Matches are automatically added to the Course Reserves system and can be accessed by instructors and students in their Courses at or through the NYU LMS (Brightspace) by navigating to the Course Reserves tool under the “More Tools” option on the navigation bar. Here's a list of recent matches (Google Doc) with Course Numbers and Sections.

Always Available Online

  1. Find ebook, video, and music resources ideal for course use.

Use the "Always Available Online" filter tool in our catalog.

  • The filter searches more than 2.8 million multi-user ebooks, videos, and music from over 100 publishers and databases. 

  • Multi-user resources allow all students to use the resource at the same time.

  1. Add these resources to your course

  • If you find a resource you'd like for your course, click “Add to Course Reserves (Instructors Only)” to request it for your course

Our library staff will add a stable link to the reading to your course in the Course Reserves System.

Linking to NYU Libraries Resources

Linking to NYU Libraries Resources

Put direct links to Libraries' ebooks, articles, videos, etc. into your NYU LMS (Brightspace)

To enable off-campus access, be sure to route the links through the Libraries' proxy server by adding the "proxy prefix" in front of the URL.  This will prompt off-campus users to log in with their NYU Net ID and password.

Proxy prefix:


Start with original URL:

Then add proxy prefix:

If you are having trouble linking to an item, place a Course Reserves request in the system