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Course Reserves & TIP FAQ: Students

Information about the Libraries' course reserves service and MIT's TIP (Textbook Information Provisioning) service

COVID-19 Reserves Update

Because of the unprecedented disruption of COVID-19 for MIT’s Fall semester, significant changes have been made to the course reserves service to better support the largely online environment. Please find more information on these changes here and our guide to electronic resources general collection here.

Search Course Reserves


Stellar Site

Go to your course's Stellar site:  

Contact us

Have questions?  Contact us at:

What are Course Reserves?

Reserves are materials and resources that professors have identified to use for a credit-bearing class. They can be either print or electronic.

  • Print reserves are books and audiovisual materials that have been set aside for a class at a specific library. Please note: print reserves will be unavailable for Fall 2020, more information can be found here
  • Electronic reserves are materials that have been scanned and uploaded to a course’s Stellar or Canvas site. Access is limited to students enrolled in the course.

What's on reserve at the library?

The reserve collection includes books, videos, CDs, and any other materials an instructor has requested we set aside for a class. Some professors may provide course readers or problem set solutions to the library to place on the reserve as well.

No. Textbooks are placed on reserve at the request of the course faculty or TA. If your course textbooks are not on reserve, ask your professor or TA to submit the information through the Semester Books Submission Form or Faculty Enlight.

For students who have concerns about affording their textbooks in Fall 2020: Undergrads, please contact your S^3 Dean or the S^3 office; Graduate students please contact OGE Grad Support.

No. The libraries only have course readers if professors give them to us.
An item may occasionally be listed as in the "Reserve Stacks" in Barton, our online catalog, when in fact it is not currently being used for a class. This normally happens in the weeks leading up to the start of classes, and immediately after the end of the term. Ask at the library service desk to see if an item listed as on reserve is indeed a current reserve item.

Get electronic reserves

Log into your class's Stellar site and click Materials.
When the Libraries post a reading on Stellar or link to an electronic resource, we restrict access to comply with copyright law and licensing restrictions. Fair Use provisions of the copyright law allow use of copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. Additionally, some electronic resources are restricted by license agreements that limit use.
  • When you log into the course management site, be sure to choose the "MIT Kerberos account (or MIT web certificate)" option.
  • If you're a cross-registered student, register for a Kerberos ID; don't use the Touchstone Collaboration Account option to log into Stellar.