This RFC proposes the implementation of an academic reserves system. In academic institutions, it is customary for instructors to request that specific materials be placed "on reserve" so that their students can consult those materials within a reasonable period of time.
Instructors also request that certain materials be made available electronically. Known as e-reserves, these materials introduce special considerations for copyright compliance over and above physical reserve materials. Where appropriate, requirements that pertain only to e-reserves will be flagged separately in this document.
A reserve item is associated with one or more courses. Each course has the following properties:
The system should enable bulk loading of course data - most importantly enrollment - from campus registrar systems.
An item from the regular library collection that has been placed "on reserve" normally has the following properties:
Physical items that are placed on reserve typically have the following properties:
When an item is no longer on reserve, it should revert to its previous circulation rules, and location.
Note that instructors often request for ephemeral items such as photocopied articles to be placed on reserve. After the course finishes, these items may be recycled and their records deleted. In addition to photocopied materials, instructors often make their own copies of books, computer software, audio-visual materials, and other materials available on reserve. Many items are used semester after semester so their records may be suppressed and re-used rather than deleted. When not currently in use, materials may be stored in the library for reactivation in subsequent semesters.
Each e-reserve item has the following properties:
Note that for e-reserves, unlike physical items, patrons typically have to be enrolled in the course and authenticate themselves before being able to download or access the item.
The system could offer additional copyright compliance features, such as enforcing limits on the number of times a given e-reserve may be downloaded before invoking copyright fees.
Students must be able to retrieve records for reserve items from the catalog:
Students must be informed of any copyright information relevant to their use of specific reserve materials.
The system should be able to be notify students via email and RSS feeds when an item has been added to a course.
Instructors must be able to place items on reserve with minimal effort. For example:
Instructors should be able to define and edit their own courses. They should also be able to designate a proxy user to submit course lists and items on their behalf.
Instructors should be able to add courses and items for future semesters, to be activated at a later date.
As courses that repeat often have significantly similar content, it would be helpful if instructors could easily recall a prior course and course reserve materials to place on reserve again.
Staff must be able to place items on reserve for instructors with minimal effort as some instructors will prefer to simply send an email with a list of items to place on reserve.
Staff need a minimal cataloging interface for ephemeral items (title, author, journal or book title) when instructors send photocopied materials to be placed on reserve.
Staff must be able to easily tell when reserve items that have been returned to the circulation desk need to be routed back to the appropriate reserves location rather than "Stacks".
To support efficient workflows:
The reserve item description editing interface should include the ability to add URLs and copyright permission information.
Staff should be able to easily manipulate (place on reserve, take off reserve, copy) entire lists of items, and move items from list to list.
Staff should be able to create terms (course periods).
The permissions to perform these tasks should be granular, so that not all staff can perform all reserve-related tasks.
An item's reserve circulation statistics should be kept separately from its regular circulation statistics.
Statistics should include use by item type, by course, by instructor, and by semester.
Statistics for e-reserves should include usage of electronic reserve documents (ideally distinguished by access initiated by the reserves module rather than general access), as well as cost data on a per use, per course, per instructor, and per semester basis.
The reserves module should offer general integration with other campus systems:
The reserves module should support integration with third-party reserves systems such as ReservesDirect or Ares.
We'll get to that when we've nailed down the requirements, mmmkay?