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Instructors make materials available to their students in one of four ways: bookstore purchase, collection of articles compiled on the web or in print copy (often called a course reader or course pack), on reserve through the University Libraries, or through the University’s Blackboard Learning System web instructional platform. Departments also sometimes allow instructors to distribute small quantities of print materials directly to the students; however, you should be sensitive to cost issues associated with photocopying, and you must comply with all fair use and copyright guidelines as noted below.
Textbooks and Course Packs
The University at Albany Bookstore will help you order textbooks, although you should check with your department to see if their ordering procedures are centralized through an administrative assistant. You will want to find out if a textbook has already been chosen for the course, or if you need to choose one yourself. Once you know the book has been ordered be sure to stop by the book store before the class starts to make sure that the book is there and that there are enough copies for all of your students. It is never fun to have hours of planning ruined because your students don’t have access to the book for the first few weeks of class.
To create a customized course reader, you can contact Copies Plus (on campus) or Shipmates (off campus) to have copies made for students to pick up. You can also make materials available through electronic reserves in the library. (Return to top)
Copies of Books for Instructors
The secretaries in your department probably have a directory containing publishers’ addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers, which you may use to inquire about available material from particular publishers. Many publishers have a website where you can go and order a desk copy directly. Instructors are usually offered materials free of charge when they are considering these materials for courses they plan to teach. Such material should be ordered directly through the publishers, not through the bookstore. Be careful not to incur unnecessary charges by ordering through someone other than the publisher. Some publishers give you return labels if you choose not to use their material, and they will usually tell you whether they expect you to return the books or not. Always remember to ask the publisher about supplemental materials (i.e., test banks, CDs, overhead transparencies, instructor manuals, study guides) even though you may get only the actual text until you put in a full class order. (Return to top)
The Library: Electronic and Traditional Reserve Services
You may place University Libraries' books and media, or your own personal copies, on reserve for students to use in either hard copy or electronic format. Library staff can place journal articles and other loose paper documents on the electronic reserve system, ERes. You are responsible for bringing books, journal articles, and reserve lists to the Reserve Desks of the University Library on the uptown campus or the Dewey Library on the downtown campus for library staff to process.
To ensure that all items needed are on reserve for students at the beginning of the semester, give the Reserve staff your lists and all materials at least two weeks before the fall and spring semesters, and no later than one week before the session starts for the summer.
The ERes system may be accessed directly by instructors. Files can be added or removed from the comfort of your campus office. Instructors can also use the bulletin board and chat functions. Each electronic reserve course is protected by a single password which faculty distribute to their students. (Return to top)
If you want students to have access to films and videos, ITLAL offers a variety of services to allow you to digitize your existing media into formats that are exportable for a wide range of uses, such as in web pages and in visual or audio presentations. Access to these files can be managed through your online course or through any course-related website. (Return to top)
Photocopying of copyrighted materials for classroom distribution and reserve use is permissible only within limits allowed by the Copyright Law of 1976, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and accompanying fair use guidelines.
If you are going to digitize or photocopy materials for your classes, take some time to familiarize yourself with the University at Albany Intellectual Property Copyright and Fair Use Resources. (Return to top)
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