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Have a question or problem? Look for the solution in our Course Reserves FAQ. For more detailed explanation about how to use the Course Reserves system in Canvas, please refer to the Learning to Use the Course Reserves webpage, our Quick Start Guide, or contact Reserves staff at or 530-752-2760.

Sure thing! Please check out our Quick Start Guide; it has all the basics that you need to submit your first list. If you still have questions after looking at this guide and our webpages, please email Reserves staff will be happy to assist you or arrange to come to you for a one-on-one introduction.

In order to create a reading list for a course and add items to it, Canvas users must have either the Teacher, TA, or Designer role for that course. Course instructors are designated as Teachers and may assign roles to others. To do so:

  1. Log in to Canvas
  2. Click Courses
  3. Click People
  4. Click +People button
  5. Complete form
    1. Add user
    2. Select Role
    3. Select Course section
    4. Click Next
    5. Click Add Users

If you are experiencing either of these problems, most likely your library account is missing a required field that is needed for Canvas and the library computing system to communicate with one another. Please email Reserves staff at and let them know about the issue. Staff will be able to update your library account and usually get the system working for you in a matter of minutes. If you need immediate assistance, please call 530-752-2760.

This is most likely the result of one of two issues: one of the initial creation steps was skipped or the reading list is associated with the wrong course.

The system will ask you three times if you want to create a Course Reserves reading list for the course. The system uses “canned language” for this stage of the process that we’re unable to change. Some instructors choose to skip some parts of this step; please don’t! This is necessary to link your course and your Course Reserves reading list so that students can see it. If these are correctly associated, you’ll see the course information near the top of the list, next to the graduation cap.

If you accidentally skip one of the initial Creation steps, neither you nor your students will be see the reading list on the course site. Fortunately, library staff can oftentimes help recover the detached reading list. At other times, it may be easiest to create a new reading list from scratch.

If the wrong course was selected — for example, Fall 2017 instead of Fall 2019 — it’s easy to fix! Simply go to the Options menu circled above (““) and select Manage course association. You’ll be able to delete the incorrect course and search the correct course. This mistake is easy to make, especially if you’re teaching a lot of courses.

No! Please don’t add your citations here. This is an optional description of your course; for example, the course code may be “201810-LIB-001-01-12345” and you want to add a description that this course is named “Introduction to the Library.” Also, please do not add your citations as reading list sections.

Citation information does not belong in those fields. These will not trigger any action on the part of the library and the material listed here will not be available to students via Course Reserves. Please refer to the Course Reserves Quick Start Guide or contact Course Reserves staff if you require additional assistance.


Once a reading list has been created for a course in Canvas, authorized users may add item to the reading list.

  1. Open reading list in Canvas
  2. Click + to add an item
  3. Use Basic Search or Advanced Search to locate the item
  4. Select the desired items and click to Add the citation to the appropriate reading list section
  5. If unable to locate the citation via a search, click the Create tab to manually enter the item information (enter as much information as possible to help library staff locate or possibly purchase the item); items that are not owned by the library will be forwarded for purchase consideration
  6. Select the Section to add this item to
  7. Click Add
  8. Repeat as needed

There are actually a couple of different ways to accomplish this.

First, you may add a .pdf, URL, Word file, etc. to your reading list in the same way that you would add an item that isn’t owned by the library:

  1. Open reading list in Canvas
  2. Click + to add an item
  3. Click the Create tab to drag and drop your file or add your URL
  4. Select the Section to add this item to
  5. Click Add
  6. Repeat as needed

Second, you may use the Cite It widget to instantly add a UCD-licensed e-article or e-book directly from a database or webpage. Cite It works best in Chrome or Firefox, although it is possible to use Cite It with Edge as well.

Personal copies are department- or personally-owned copies of textbooks or other materials that instructors provide to supplement existing library holdings. Many times, the library will only own 1-2 copies of a title and having extra copies to loan via Course Reserves is extremely helpful for students. You’ll need to tag the item to indicate that personal copies of this title will be provided and how you would like the library to manage those at the end of the term.

  1. Go to the citation in the Course Reserves reading list
  2. Click Add tags to item
  3. Select tag(s) from the drop-down list provided
  4. Click Save

Great question! The Course Reserves reading list supports three kinds of notes: Public, Private, and Library Discussion. A Public Note will display in the reading list and anyone with access to the course site will be able to read it. A Private Note is viewable only to the instructor, TA, or course Designer. To create or edit these notes, you’ll select the appropriate citation and scroll down to the the different notes fields. The Library Discussion link allows you to direct message Course Reserves staff and eliminates the need to call or email. Library staff can reply back using this same mechanism. Library Discussion is located in the right-side toolbar.

If you’ve already reviewed the online resources available on the library’s Course Reserves webpages, then please contact Course Reserves staff at 530-752-2760 or While your Course Reserves Reading List is accessed through Canvas, this is done via a library plug-in. Therefore, Canvas support is not able to troubleshoot problems with your reading list. Library staff will be happy to help!

When looking at a citation in Canvas, a variety of terms are used to reflect the item(s) availability and where in the process of being moved to Course Reserves the item(s) is at.

Available: Items are available to be checked out

Being Prepared: This citation has not been sent to the library and is not currently being processed

Check holdings: Items are not available to be checked out

Complete: All copies that are being moved to Course Reserves of this title have been moved

In Process: Awaiting receipt of library copies of this item have already been recalled or paged from stacks or Acquisitions; some, but not all, copies may already be available in Course Reserves

Instructor Contacted: Library staff are attempting to contact the instructor with additional questions about this citation; work on the citation is on-hold

Needs Ordering: Item has been forwarded for  purchase consideration and Course Reserves is awaiting that decision

Personal copies: The title is not owned and the library is awaiting receipt of instructor/department; pcs are processed in the order received

Requested: Library copies of this item are being recalled or paged from stacks or Acquisitions

Requested from NRLF: Library copies of this item are being recalled or paged from the Northern Regional Library Facility, on off-site storage facility serving all norther UC campuses

Review Needed: Special processing or advanced expertise needed before proceeding with processing

Sent: The instructor has sent this citation to the library and it is waiting to begin processing