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University of Southern MaineLibraries

Textbooks on Reserve and ARES: Home

How the Textbooks on Reserve Project works.




  • As a precaution, USM Libraries will not be checking out textbooks on reserve due to the potential spread of covid-19 from frequent checkouts.
  • To assist students, the Libraries have purchased all of the 100 and 200 level books, either as electronic books where possible or as print textbooks so that readings may be scanned.
  • The Libraries are placing readings on electronic reserves for select 300 and 400 level courses.
  • Staff are scanning in course readings and putting them into the electronic course reserves (ARES) when requested.

Accessing Electronic Reserves (ARES)

  • Check your schedule and make make sure for each course you have:
    1. The course abbreviation and number (e.g. ENG 100, BIO 105, MUS 150, HTY 200, ...)
    2. The instructor's name (e.g. Chebowicz, Champlin, Davis, Zhao, ...)
  • Learn more about how to do a Textbooks on Reserve search by viewing this very short tutorial.
  • If you do find your course listed, you can see which campus Library has the textbook(s) for your course.


Faculty should contact USM Reserves to have your course setup in Course Reserves (ARES) and readings added so all students can access remotely.

How do I access Electronic Reserves (ARES)?

The USM Libraries have purchased many, but not all, textbooks for the Textbooks on Reserve project. We encourage you to check to see if we have your textbook(s) on reserve in one of our campus Libraries for you to use in the Library.

  • Check your schedule and make make sure for each course you have:
    1. The course abbreviation and number (e.g. ENG 100, BIO 105, MUS 150, HTY 200, ...)
    2. The instructor's name (e.g. Muthyala, Champlin, Davis, Zhao, ...
  • Sign into the MyUSM portal.
    1. In the left column, click on USM Quick Links.
    2. Click on Course Reserves (ARES).
    3. The first time you use ARES you will need to fill out a short form.
    4. Next, click on Search Courses and find your course by course abbreviation and instructor.
    5. Click Add Course, next to the green plus sign. Now, each time you go to Electronic Reserves (ARES) you will see this course and won't need to add it again.
    6. Click View Course and you should see a list of items (PDF articles, videos, ...)
    7. Click on the item Title to view.

Borrowing a textbook on Reserve

  • Bring your course information to the campus Library that has the textbook.
  • Bring your USM ID card. You must have your USM ID card to checkout books.
  • At the main desk, ask for the textbook by course number (ENG 100,...) and title of the book.
  • You can checkout the textbook for use in the Library for two hours.
    If you need the book for longer than two hours, you can check it out again if no one is waiting for the book.

Picture of a USM ID Card

How do I buy textbooks at USM?

If your textbook is not in the Textbooks on Reserve project or you want to purchase your textbook, you should:

  • Go to the USM Bookstore's web site and click on "ORDER YOUR TEXTBOOKS"  to find out what books your need for your classes.
  • Order books through USM's Virtual Bookstore, eCampus.
  • Frequently Asked Questions from the USM Bookstore.

Ask A Librarian


Open Educational Resources (OER's)

Keeping textbook cost as low as possible is a goal for USM Libraries. When faculty use OER's, students access textbooks at no cost.