Reserves Direct

An open source, integrated reserves management system that provides faculty, students, and staff with tools to manage and access physical and electronic course reserves.


Reserves Direct is an open source, PHP/MySQL application. It integrates with Sirsi Dynix to facilitate the management of physical course reserves. It also serves as a place to manage and access electronic reserves.

Using Reserves Direct, a faculty member can place a request for an item to be placed on reserve. If desired, an electronic copy of the item can be made and then placed within Reserves Direct. Faculty can also upload their own electronic items to be part of the reserve items for each of their courses. These files can be scanned or native electronic documents. Each item is then part of the reserve material for a specific course and section.

Reserves Direct also simplifies a student’s ability to access their course reserve material. Reserves Direct integrates with the campus Student Information System (SIS) to know what courses are on a student’s schedule in a given semester. Using their NCSU username and password, the student is able to access the reserves material for each of their courses. Each student is able to see only the reserves material for their courses and sections. And each course reserves item displays to all students enrolled in that course.

NCSU Libraries staff also benefit from Reserves Direct. Staff can generate a pull list from Reserves Direct for physical material to place on reserve. It also can be used to generate a pull list for items that need a digital copy created. Staff can also use Reserves Direct to manage, verify, and review material for copyright adherence.

Reserves Direct was designed and built at Emory University. NCSU Libraries adopted it in 2008. While Emory University no longer supports or uses Reserve Direct, NCSU Libraries has made the open source version available publically.


How We Did It

Reserves Direct was an open source application from Emory University. Upon implementation, NCSU Libraries customized it in order to integrate with Sirsi Dynix via Perl scripts. As part of this customization, the Libraries made the authentication system modular so that it could be used against a variety of authentication systems. We also developed enhancements with Course Tools and textbook search in order to provide access and indexing of additional course materials. Reserves Direct is all hand coded with its own code base.