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Penn State University Libraries

Course Reserves Services

Viewing/Printing Electronic Reserves


Searching for and Viewing Course Reserves

To search for your reserves on the Libraries' website:

You can search for your reserves right here! Just enter the course ID (e.g. ENGL 202D, CN ED 503, etc.) or the instructor’s last name in the search field and click on the appropriate button to search for that information. (Note: searching by course name is inconsistent and is not recommended.) If you search for a course that has multiple instructors, or an instructor that is teaching multiple courses, choose the correct course-and-instructor combination to get to your reserves list.

Course Reserve Search


You can also search for your reserves by clicking on the Course Reserves tab in the "Start Here" search box on the Libraries homepage, or by clicking on Course Reserves in the gray bar at the top of The CAT.

To access your reserves through ANGEL:

Students at group workstationNote: In order to access your reserves via ANGEL, your instructor must first create a link between the course page in ANGEL and the reserves list. If you cannot access your reserves through ANGEL, you can always find them on the Libraries website using the instructions above.

  1. Log in to ANGEL at
  2. Select the course in the My Courses box.
  3. Click on the Resources tab.
  4. In the Library Tools box, select Library Reserves.

Some tips for viewing your reserves list:

  • Course Reserve items are listed alphabetically by title.
  • The call number for a book/media reserve is displayed above the item's title. All e-reserves have the same call number: "ELECTRONIC RESERVE".
  • The list view displays a maximum of 20 items at a time. For lists with more than 20 items, click on Next at the top or bottom of the list to view the next page of reserve items. The last item on the previous page will reappear as the first item on the next page.

To view an electronic reserve in your reserves list:

  1. Select the Detail button located right before the title. Note: If your instructor has only one item on reserve, you will be taken directly to the Detail display for that reading when you search for the list.
  2. In the Detail view, highlight the More tab and select the link next to Online Content. This will open the reading, usually in a new browser window.
    • Recommended software: most e-reserve readings are provided as PDF files. These files are produced in Adobe Acrobat, and are best viewed using Adobe Reader (free download).
  3. Use the Adobe Reader toolbar to page through the reading and zoom in or out. Also use this toolbar (not the browser menu) to print or save the PDF.

Note: The e-reserves PDFs that are produced by the Course Reserves staff always start with a copyright warning/citation page. The reading starts on the second page.


Printing Electronic Reserves

To print an e-reserve PDF

  1. Select the Print button in the Adobe Reader toolbar. Do not use the browser's printing function.
  2. In the Print window next to "Page Scaling," select Fit to Printable Area from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the Advanced button in the lower left corner of the Print window. Then, check the box next to Print as image in the Advanced Print Setup window and click OK. Click OK again back in the original Print window.

Electronic Reserves Troubleshooting

Note: Due to routine maintenance, the Libraries system (including Course Reserves) is unavailable each night from 2:00 AM until approximately 4:30 AM EST. If you are unable to access your reserves materials during this period, please try again at a different time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

When I click on the Library Reserves link in ANGEL, all I see is an error message.

Browse the Common Problems and Solutions section for the error message you are encountering and associated solutions. Some of the troubleshooting instructions can only be performed by the instructor or someone with editor rights to the ANGEL course page.

I can't log in to the Libraries website.

If you can't log in to the Libraries website using your Penn State access ID and password (or you receive an error message when you click on the Library Reserves link in ANGEL), you may need to register with the University Libraries.

  • To see if you are registered, go to My Library Account and log in with your Penn State access ID and password if prompted. If you cannot access your account, then you are not registered.

For new students, registration is a two-part process.

  1. Activate your University Access Account at an ITS Signature Station, located in most computer labs. Your digital signature indicates your agreement with all University Libraries policies.
  2. Complete your registration online by updating your address and status information. An email will be sent to your Penn State email account within 24 hours of activating your account. Click on the link displayed in this email to complete your registration. Note: you must check your email and complete the online registration, or go to a library service desk to complete your registration in person, before accessing Course Reserve materials.

Students at any campus location may also register at their local Penn State library. World Campus students can register by submitting the Libraries Distance Registration form.

If you're registered for classes and with the library but still can't access the CAT, you may be experiencing a problem with your access account or password. Sometimes, students are able to access library resources after changing their password. If you're able to access your Penn State email or Portal page, but not the CAT (and if changing your password doesn't help), please contact us at

Nothing happens when I click on the link for the e-reserve file.

When you click on an e-reserve link, the file opens in a separate browser window. If you already have two or more browser windows open, the document may load in a window in the background. Check your taskbar at the bottom of the screen to see how many browser windows are open and, if there is more than one, see if the file loaded in one of the others. You can also try minimizing the current browser window to see if another window appears.

My e-reserves are taking forever to download.

The e-reserves files produced by the Course Reserves staff are provided as PDFs. If accessing your e-reserves over a slow connection, these files may take 5-10 minutes or more to download. Download times are also longer during periods of high Internet traffic. Try downloading e-reserves during off-peak hours such as early morning or later at night.

My e-reserve document seems to be downloading, but all I see is a blank screen.

Occasionally, the browser will display a "Done" message but the screen will be blank.

  1. Try moving your cursor over the toolbar at the top of the window. If the cursor turns into an hourglass, the document is still loading.
  2. Try starting Adobe Reader before you click on the link. Then return to your browser and click on the link again.

When I try to download my e-reserves, I get an "Invalid IP Address" error message.

When accessing e-reserves from off-campus, the system will recognize that you're not at a Penn State computer (with a Penn State IP address) and should prompt you for your Penn State access ID and password. Occasionally, this process fails and an "Invalid IP Address" error message is generated.

  • Check to see if your browser is configured to use a proxy server (note: this is especially common with cable modem or DSL connections). In Internet Explorer, go to ToolsInternet OptionsConnectionsLAN Settings. If the box next to Use A Proxy Server is checked, uncheck it and cut any information from the "Address field" (paste it into a text file to restore it later). Click Apply and try to access your e-reserves again.
  • Check to see if your browser is configured to accept cookies.
    • In Internet Explorer, go to ToolsInternet OptionsPrivacy. If the privacy level is set to High, move the bar down to Medium High. Click Apply and try to access your e-reserves again. If that does not work, move the bar down to Medium and try again.
    • In Firefox, go to ToolsOptionsPrivacy. Check the box next to Accept cookies from sites is checked. Click OK and try to access your e-reserves again.
  • Use the Penn State VPN client to access your e-reserves.
    1. Install the VPN software -- on the PSU Downloads page, see "Connecting to Penn State" for the program for your computer plus instructions.
    2. After installation, use the LIAS-VPN  option to connect to library resources.

I'm still having problems.

If you're still unable to access your e-reserve files, contact us at Please include the following information in your email:

  • Location (on or off-campus — if on campus, please provide building name).
  • Accessing through Penn State or an Internet Service Provider (if ISP, please provide name).
  • Browser name and version.
  • Adobe Reader version.
  • Course ID, instructor and title of material.
  • Precise description of problem or error message.