What are Coursepacks?

Coursepacks, also referred to as manuals or course readers, comprise whatever a professor, lecturer, or teaching assistant wants to use as a ‘personalized’ educational aid in the classroom. By taking advantage of the coursepack program, an instructor can choose from a wide variety of materials and resources, tailoring them to the specific needs and demands of their particular course.

Coursepacks come in a wide variety of forms: as collections of bound articles to supplement lectures and seminars, as course notes and/or lab manuals that may include in-class lectures, in-class syllabi, as of yet unpublished books and/or articles, or even out of print books that may no longer be available to the academic community.

Procedure & Process

The instructor compiles the materials needed for the coursepack, which in many cases involves a large amount of photocopying. As to the limits of how much you are allowed, by law, to take from a source, the following restrictions apply: up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work), or one chapter from a book. Click here for more information on Carleton’s copyright use policy.

Due to the demands of copyright law, which requires a substantial amount of rigorous documentation, many items of information concerning such articles are needed. We ask that all instructors delivering master copies of their coursepacks provide us with a source page of the materials being used. Items needed in this list include the title, author, and/or editor, publisher and date of publication, total number of pages used, total number of pages in the primary source and the ISBN or ISSN. Typical entries for a source page might look something like this: Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. New York: Shocken, 1968. pp. 217-251. total in source: 320. ISBN: 0-8052-0241-2.

Please keep in mind that any photocopies you bring us for inclusion in the coursepack should be as ‘clean’ as possible, which means trying to avoid black marks on the edges and gutters of the pages, clear, legible text, etc. The ‘cleaner’ your master copies, the faster the coursepack will be produced. The instructor brings the master copy to the Coursepack office in The Print Shop (room 102 Robertson Hall) where staff secure copyright permission for all reading materials in the coursepack. Please be aware that approval notification may take several weeks.

Upon completion, coursepacks are delivered to the Bookstore where they are priced and shelved.  If your coursepack sells out, there is no need to worry. Any students wishing to get a coursepack can simply fill out a raincheck and the Bookstore will requisition a reprint, which will be provided within 72 business hours. Please keep in mind that because coursepacks are not ‘normal’ textbooks, they cannot be returned to for credit. Therefore, coursepacks are non-refundable, save in the most extenuating of circumstances.


In order for your coursepacks to be on the bookstore shelves in time for class, it is important that you do everything you can to meet the following deadlines. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that your students will have their manuals within the first week of class. Deadlines are as follows:

  • Summer term: February 1st
  • Fall term: June 1st
  • Winter term: October 1st

If you have any further questions please contact Lindsay Salmon at extension 1119 in The Print Shop, Room 102 Robertson Hall.

What you can & can't copy

For copies provided at no cost, up to 10% of a published work may be copied. Such copying includes, but is not limited to, copies made for free distribution in classes, for library reserve, or for inter-library loan to other university or non-profit libraries.

What you CAN’T copy… Systematic, cumulative copying is prohibited. That means that you may not copy 10% of a publication one day, then another 10% the next day, and so on until most or all of the publication is copied.

Copyright Law On Campus

Due to the fact that copyright law can often be dense and dizzyingly complex, the question of whether or not the copies you are making are ‘legal’ can be somewhat perplexing. If you have any further questions regarding copyright, please contact Ian Krzyzanowski  at Ext. 8110  in the Carleton Bookstore, 1st floor University Centre.