As a second year student who relies heavily on reserve material, I really want to know how the system works. I know there are no renewals, but can I re-borrow a reserve item right after retuning it?
To be honest I’ve gotten 6 different answers from different people. Yes, no, come back in 1 hour, come back in 3 hours, come back demain.
What is the official policy for re-borrowing reserve material?
Your question is a relevant one, and you are probably not the first student to wonder about this. As you mention, reserve items cannot be renewed. This is to ensure equitable access to these high-demand items which are often part of the required readings for a course. Borrowing the same item right after returning it would be the same as renewing, and it would prevent students who have been waiting in the library for the item’s return from getting access.
There is currently no absolute rule as to how long you must wait until you can borrow the reserve item again. If you received different answers at different times it may in part be due to the unique circumstances involved each time. The most important factors would be the loan period (3 hours, 1 day or a week?) and the demand (has the item been checked out intermitently or constantly?).
Assigning exact wait periods for all categories of items would be a difficult task, but it is an idea worth considering. Thanks for giving us more food for thought.