Skip to main content

Distance Learning: Using Course Reserves (ARES)

This guide provides resources and helpful tips to support students in Distance Learning programs or online courses.


The USC Libraries online Course Reserves or ARES (Automated Reserves System) is one of two systems your professor may use to provides required readings. The other is Blackboard. Take these simple steps to access Course Reserves. (Recommended: Sign into the Libraries homepage first). Note that required books or textbooks are NOT available through Course Reserves. Additionally, courses are removed from your profile at the end of the semester. For comprehensive information, visit the Course Reserves Research Guide.

Helpful links

Sample Course

Course Details

Steps to Using Course Reserves

Access Course Reserves

  1. Access Course Reserves from a direct link, from the USC Libraries Library Location and Services drop-down menu or the link from the USC Libraries homepage
    Locations and services Course Reserves
  2. To locate your class, Under Student Tools, click on Search Courses
    Main Menu
  3. The easiest is probably to Search by Course Number. Type in the three numbers  (e.g. 150 for WRIT 150) and click Go.
    Search Course
    Alternatively, use the drop-down menu to search by department or the name of the lead instructor for the course (which may not be the professor teaching the course)
  4. Click on the Green Plus icon to add the course to your menu
    Add Course option
  5. Click on the Course number to access the course
    Course Added

Once in the class

  • Click Subscribe Now to receive emails when new items are added to the course
  • Create a Reading List by clicking the checkbox. Frequently viewed items or readings that will be referred to multiple times can be placed on your Reading List so that you don't have scroll through the list of readings for a course.  
    Add to Reading List
    Access the Reading List by clicking the link under Student Tools from the link in the navigation menu
    My Reading ListReading List
    Materials may be removed from the reading list either from the course or the Reading list
  • Access materials by clicking on the link to the Item under Title, then on View this ItemSelect item to view View Items
  • To remove a course, under Student Course Tools, click Remove Course
    Remove Course



  • Click on Main Menu to return to the main page
  • Click on the Course Name to access the course or return to the course homepage