Course Reserves: ARES and Blackboard

Instructions and FAQ

Subject Guide

ARES or Blackboard: Which Should I Use? Both!


ARES manages course reserves including electronic reserves and physical reserve requests. Maintained and operated by the Integrated Document Delivery (IDD) department, ARES differs from Blackboard as it is supported by USC Libraries staff to manage physical and electronic reserve requests obtainable and available from library resources. 

Advantages to using ARES:

  • Instructors can create a class, submit requests for readings, and submit requests for USC-owned items and/or their own personally owned books to be placed on reserve.
  • Online course readings and other material can be easily accessed on one site.
  • Class(es) and course content can be reinstated or "cloned" from one semester to another.
  • Requests for course material can be submitted online, pulled from USC Libraries' collection, or processed through interlibrary loan (articles and chapters only) upon instructor request.
  • Online course material accessible 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
  • Instructors can upload their own material such as the class syllabus, practice exams, or links to USC electronic databases or other online resources.
  • USC Libraries' staff available to troubleshoot broken links to e-resources, PDFs, or webpages.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to copyright restrictions, we cannot post more than two chapters from the same book or two articles from the same issue.  Please see Copyright Guidelines & Rules for more information.  



Blackboard is an e-learning platform and online course management system provided to students and faculty for instructional purposes. All Blackboard classes and content are created, monitored, and managed by the instructor and not by the USC Libraries, however if you would like to link your Blackboard course to ARES, you can follow these steps to link both systems from Blackboard:

Using the USC Libraries’ ARES Course Reserves System in Blackboard

PLEASE NOTE: If you have a current active course on ARES, please contact IDD at (213) 740-4020 or before you follow the instructions above so that we can ensure the connection will be properly configured.

If you are an instructor and are having problems with the Blackboard system, please contact university ITS support at (213) 740-5555 and choose option 2, or you can email  

For all Blackboard help options, please visit:


If you need information about USC Bookstore's course reader and custom publishing options and services, please visit:

USC Custom Publishing.