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Start of Semester Faculty Guide: LITS Resources for Classroom Success

Getting Ready for the New Semester

This guide is designed to help you understand some of the things LITS can do for you as you prepare to teach your upcoming courses.

It will also provide you with the essential steps you'll want to take ahead of the new term to ensure you have all the technology, library materials, and support you’ll need for your classes.


Table of Contents


Course Reserves

LITS provides access to course reading and viewing material using online and physical course reserves, which are available for students to use at no cost. 

Here's what you need to do to ensure that your course readings and other materials will be available on reserve through LITS:


Required Materials

Assigning books, ebooks, or films that LITS owns? Great!

Submitting your list in my.mtholyoke will ensure that we have resources ready for your students when classes start. All they will need to do is search the LITS website to see what materials are available for your course.


Supplemental Materials



Preferably 4 or more weeks before the beginning of each semester. For late requests, allow at least 7 days before assigning the material.


How does LITS provide access to items on reserve?

  • Purchasing e-book versions of books
  • Purchasing print copies of books
  • Licensing streaming video content
  • Purchasing DVD copies of films
  • Scanning portions of books or articles for Moodle


Possible Limitations

LITS attempts to ensure that all Mount Holyoke course materials are available, but sometimes we run into challenges. The more advance notice we have, the sooner you will know about the availability of your course materials from the library. 


Film & Streaming Options

Film Screenings

Faculty may reserve a space in LITS to screen films for their classes. Please include the film title in the comments of the request!


LITS Video Streaming

While many major streaming services aren't available through LITS, we do offer access to many other streaming platforms. If you find a title on a platform that offers only individual subscriptions, please submit a reserves request, and we can work with you to find possible alternative solutions.


Kanopy at the Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library (BPL) offers a free online library card that provides access to many different online resources. These resources include a version of Kanopy which contains much more streaming content than is available in the more-limited version of Kanopy that gets sold to academic libraries.

People who work or live in Massachusetts (including those who reside in the state only during the school year) can sign up for a BPL e-card at no cost. 


The Problem with Popular Streaming Services

Though you may be used to accessing many types of materials via library subscriptions, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other common streaming platforms are only open to individuals, which means they are not available to libraries or other institutions.

The legal agreements required to use these services make it unlawful for LITS to purchase subscriptions intended for individuals and share that login information with the MHC community.

A limited number of Netflix original educational documentaries are available for one-time educational screenings. See the Netflix website for more information.

Class Visits & Course Planning

LITS librarians, instructional technologists, and archivists are available:

  • for consultations to help support your course planning and teaching
  • to meet with classes during the semester. Reach out early for plenty of time to plan and schedule class visits while availability is most open


Archives and Special Collections:

Learn more about class visits to the archives, and using archives and special collections materials in your teaching with Archives and Special Collections


Educational Technology

Schedule an appointment with an instructional technologist
Learn more about instructional technology support, tools, and class instruction with Educational Technology


Language & Culture Commons (LCC)

Schedule an appointment with the LCC coordinator, Jean Janecki, at
Learn more about the resources available for incorporating language and culture into your classes from the Language & Culture Commons


Research Services

Schedule an appointment with a research and instruction librarian
Learn more about research support and in-class library instruction sessions with Research Services


Software & Technology 

Make sure you have the software you need in place in your teaching space, and accessible to your students. You can find out what software LITS provides and supports on the software page.


Existing College Software

If you need software already owned or provided by the College installed in a classroom, lab location, or on your MHC computer, please use the request software installation form. You and your students can also use this form to request access to certain academic software titles (e.g. STATA, SPSS, Matlab, and Mathematica) on personal computers.   


New Software

If you plan to purchase or install new software, even if you or your department will fund it or it is free, please reach out to the Tech Help Desk. This will enter your request into the software purchase workflow, which includes accessibility and compatibility review.


Request a Jupyterhub Environment

Mount Holyoke faculty and independent study advisors may request a JupyterHub Environment to support their students' work. Requests must be submitted at least four weeks before the start of the semester. 

JupyterHub is a web-based interactive computational environment for writing, executing and presenting code.



There are a variety of actions you can take in advance of the new term to prepare to use Moodle effectively! Here are a few:


Back up older Moodle course sites

Moodle courses are retained for 3 years, in accordance with the College's Course Retention Policy. Aged course content is deleted each summer.

At the end of each semester, be sure to save what you want for future use. If you wish to retain an entire course, including its structure, we recommend you make a course backup file. If you wish to retain individual files or folders for later access, please download instructor files for that course.


Prepare your new course sites in Moodle

A course site is generated for each course listed in Colleague, the college's system of record. You will automatically receive access to your Moodle course site when the Registrar officially adds you as the instructor of that course in Colleague. If you are unable to find your course sites for upcoming terms, please double-check the Course Overview box on the front page after you log into Moodle, and use the drop-down menu at the top left of that box to view Future courses. 

Course sites only become "current" (and accessible from the left-hand navigation menu) on the first day of classes.

For more information about how to organize your course in Moodle, check out the Get Started section of the Moodle Help Guide.


Contact Ed Tech for Moodle support or to develop rich tech-related assignments

The Ed Tech team offers e-mail support during business hours. Please allow one business day for a response to your question, though they are often answered much more quickly.

They are also available for one-on-one appointments, either virtually or in person.


Make your course visible when you are ready to share it with students

It's your decision and responsibility to make your Moodle course site accessible to your students. When you're ready to share your course site with the class, there's just one quick step to take to make it happen: Make Your Course Visible To Students.



LITS offers resources and guidance on copyright, but in practice each individual member of the community is responsible for abiding by copyright laws. For faculty, this includes materials shared with students via Moodle or any other means. Faculty are individually liable for any copyright violation.


Tips to Avoid Copyright Violations

  • Only copy and distribute materials which fall under fair use (usually 10% or less of a work) or with permission or a license.
  • Only direct students to legal means of obtaining course materials, such as in textbooks or through the LITS website.
  • Follow the license agreement of any individual licenses, such as streaming video subscriptions.
  • Learn more about Copyright and academic material on the LITS Copyright Guide!


MHC Accessibility Barriers Form