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Reading lists: Reading list principles


Following consultation with Departments and the School, the Library has adopted the principles outlined here for the creation and management of student reading lists across the University.  These principles will help us fully support students' learning needs and staff teaching requirements, ensuring inclusive and accessible provision of library materials for all members of the University, while delivering best value for money. 

Creating reading lists using the Library Lists software, with lists linked from Moodle units, provides students with access directly to the materials they need to read.

Reading list principles

  • The Library provides a reading list management system, Library Lists, and provides support, guidance and training for Department and School staff in creating, managing and updating their reading lists.
  • The Library Lists system should be used for all taught units with a reading list or any required reading, and each Library List should be linked from the corresponding Moodle unit, under the Library List tab.
  • To support students in managing their learning and workload, and to guide the Library's purchasing decisions, all items included on a reading list should be categorised as either essential, recommended or background, where these are defined as:
    • Essential: students will require regular access to the item while taking the unit.
    • Recommended: students will require some access to the item while taking the unit.
    • Background: students may use the item for additional breadth/interest.

Not all categories would be required on a list, but all items on a list should be assigned a category.

  • All reading list items categorised as essential should be provided in an electronic form that is accessible to all students taking the associated unit.  If the book is not readily available in an appropriate electronic format, the Library will consider acquiring books in this category in e-textbook form (i.e. as an annual subscription on a per FTE pricing model).
  • Where an essential item is not available in an appropriate electronic format, or, in liaison with the member of teaching staff recommending it, considered unaffordable or prohibitively expensive, an alternative resource should be substituted.  The alternative may be scans of chapters provided through the Library’s Scanning Service, if only sections of a book are required.
  • The Library will acquire all categories of reading list materials in electronic form as a first preference, to maximise accessibility and ensure appropriateness for the chosen educational approach.  However, books on a reading list categorised as recommended or background will not usually be acquired in an annual subscription e-textbook format.
  • Reading lists should be provided in good time to the Library, ideally at least 8 weeks before the start of teaching for the associated unit, to allow for the extended time often required in sourcing electronic versions of material.
  • The Library will monitor and review use of reading list content on at least an annual basis, and will consult with teaching staff on any changes required to their lists, to ensure ongoing currency, and value for money in expenditure of the Library’s materials budget.
  • The reading list will remain the intellectual property of the member of teaching staff, and the Library will not remove from a Library List any items added by the member of teaching staff, unless the material is in clear breach of copyright or other law.  Library staff will check all Library Lists, and add citations for both print and electronic versions of a title, and new editions, where appropriate.