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Regulations, policies and guidelines

Learning and working together in the Library.

Resource (Reading) list policy

The Library Service is committed to working in partnership with colleagues in academic departments, to provide the best possible range of information resources (within budgetary constraints) to support them and their students. This policy has been devised in response to the curriculum changes brought about by EQAL and following consultation with students and academic staff. Although the policy applies specifically to undergraduate programmes, the principles should be viewed as good practice and may also be applied to many units within postgraduate taught programmes.

This policy is called a ‘Resource list’ policy rather than a ‘Reading list policy’, in recognition of the fact that staff may wish to recommend their students look at resources such as videos, podcasts and images, in addition to reading books and journal articles. 

Format of resource lists

  • Items for purchase (optional). Max 10 items for English, 3 items for other subjects.

Not all units will include any items in this section. For example if the most important resources to support the unit are all available electronically, there is no need for students to purchase any items. However, where there are core texts which are heavily used for the unit, and they are only available in print format, it is appropriate to list these here. For most subject areas the maximum number in this category is 3 items. An exception is made for English literature units where it is useful for students to have copies of primary texts, and they are cheap to purchase; the maximum for these units is 10 items.

  • Essential reading/resources. Max 10 items (all electronic if possible).

In order to meet student demand for access to essential resources it is vital they are available in electronic format. Where this is not possible or where a suitable electronic equivalent cannot be identified, the library will purchase a suitable number of multiple copies.

  • Further reading/resources can then be included if desired. Max 20 items

The Library will stock single copies of print items in this category.

Weekly readings/themed lists

It is recognised that the teaching in some units is structured into weekly or themed readings, where this is the case the structure of weekly lists should be:

  • Essential items: Max of 5 (to accommodate primary texts as well as secondary)
  • Supplementary items/bibliography: Max of 15

Access to lists via Moodle

Specialist reading list software is used to compile all resource lists. The data from the list is automatically pulled in to the Unit Specifications and into relevant unit areas on Moodle. Academic staff are encouraged to use this software to create and maintain their own lists; contact your subject librarian for an account and training/support with this activity. Alternatively library staff can create and edit your lists for you.

Units where no resource list is required

It is recognised that there are some units that do not require a resource list e.g. dissertation, placements etc. In these instances we recommend that you liaise with your subject librarian about linking to alternative resources such as your subject guide, Library Search or library videos.  

Reviewing and updating resource lists

Academic staff should review their unit resource lists annually in liaison with their subject librarian. Contact details of all subject librarians are on the Library Website at It is also possible to make interim minor updates to resource lists, e.g. to include an updated edition of a set text or in fast changing subject areas such as computing and law.

The balance of the Library’s information budget is used to purchase a good range of further resources but usually in single copies where hard copy monographs are purchased, and in particular as wide a range as possible of e-journals, etc, to support teaching, learning and research. This is complemented by an all pervasive information skills programme, delivered in a variety of ways, to enable exploitation of a wealth of relevant resources.