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Reading lists for staff

Providing resource lists online for the courses you teach.

Manchester Metropolitan Resource (Reading) list Policy



1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of 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 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. This policy has been devised following consultation with
students and academic staff.

The overall intention of this policy is to create an even playing field in terms of
students being able to access essential reading, better satisfied students, and
the development of students who have the skills to trace and evaluate information
from a wide range of resources - the latter is both a key graduate outcome and
an important factor in employability. Online resource provision is also a facet of
the sustainability agenda, in that there are no issues in relation to the discarding
of physical stock, nor of the need to travel long distances to consult essential

1.2 Scope

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.

1.3 Roles & Responsibilities

The Library’s Management Team is responsible for implementing this policy.

2. Format of resource lists

2.1 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.

2.2 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.

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

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

3. 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

 Supplementary items/bibliography: Max of 15

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Non reading list material

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 ejournals, 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.

8. Benefits of the resource list policy

 Lecturers have access to reading list software (Talis Aspire) which
simplifies the creation, editing/updating, annotating and publishing (in
the portal, VLE and library catalogue) of resource lists;

 Lecturers are able to annotate items on reading/resource lists to assist
students in identifying material appropriate for their needs

 Resource lists are easier for students to interpret

 Items recommended for purchase are clearly identified and there are
links to Amazon or other suitable vendors as appropriate

 Items flagged up as essential will be guaranteed to be provided,
wherever possible electronically, if not, then in multiple print copies
(electronic provision will help everyone, but will assist part-time and
disabled students in particular, and links can be embedded in the VLE)

 Further reading may be specified and made available via the Library.

 There are direct links from resource lists to the library catalogue, to
online resources, and, where appropriate, to suppliers such as Amazon

 The whole is supported by a much more pervasive information skills
programme, delivered in a variety of ways, to help students discover and
exploit an excellent range of print and electronic resources

9. Version Number and Approval Dates
Version 1.1 Author Name & Job
Fiona Hughes, Library
Services Manager
Date EIA
Approved by:
Date for