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Information Skills: Using your reading/resource list

BooksWelcome to the using your reading / resource list guide

This guide will help you find out about what resources your lecturers consider both essential and helpful for further understanding what you learn in your modules. 

Reading / resource lists are often divided into three sections:

  • Essential Reading - what you are required to read
  • Recommended Reading - what you are strongly recommended to read
  • Further Reading - material that is relevant to the module

Reading lists are produced by the academic teams each year.  These lists indicate the materials which should be read for each module of your course.

Each of the University of Suffolk libraries works with academic teams to ensure that we hold copies of all the materials listed. Where possible we buy electronic copies of books as this helps us provide access for more people at any one time that one print copy will allow.

When buying copies of materials for stock we follow these principles:

  • All items marked essential reading will be provided for both loan and reference use.
  • Where an item marked as essential reading is available to libraries as an e-Book we will purchase it electronically
  • Additionally, we monitor the number of holds against reading list items and purchase more copies as required, and change loan periods accordingly. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to buy a copy for each student requiring access.

All reading lists should be made available to you through the course areas of Brightspace for University of Suffolk students.

University of Suffolk students can also access reading lists online.  These can be accessed here

Some University of Suffolk libraries are also able to make them available through their library catalogues, which also helps you check availability and place hold immediately.

Book with a bookmarkIt is possible for University of Suffolk libraries to make digital copies of specific book chapters and journal articles available to view through course areas on Brightspace.

If the chapter or article you need isn't listed, please ask you tutor to contact your library.

  • Learning & Teaching Librarians will contact the Course Library Representatives at the end of July each academic year to begin the process of reviewing and updating reading lists and library collections.
  • Reading lists submitted May - August will be ready for loan for the Autumn term.
  • Reading lists submitted September - December will be ready for loan from the Spring term.
  • Reading lists submitted January - April will be ready for loan from the Summer term.

Talking to your Learning & Teaching Librarians
The Learning & Teaching Librarians at each campus can advise on the development and review of reading lists. They can also:

  • Set up publisher alerts to inform you of newly published materials.
  • Provide information to you on the revision or publication of new editions of key texts.
  • Forward reviews from key journals.

Structures of reading lists
Where possible, reading lists should

  • Clearly indicate items which are considered essential reading, and those which are considered recommended reading.

Please see the suggested guidelines below for structuring reading lists:


All images included in this guide are available from Flickr through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0

In addition to using the resources from your set reading lists, you are also likely to find a wealth of information relevant to material from your module by accessing the following:

Remember that, other than the Essential readings your lecturer has required you to access, there are a number of resources available to you as a student at University of Suffolk -  even if they do not appear on your reading list. 

If you're having trouble deciding what information may be useful to help support your understanding of course material or lectures, book an appointment with your Learning & Teaching Librarian to discuss how to find what you need.  We're always happy to help!