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About Library & Learning Services: Reading & Resource List Framework

Reading and Resource List Framework


1. The purpose of this framework is to ensure a coherent and collaborative approach, between Academic teams and the Library team, for the creation and maintenance of reading lists as well as the acquisition and management of resources for use by students.

Please contact the Librarian aligned with your School if you have any queries or wish to attend a reading list session.

2. The framework: 

  • Articulates the roles and responsibilities of the Academic teams and the Library team 
  • Guides Academic teams in the creation and maintenance of their reading lists, which: 

    • ensures students’ access to reading lists and learning resources 

    • promotes good practice, which is applied consistently 

  • Guides the Library team in the acquisition and management of resources on reading lists, which: 

    • ensures that acquisition and provision of resources is efficient and cost-effective  

    • ensures that resources are available in appropriate format(s), at the right time and in sufficient quantity 

    • promotes good practice, which is applied consistently 

  • Acknowledges and complies with copyright legislation 

3. Roles and Responsibilities 

The teams’ roles and responsibilities are outlined below: 

3.1 Academic team(s) Roles and Responsibilities 

Academic teams have the role of creating, reviewing and maintaining reading lists. Academic teams are responsible for: 

  • Following the guidance in this framework

  • Submitting new, finalised reading lists in the SharePoint area HERE, using this template 

  • Reviewing and finalising existing reading lists in the SharePoint area HERE, in accordance with the academic cycle, mode of delivery, and anticipated access 

  • Following guidance from the Library team regarding the structure and presentation of reading lists in SharePoint 

  • Recording the correct module code; module title; module leader; date of approval; and approximate cohort size within each reading list 

  • Informing the Library team promptly when modules are scheduled to cease 

  • Uploading reading list content to Brightspace, and following guidance from the Learning Design team regarding the presentation of reading lists in Brightspace 

  • Attending reading list training, refreshers and/or CPD opportunities as they arise 

  • Reporting issues promptly to the Library Team and/or the Learning Design Team.

3.2 Library team Roles and Responsibilities 

Collectively, the Library team has the role of checking, sourcing, acquiring, classifying, cataloguing, processing, shelving and managing resources for reading lists.

3.2.1 Librarians are responsible for: 

  • Following the guidance in this framework  

  • Managing budgets to maximise acquisition potential across the School(s) that they support 

  • Reminding Academic teams when reading lists are due to be finalised and submitted in SharePoint (see Appendix A: Schedule) 

  • Supporting the creation, review and maintenance of reading lists as per guidance in this framework document 

  • Sourcing and acquiring resources, including new editions and/or suggesting alternative publications where appropriate 

  • Withdrawing resources at the end of their usefulness, as per the Collection Management Policy 

  • Assisting DSA students in accessing resources on reading lists, in accordance with their Reasonable Adjustments 

  • Delivering reading list training, refreshers and/CPD when needed 

  • Reporting issues promptly to Academic teams, for example if a resource is out-of-print, prohibitively expensive, or there are licence-related issues. 

3.2.2 Research Repository & OA Compliance Manager is responsible for: 

  • Advising Academic teams regarding digitisation of materials 

  • Offering guidance related to copyright, and auditing modules for copyright compliance 

  • Guiding Academic teams regarding deposit of materials 

  • Reporting issues to Librarians and/or Academic teams promptly 

3.2.3 Library Technologies Officer is responsible for: 

  • Ensuring seamless access to online resources, including identity management and authentication to library resources 

  • Monitoring resource usage and budget spend 

  • Providing data reports to Librarians in relation to collection management and to the Directorate Executive in relation to annual reporting and planning 

  • Resolving issues promptly 

3.2.4 Library Services Assistants are responsible for: 

  • Supporting Librarians in the annotation of reading lists 

  • Supporting the acquisition, receipt and processing of resources 

  • Assisting Academic teams in producing digitised materials 

  • Reporting issues to Librarians and/or Academic teams promptly 

4. Reading List Design 

Although lengthy reading lists may be desirable in some disciplines, in general, reading lists should not be overly long. 

We strongly advise that the following priorities are considered when designing and/or reviewing reading list(s): 

  1. Constructive alignment to the module’s learning outcomes (Biggs and Tang, 2003) 

  1. The quantity of resources that students can reasonably be expected to read 

  1. The breadth and depth of resources reflect the level the students are studying at 

  1. The expense and quantity of resources the service can reasonably be expected to acquire  

In order to manage expectations, we politely request that students are not directed to resources that are not held by the Library or, alternatively, are not freely available online. 

4.1 Reading List Inclusion Criteria 

In addition to the above priorities, Academic teams should also consider: 

  • The principles of universal design (e.g., the process of designing something to be as functional as possible for as many people as possible) 

  • Potential reasonable adjustments, which includes digitisation, screen reader compatibility, closed caption, and/or enlargement of text etc. 

  • Selecting resources that are readily accessible. This includes resources that are already held in Library collections, are Open Access, are in print, are affordable, and are current 

  • A range of learning resources and source types, (e.g., text-based chapters and articles, audio-visual, and/or illustrated resources etc.)  

  • Publications from diverse sources, factoring in the university’s desire for diversified curricula and library collections 

  • Working to develop the diversity of resources in collaboration with Learning & Teaching Librarians 

  • Adherence to the referencing style for their discipline (as per the latest edition of Cite Them Right

4.2 Reading List Structure in SharePoint 

There is an area in SharePoint where the Library team and the Academic teams will collaborate on reading lists, which is HERE. It is crucial that the Library has up-to-date reading lists, and has time to acquire the resources that students need. 

To facilitate this, we recommend that resources are differentiated using the following tiers: 

  • Essential reading, which is defined as any resource that is requisite for all students 

  • Recommended reading, which is defined as any resource that contributes to the expansion of students’ subject knowledge, in addition to essential reading  

4.2.1 Reading List Structure in Brightspace 

It is recommended that reading lists in Brightspace are structured, focused and contextualised in a way that helps students to plan and engage with reading. Examples include tiered reading (as above), weekly reading or themed reading. 

Furthermore, it is recommended that the Module Lead provides brief annotations for each of the resources, such as why it has been included and what the focus of it is (which is not always obvious from the title alone). 

Lecturers may advise students to purchase their own copy of a resource for personal use if it is a core resource that will be used extensively throughout the course. 

4.3 Further Considerations 

  • The Library team will aim to acquire electronic and/or print resources in accordance with the procurement commitment formula, as indicated in Section 6 below. The library is unable to acquire enough print copies and/or ebook licences for each student to have one each for individual use. If students need a text for the duration of the course, Academic teams could consider suggesting that students purchase a personal copy 

  • Resources that cannot be readily acquired are not suitable for inclusion on reading lists. Examples include items that are available only through Inter-library Loan, are out-of-print, and/or are prohibitively expensive 

  • Academic teams are advised to carefully consider over-reliance upon one textbook, as this raises issues regarding inclusivity, competing demand, and dependence on digitisation, which may infringe copyright 

  • The Library offers a service that digitises extracts from books and journal articles, when electronic copies are not available. Extracts are supplied under the terms of our HE Scanning Licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). Staff requests for digitisation should be submitted using this [FORM] or by emailing 

5. Timescales 

Academic teams should submit their finalised reading list(s) no later than six weeks before the module commences (see Appendix A: Schedule). This will allow sufficient time for resources to be acquired and processed, or allow for readings to be amended if necessary.  

After a reading list is updated by Academic teams in SharePoint, the Library team will receive an automated alert. The Library team will then check the availability of each item and annotate each reference accordingly. 

It may not be possible for the Library team to acquire reading list resources requested after the dates indicated in the schedule, and reading lists that are not submitted to SharePoint cannot be stock checked. 

6. Indicative Procurement Commitment Formula 

In order to meet the learning, teaching and research needs of the university, the Library employs a ‘digital-first’ policy, which positions electronic as the preferred format for both book and journal source types. Furthermore, the Library is committed to responsive models of ebook acquisition, such as Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA), Access-to-Own (ATO), Short-Term Loan (STL), and Extended Access. 

The table below indicates the quantity of ebook licences and/or print copies that the library will acquire, based on the quantity of students undertaking the module. 

A ‘Short Loan’ item may be borrowed for one week, whilst a ‘Reference’ item is for use in the library only and cannot be taken away. 


Quantity of licences/copies acquired (electronic and print) 


eBook available: 1-User Licence (<50 students) or 3-User Licence (>50 students), plus option of 1 Reference print copy 

No eBook available: 1 Short Loan print copy per 10 students (max 20 copies), plus 1 Reference print copy (with option of chapter digitisation) 


eBook available: 1-User Licence  

No eBook available: 1 Short Loan print copy per 20 students (max 10 copies), plus 1 Reference print copy (with option of chapter digitisation) 

English Literature

eBook available: 1-User Licence, Open Access, or On-Demand through Discovery 

No eBook available: 1 Reference print copy (with option of chapter digitisation) 

6.1 Further Considerations  

  • At UoS, the upper limit for procurement is, typically, £100 per physical book and £200 per ebook licence. Items under this value are likely to be acquired, as long as they fulfil the criteria of this framework. Items over this value will be considered, but may be queried and/or alternatives suggested. 

  • The Library team reserve the right to limit downloads days for high-demand ebooks. 

  • Please be aware that there can be complex restrictions surrounding certain ebook licences. For example, many books are not available in ebook format, and some ebook licences are not available for purchase by academic libraries. Some publishers limit the availability of ebook content to package deals and licences can be amended or withdrawn with little or no notice from the publisher. Certain ebooks may be licenced for use for a short period of time, or only available under restrictive usage agreements.

Modules commencing on or around: 

Library team will remind Academic teams #1: 

Library team will remind Academic teams #2: 

Academic teams submit reading list(s) in SharePoint by: 

w/b Mon 25 Sept 2023 

17 July (70 days) 

7 Aug (49 days) 

14 Aug (42 days) 

w/b Mon 30 Oct 2023 

21 Aug (70 days) 

11 Sep (49 days) 

18 Sep (42 days) 

w/b Mon 4 Dec 2023 

25 Sep (70 days) 

16 Oct (49 days) 

23 Oct (42 days) 

w/b Mon 29 Jan 2024 

20 Nov (70 days) 

11 Dec (49 days) 

18 Dec (42 days) 

w/b Mon 04 Mar 2024 

08 Jan (56 days) 

15 Jan (49 days) 

22 Jan (42 days) 

w/b Mon 22 April 2024 

12 Feb (70 days) 

04 Mar (49 days) 

11 Mar (42 days)