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Ordering resources

The Library purchases and makes available books, journals, e-resources and scans to support the needs of individual modules and, where possible and appropriate, the research activity of the University.

If you are looking for new reading material for a module, or are validating or revalidating a module, we recommend you familiarise yourself with this resources page and our Reading Strategies pages. Both contain excellent information to help you to develop an engaging mix of material for your students.

Your Academic Service Librarian is your primary contact for ordering non-subscription resources.

The Library budget holds Book Funds on behalf of programme areas or departments, and your Academic Service Librarian will liaise with academic staff to ensure appropriate and effective spending on this fund. You may need to get authorisation from your programme lead prior to placing orders: your programme leader will be able to advise you of the correct procedure for your subject area.

When you request for your Academic Service Librarian to place an order, be sure to include:

  • bibliographic details - author, title, publisher, date of publication and ISBN
  • number of people likely to need access to the book: this will help to determine the most appropriate e-book licence or number of print copies required
  • preferred loan type (7-day or School Experience)
  • the course the book is relevant to

Book Funds are usually available from August each year. Programme areas are given an initial proportion, which is then topped up to the full year amount once student registration numbers are confirmed during Semester 1.

Book funds close in May each year to enable orders to be receipted before the financial year end. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to order resources after the cut-off point, which your Academic Service Librarian will confirm with academic staff as the time approaches.

When we receive an order from you, we try to action them immediately. However, if items aren't available, or are not economically viable, we will contact you to discuss alternative methods or resources. If there are not enough funds in the relevant Book Fund or if we have reached the end of year ordering deadline, we will let you know and hold your request until the new financial year.

We encourage academic staff to review the relevancy of our journal holdings, and to consider new subscriptions or cancellations when appropriate. However, above-inflation price increases mean that we do need to be realistic about any new subscriptions – so we suggest that you try to balance cancellations and new subscription requests whenever possible. Your Academic Service Librarian will be able to advise you on this process.

We subscribe to journals on an annual basis, so cancellations and new subscriptions normally take several months to put into place, and we usually try to run subscriptions within calendar years (i.e. commencing in January)

'At-risk' resources

Due to the ecomonic pressures on the Library budget, particularly from inflationary and above-inflationary increases in subscription prices, we review subscriptions and their usage statistics in an annual 'Journal Review' meeting, and seek to cancel underused or no longer needed subscriptions.

During this process, a subscription may be placed 'At Risk'. When this happens, we will consult your Academic Service Librarian to try and understand more about why usage is low. They may, in turn, speak to academic staff about strategies to increase engagement, or alternatively confirm the resource is no longer needed. We will consult with colleagues wherever appropriate, but please be aware that the final decision on cancellations always rests with the Library.

Resource types

The Library makes resources available in several ways, depending on its type. For digital content, different types of access are available, depending on the content provider's licence terms, or the purchase models that are available for the Library.

In some circumstances, when ordering, your Academic Service Librarian may present you with different options to choose from, or make recommendations on how best to make content available to your students.

Click on the panels below to learn more.

We put all hard-copy formats of resources in the Main Collection on our standard 7-day loan. We do not give items a reference-only status unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Reference only items are often more likely to go missing than those that Library users can loan legitimately.

Items in our School Experience Collection are put on a 6-week loan. Artefacts may be bundled with other resources as part of a classroom box or story sack and when this is the case, they cannot be loaned separately to the other items in the bundle.

If you are thinking of using hard-copy formats as part of your module reading, we recommend you consult our collection development policy and our Reading Strategies guide to help you decide how many copies you will need the Library to hold, or if you wish to recommend students buy their own copies.

Online electronic content can come in two forms: purchased licences and subscriptions.

Most of our e-books are purchased licences. Where we can, we try to order licences that allow multiple library users to access a book at the same time. However, availability of licences is variable, even between books from the same publisher. It is also not always the case that the Library is able to buy an e-book version of a resource, even if there are e-books that you can buy as a member of the general public.

The main type of e-book licences are:

  • Limited user: this licence model allows 1, 3 or occasionally up to 5 or 10, users to access an e-book at the same time. Anyone who tries to access the e-book in excess of this number is given a 'turnaway' message and told to try again later, or to join a queue to be notified when the book is available.
  • Expiring licence: Often a feature of 'mass-market' books such as novels or popular non-fiction. Expiring licences allow only a certain number of accesses, or access within a time period (1 or 2 years) or a combination of both, before they expire and the licence needs to be bought again.
  • Concurrent user ('Credit' model): This licence model gives the Library a number of annual access 'credits' - commonly, 200, 325 or 400. Credits are renewed each year on the anniversary of the e-book purchase. Unused credits are never rolled over. There is no limit on the number of users who can access the book at the same time, but each access spends a credit and when all the credits are used, the book is no longer accessible until the annual credits are renewed.
  • Unlimited user: There is no limit on access to the book: multiple library users can access the book concurrently, and there is no annual credit limit.

The Library prefers to buy e-books with Unlimited user or Concurrent user access when we can, and we try to avoid Expiring licence copies if we can.

However, it is important to note that even a Limited user licence with a single user limit is likely to make an e-book more readily available than a single copy of a printed book on the Library shelves.

Your Academic Service Librarian will be able to tell you what the e-book licence options are for books you order and can make a recommendation to you based on costs and the amount of access required.

Online electronic content that we subscribe to is only available to Birmingham Newman University staff and students who are enrolled on a programme of study with us.

Subscription content includes all of our online e-journal collections and database subscriptions, plus a number of online platforms that provide some e-books and multimedia content.

When using content from our subscriptions, you should always link to resources, preferably through Library Search if it is available there, or on the provider's website directly if this is allowed. This generates vital usage statistics that the Library uses to determine if resources are providing value for money.

You must not download e-journal articles and then upload them to Moodle as files to give students access: this is in breach of our licence agreement with providers, Copyright law, and in some circumstances, the Equality Act, which requires that all online information is provided in an accessible format.

Scans of print books or e-books

We have an agreement with the Copyright Licencing Agency that allows us to provide scanned extracts from printed and electronic resources owned by the University. This scanned content is held in an online repository (the Digital Content Store) and is then available for you to link to from Moodle. This service is especially useful in circumstances where a key text is not available for the Library to buy in electronic format.

The Scanning Service and DCS is an excellent way to make content available to students through Moodle. All students on a module will have access to the scanned extract and can read it online, download it, or print a copy.

There are strict rules on the use of scanned or photocopied resources that we can use with out CLA licence to make sure we are complying with Copyright Law. For example, there are limits on the amount of a book or e-book that can be made available. Usually this limit is 10% of a work, or one whole chapter, whichever is greater. For this reason it is not possible to scan several extracts from the same work for the same module, and if this is what you need then we will need to provide access through other means.

Scanning Service

Content not owned or subscribed to at Birmingham Newman

Books or e-books

We will always look to purchase books or e-books in the first instance. If you only require an extract, we can purchase a single copy for the purposes of scanning.

We can only scan from copies of books owned by Birmingham Newman University as an institution. This means we cannot use your own copies, but you are always welcome to donate your own personal copy to the Library to facilitate scanning. We cannot scan from inspection copies.

If a book you would like a scanned extract from is unavailable for us to buy, because it is out-of-print or not economically viable to do so, we can investigate purchasing a copyright-cleared scan through the British Library's EHESS Service.

You can use the Scanning Service to request this. The extract is then made available to you through the Digital Content Store to link to on Moodle.

Journal articles

Setting up new subscriptions to journals or other content is much more difficult, both practically and economically, than buying books to fulfil a resource need. Therefore, if you need access to specific journal articles that are not part of our subscriptions for your teaching, we will need to request a copyright-cleared scan from the British Library EHESS service. Again, you can request this using the Scanning Service.

Please note that you must not upload a file of a personal copy of a journal article or book extract to Moodle to give your students access to it. This is against Copyright law and could incur heavy penalties both for you personally and Birmingham Newman as an institution. You can read more about this in the Copyright guide and our Scanning Service pages.

Last reviewed: 14 March 2024

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