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Reading Strategies Guide

Using Library resources

For each item you are recommending, ask yourself the following question:

Can the quantity of copies available provide the number of students who need the item with the length of time they need it for?

If not: how will the students get access to the material?

[Part A helps to answer the first question, Part B addresses the second]

Section A – Evaluating current provision

For books and e-books: what is currently available in the Library?

Are the books the latest editions?

For print books: how many copies do we have? Are they all loanable?

For e-books: what access do we have?

Our Resources guide can tell you about our loan types and the different access models that e-books may have.

How long will each student require this material for?
  • Throughout the entire module?
  • Several weeks?
  • A few days?
  • A few hours?
What will the material be used for?
  • General reading?
  • Preparation for a specific session / tasks? Will they all need to access it at the same time?
  • Essential reading for engagement in the module?
  • Essential reading for completing the assessment?
What proportion of the students on the module will require each specific item?
  • All of them?
  • Most of them?
  • A few of them?
  • Those who choose a particular option?
  • Those who are allocated a particular task (e.g. presenting at a seminar)?

Section B – strategies to improve provision

What else is in the Library that will also be useful?
  • Have you looked at the stock in the Library to see if there is other material that could supplement or substitute for your preferred material?
Is the item available electronically?
  • Subscribed to / purchased by the Library (journal articles / e-books / images / film-clips / historical documents etc.)?
  • Freely available on Government / Official sites (reports / legislation etc.)?
  • Free online digitised collections, such as Project Gutenberg (out-of-copyright literary works)?
  • Open Access book publishing, such as OpenStax (Open Access textbooks)?
  • Institutional or subject repositories (journal articles / theses / reports)?

How will you indicate this availability to the students? Will they know where to get it from?

Should the students be advised to buy the material?
  • Is there anything that they have already been advised to buy for another module that might be useful here?
  • Is the material still commercially available?
  • Would the material make a good investment for future modules, or for future professional practice?
Can it be digitised on Moodle?
  • Is it owned by the Institution? – i.e. by the Library or by the Subject Area, not by an individual.
  • Do you only require a single chapter of each book or a single article from each journal issue for the module?
  • Have you read the guidelines and policy on the Scans and copyright information page?
  • Is there sufficient time for the item to be scanned and put on Moodle?
Can you photocopy copies for the whole class and hand them out?
  • Is it owned by the Institution? – i.e. by the Library or by the Subject Area, not by an individual
  • Do you only require a single chapter of each book or a single article from each journal issue for the module?
Could several chapters or articles be combined to make a ’course reader’?
  • Have you read the CLA guidelines on coursepacks?
  • Is there sufficient time to assemble the resources in time for the module?
  • How will you distribute the pack? Will you charge for it?
Is the material only available in other institutions?
  • When would students be expected to visit other institutions? Many university libraries will not give access to undergraduate students from other universities during their own term-time. Some may also restrict all visitors at their own exam time

If there are only a limited range of available resources, could you consider a better resourced topic / theme which still meets the module and course outcomes?

Don't forget:

You can discuss all these issues with your Academic Service Librarian, who can offer support and advice on resources.

Last reviewed: 14 March 2024

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