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Reading Lists


Reading Lists are an easy and convenient way to organise and structure required course reading. 

Reading Lists are a powerful teaching tool to support students, centralising all of their required reading in one location. These lists fully integrate with Library Systems to show the location and availability of print books and link to eBooks, articles, websites, digitised chapters or even video platforms such as Box of Broadcasts (BoB) or YouTube.

Videos can be particularly helpful resources for students. You can link to Box of Broadcasts videos on your Reading Lists which provides access to thousands of recordings. Find out more about how to use BoB.

The Library will ensure your lists are fully resourced so students have access to all of their required reading.  Reading Lists are a key collection development tool at Derby.

If you are unable to attend one of our training sessions or need a quick reminder of how to manage and edit your lists, check out our step by step Video Tutorials and help guides to understand more about creating and editing your lists and to learn how to submit your lists for review.

Best Practice

Once you've completed adding content to your list you will need to submit it for review. The Library will aim to acquire the latest editions and formats for your students based on student numbers and item importance on your lists.  Key points to note:



We need the importance set for each item: Essential, Recommended or Further Reading.  We have purchasing criteria based on the importance level. If an item does not have an importance status it will treated as 'Further Reading' when we purchase the items.


List length

We recommend that lists should have no more than 50 titles as research shows that longer lists can be off putting for students. The Library will purchase up to 50 items only from Reading Lists (Essential, Recommended or Further).  The tag Exploratory Reading can be used for lists with more than 50 items but the Library will not purchase these items.  


Student numbers

It essential these are added to your lists as this forms part of the criteria for the Library to purchase content in the appropriate ratio's. If you don't know exact figures an estimate will be fine.


Submit Reviews early

The Library is purchasing from over 3,000 Reading Lists which take time to review, purchase and process content. Submit reviews early to avoid disappointment and ensure stock is available for the start of teaching. You can resubmit your list for review with changes you've made throughout the year.


Check the library's holdings

Search the library catalogue and Library Plus to see if the Library has the item in stock and bookmark from there before looking at vendors such as Amazon or Blackwell's. This will help speed up the review process and reveal to your students what content is already available within the Library


Check with colleagues before submission

If you share a Reading List with your academic colleagues, please ensure you have consulted with them before submission and that you are agreed the content on the list is appropriate for this year's teaching. We wouldn't want you you add something, only for someone else to delete it!


Click the headings below to learn more about the steps you will need to complete to make sure content is purchased for your course:

You will need to add a Library note if you require an earlier edition of a text, otherwise the Library will purchase the latest available edition

You can request a digitisation so students can access a key chapter or an article instantly within the Reading List. The University pays for the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence which allows the library to make a digital copy of either 10% or one chapter/article, whichever is greater, of a book/journal. To learn more about digitisation click the tab above.

eBooks and eJournals have enhanced accessibility features to support students learning needs and many provide a greater level of access to material. You can also link to video content on platforms such as YouTube and Box of Broadcasts (BoB).

BoB is a particularly useful resource as it contains access to thousands of recordings that have been broadcast on UK televisions over the last twenty years. You can search the BoB catalogue to find existing videos or request material that isn't currently available.

Find out more about what BoB can offer you and your students and look at the curated playlists that BoB have assembled to learn more.

You can break your list into weekly reading, organise by theme or by importance level.

Are the items on your list up to date with the latest research? If you need an earlier edition of a text leave a 'library note' so the right content is purchased. If an item is out of print and unobtainable, should it be required reading? Remember lists should be tailored to the most useful items to support students learning rather than a bibliography of known sources.

if a review has recently been completed it will take some time for those resources to become available, but you can place a message at the top of your list to explain this.