QMU Reading List Policy


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that at institutional level there is a coherent, integrated approach to the communication of required reading between academic staff and students and that the library is able to meet student expectations for adequate resource provision (in accordance with the Collections Management Policy). The reading list software in use at QMU is Talis Aspire, and called “Resource Lists”. This will ensure that the lists include information about not only books, but e-books, journals, scanned articles & chapters and other readings which students need for their module.


Benefits for students:

  • Ensure students have access to essential reading materials and are aware of further reading which may be required.
  • Provide clear, accurate and current reading lists so that searching for reading is a positive experience for students.
  • Ensure students develop sufficient information/digital literacy skills to benefit from provision of material on reading lists.
  • Raising student satisfaction with Library resources.

Benefits for staff:

  • Enabling academic staff to quickly and easily create online reading lists. Creating and maintaining your reading lists online will also save time by maintaining all reading lists within a single interface, linked from the Hub, and accessible to the Library.
  • Raising student satisfaction with Library resources.
  • Your Liaison Librarian can make sure that student expectations of Library resources are met.
  • Ensure the items your students need are in the Library in time (this can vary considerably, so please allow 8 working weeks for your list to be checked and for items to be ordered, to arrive and be processed).
  • Ensure there are enough items with the appropriate loan periods to meet the likely demand.
  • Ensure scanned extracts of readings you wish to provide are compliant with the Copyright Licensing Agency HE Licence.


The policy applies to reading lists at module level and clearly outlines where students are recommended to purchase titles and where the library will provide for essential, recommended and background reading.

  • Recommended for Purchase (this is an essential item which you will need to use extensively throughout the module); required where it is necessary for all students to have access to the entire text for a number of weeks. Academic staff recommend that students purchase these ‘set text’ titles, although a few copies will be availablein the Library.
  • Essential (you must read/view this): reading that is required of all students to broaden and deepen understanding of the subject. The Library will aim to meet the demand for essential reading by a combination of multiple print copies, different loan periods, digitisation, and electronic copies.
  • Recommended (you are advised to read/view this): reading that is desirable, as it expands understanding of the subject. It is expected that students will read at least some material from this category and the Library will purchase at least one copy of these titles.
  • Background (this will help you to broaden and deepen your understanding of this subject): in some disciplines, and at some levels of study, students may be expected to explore the subject in greater depth. The library may purchase single copies of these titles where appropriate.
Roles and responsibilities

Programme and module leaders should work in partnership with their Liaison Librarian to ensure that:

  • Resources required to support new modules are identified by an agreed deadline [see key timescales], so that they can be made available in a timely manner.
  • Reading lists are reviewed and updated annually within agreed deadlines.
  • Copyright regulations are adhered to.
  • Feedback from students on the usefulness of the recommended material is encouraged.
  • Information/Digital Literacy skills are developed at appropriate points within the programme/module.



Publication Deadline (for Library checking)

Semester 1

30th May preceding start of Semester 1

Semesters 1 and 2 (taught over both semesters)

30th May (as above)

Semester 2

30th October preceding start of Semester 2

To avoid student dissatisfaction, please aim to publish your reading lists by the advertised deadlines so the Library has enough time to review them and order any new or additional copies of materials. Items not in stock can take several weeks or even months to reach the shelves.

Scanned items

If a member of staff has taken ownership of their reading lists, any link to a scanned item in the Digital Content Store (DCS) will not be uploaded to the Hub – access will be via Resources List. However, if the list is still not ‘owned’ by the relevant member of academic staff, then it will be uploaded separately to the Hub in addition to appearing on Resources List.