Many lecturers issue students with a reading list containing references to books, journal articles and other useful materials to help with assignments. There’s lots of help available to ensure you find what is on your reading list and successfully complete your work.
Some reading lists can be very long. Check the Study Advice guide on managing academic reading for help on reading in a focused and selective way.
Online reading lists
To improve your learning experience, the University has invested in an online reading lists system. These lists are accessible online via Blackboard and the internet, giving you real-time availability of University Library print material and links to online resources such as e-books, e-journal articles, external webpages and embedded multimedia. You will also be able to access scanned extracts of key readings directly from your reading list.
For a quick guide on how to get the most out of your online reading list, watch our video.
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- If you want to find out more about using online reading lists take a look at our guide Online reading lists: a guide for students.
- For individual help with existing lists, contact your subject liaison librarian.
How to find the items on your reading list (paper or online): start with the catalogue!
Start with our advice on understanding your reading list. This guide explains how to identify the different kinds of references and successfully search for them on Enterprise, the Library’s catalogue.
- If you cannot find a book you might have mistyped your search – check the spelling of your search terms.
- There might be a mistake, or typing error on the reading list – try searching for a few key words from the title.
- If you have an online reading list, click on the title of the item to find real-time information about availability and where in the Library the item is located.
If you need further help searching Enterprise for a reading list item, ask at a Library information desk, or get in touch with your Liaison Librarian.
Getting hold of the books you need
When books are in high demand there are several ways you can ensure you get hold of the books you need by:
- Placing a hold on a book
- Booking an item in Course Collection
- Accessing e-books
Placing a hold on a book
If a book you want is out on loan to someone else you can place a hold on (reserve) the book using Enterprise. To find out more about how to place holds watch this video.
You can see your place in the queue, if there is one, and can cancel your hold by logging into your account on Enterprise.
You will receive an email when your hold is available. You can then collect your hold from the Holds area within the Course Collection on the ground floor of the Library. There are detailed instructions on the Library website.
Booking an item in Course Collection
You may borrow two Course Collection items at a time. All items taken from the Course Collection must be issued, even if you only want to read them elsewhere in the URS Building, including the study spaces directly outside the Collection. You can issue and return items at the Self-Service Points in the Collection. There are photocopying facilities within the Course Collection if you do not wish to borrow.
If a book you need is in the Course Collection, you can book it to ensure that you can use it at a time convenient to you. You can book up to two Course Collection items for the 10:00, 16:00, and weekend loan (16:00 on Friday) slots. Booked Course Collection items can be collected from the Ground Floor Information Desk in the URS Building.
More detailed instructions on how to book a Course Collection item are available on the Library website.
You don’t always have to borrow a print copy: accessing e-books
The Library provides access to many e-books and these can be found through Enterprise, in the same way as print books. You can filter your search results to only show e-books by selecting the ‘Online’ access and ‘Book’ format options from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.
To read the e-book click on “Click here for online access to this book” and then just log in with your University username and password.
For advice on using our different e-book formats, see our e-books guide.
What if something on my list isn’t in the Library?
The Library contacts all schools and departments to request reading lists before the start of each course. When lists are sent to us, we try to ensure we have all the items on the lists. A lecturer may recommend you buy your own copy of a book, or it may be readily available to you elsewhere, such as in a departmental resource centre.
Please tell your Liaison Librarian if an item on your list is not held in the Library and your list does not indicate it is available elsewhere.
If the item you need is in the Library, but there is high demand for it and you feel there are not enough copies, contact your Liaison Librarian, who can arrange for copies to be placed in the Course Collection. Your Liaison Librarian may also purchase extra copies, if appropriate, or an e-book version, if available.
Alternatively, consider going beyond your reading list by searching Enterprise for a particular topic or looking on the shelves for books with similar Call Numbers.
This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information
This tip was written by Kerry Webb, Associate Director (Academic Liaison and Support).