Course Materials Policy

The following policy was agreed at May 2022 Library Committee.

The Library will continue to support academics and students to ensure they have access to materials to support teaching.

The Library has committed to an e-preference model for teaching resources, i.e. purchasing only essential materials in electronic format where available, with a suitable model and format and financially achievable. This decision has been taken to support online and blended learning and the Institution’s Accessible & Inclusive Learning Policy.

Where essential texts are either not available in electronic format, or not suitable for purchase the Library will purchase print copies for the High Demand Collection.

Essential/core texts

Collaborative working between Academics, College Librarians and the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service will continue to be important in obtaining essential/core teaching materials. The following is recommended:

  • Academics should review reading lists to identify essential/core texts for course use.
  • Academics should investigate suitable existing electronic content in collaboration with College Librarians.
  • The Reading Lists @ Glasgow service will then look to obtain in electronic formats any essential texts not already available. This will apply to texts marked as Essential and Suggested for Student Purchase.
  • The procurement of course materials will include the purchase of e-book collections, individual e-books and the digitisation of chapters under the Copyright Licencing Agency’s digitisation licence when an e-book cannot be obtained.
  • Print will be purchased for the High Demand Collection, where no suitable electronic version is available.

Open Book Exams

Academics should advise the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service in advance when an e-book is required for an open book examination. Not all electronic books have unlimited access and further models may need to be investigated to support use in open book exams.

Further Reading

Due to the increase in budget to support blended and online learning, there are not enough resources to purchase further reading (Further/Background/Recommended) via the Library’s Course Materials budget. Academics are encouraged to utilise the Library’s existing collection of 1.4 million e-books and extensive print collection, supported by the continued investment in the multi-disciplinary eBook collection Academic Complete which now includes over 200k e-books for academic use.


Reading lists and decisions on core texts need to be communicated to the Library as early as possible for sufficient time to process all requests. Some textbook requests can take several weeks due to complex negotiations on price and obtaining files. Additionally, to support the aims of the Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy in ensuring course materials are made available to students with disabilities, reading lists should be communicated to the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service by the end of July for Semester 1 and the end of November for Semester 2. Lists received after the deadline will be processed as soon as possible but access to course materials cannot be guaranteed for the course start date.


Please inform the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service via if there are students with disabilities studying on a course so we can provide any support required for access to reading lists and online resources. Please supply the list and/or information about essential resources as soon as possible as providing accessible material for students may require some time.

The reading lists software is supplied by Talis Education Ltd. Please see their web accessibility statement. Please report any accessibility issues for online resources to