Reading Lists @ Glasgow

Reading Lists @ Glasgow is the University’s online reading list system.

It is an innovative way to ensure teaching resources required are accessible and available for your students. The system provides easy access to electronic resources, including digitised readings, as well as information, live availability and location of physical stock in the Library. It is accessible 24/7 online and on mobile devices. It also ensures that adequate copies are purchased for your course and assists in allocating material to the High Demand Collection. Lists, once published, can be viewed by all via the Web, or you have the option to make your list accessible only to University staff and students. Reading lists can be added as a resource within Moodle and detailed information is available about the use of material on your lists. 

Reading Lists 2020-21 and COVID-19 Support

During the COVID-19 pandemic Library Services have been working with academic staff to provide additional online resources to enhance existing online provision of e-books and other online resources to support teaching. This has involved purchasing e-content where available and negotiating temporary access to key e-textbooks not normally available via a library model. Additionally, publishers have provided free temporary access to collections of electronic material to support teaching and research.

A paper had already been prepared and presented to University Library Committee last session that recommended moving to an electronic preference model for teaching material (partly in support of the University’s Accessible and Inclusive Learning policy). Recent events have made this recommendation even more pertinent.

Looking forward to Semester 1, Library Services is here to help in the planning process for resources which need to be available online for students.

Reading Lists @ Glasgow

Currently it’s unknown if the Library will have physically reopened by start of semester 1 and if it has, it may function in a very different way. Preparing for the possible scenario whereby teaching is online-only and resources need to be available online for students, the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service will continue to support making course materials available in these changing circumstances. This will include digitising book chapters for items not held electronically. For those with online reading lists via Reading Lists @ Glasgow, lists can be filtered by Online Resources or Physical Resources to help review lists for online teaching.

Identifying existing suitable electronic content (material already available from the Library)

The Library provides access to a wealth of electronic resources via Library Search. We would recommend consulting with your College Librarian on the existing availability of online resources in your subject area to support teaching.

Purchasing essential electronic content not owned by the Library

The Library will endeavour to purchase required material to support taught courses. Providing e-only content can present many challenges, including difficulty sourcing older content in electronic format and issues around affordable electronic textbook availability. We recommend using the Reading Lists @Glasgow service and working with your College Librarian over the coming weeks to identify required key texts in an electronic format. This will allow time for Library teams to investigate electronic access and provide support for alternative texts, if required. The Library is actively looking at large subscriptions of e-book content which will support further and background reading.

Course Materials Policy for 2020-21

Course Materials Policy for the 2020-21 Academic Session

Preparing for the possible scenario whereby teaching is online-only or blended, and resources need to be available online for students, the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service will continue to support making course materials available in these changing circumstances.

The Library will support academics and students to ensure they have access to materials to support teaching in the 2020-21 academic session.

This policy will be reviewed throughout the academic year to reflect any changes in University policies.

The aspects that have guided this policy change are:

  • Preparing for the scenario that students may not always be on campus and will therefore require online access to their essential/core course materials.
  • Existing physical library stock may not be accessible for part or all of 2020-21. It is unknown if the Library will be able to purchase physical books.
  • The Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy recommends course materials are available online, wherever possible.
  • The economics of moving to online from the previous print preference policy (see the Course Materials Budget and Collection Policy – Review - May 2019), including the additional costs of purchasing e-books.
  • Supporting academics in identifying and providing access to online course materials.

Essential/core texts

Collaborative working between Academics, College Librarians and the Reading Lists @ Glasgow service will be important in obtaining essential/core teaching materials for the 2020-21 academic year. The following is recommended:

  • Academics should review reading lists to identify essential/core texts for course use.
  • Academics should investigate 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.
  • 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.
  • No print books would be purchased in the 2020-21 academic year for course materials.

Further/Background/Additional reading

The current policy is to purchase a print copy where possible for every book marked as Recommended or Further on reading lists, which accounts for about 20% of the Course Materials spend each year (40% of this material is not borrowed). The economics of the current situation would require that the budget is used to support the move of essential reading to online. It is recommended further reading is not purchased but use is made of the approximately one million e-books and other extensive existing online content to which the Library has access.

To further support further and background reading, the Library has secured a subscription to an additional large collection of academic e-books (approximately 175k titles). The use of this collection will be monitored for usage and relevance.

How do I use it?

If you would like to create your own lists, please email to be set up with access to the system.

Guidance on getting started and using the software is available from our Moodle site or from the guides:

The Library is also offering a list creation service where reading lists can be added to Reading Lists @ Glasgow on your behalf. As it can take around four weeks to complete to complete both the list creation and review process, please submit your list as early as possible. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please send any reading lists to Please provide:

  1. Course title
  2. Course code (if known)
  3. Anticipated number of students, an estimate is fine
  4. Time period (semester 1/semester 2/semester year)

Clearly mark any essential books that are required to be added to the High Demand Collection. We will assume 24-hour loan unless you request a 4-hour loan.
Please highlight any book chapters or articles that you would like digitised.

For support, including help with list creation, contact

How can I make sure books are in the High Demand Collection?

In 2020-21 it is expected that most teaching will be online, utilising online course materials, and that access to the High Demand Collections will be minimal due to on-going safety issues. See Reading Lists 2020-21 and COVID-19 Support.

The Reading Lists @ Glasgow, service also ensures that adequate copies of items are purchased for your course and assists in allocating material to the High Demand Collection. We will automatically move copies of any book titles which you have designated as Essential Reading or Suggested for Student Purchase to the High Demand Collection as a 24 hour loan (unless a 4 hour loan has been requested in the Notes to Library section). Depending on the number of copies in stock and the number of students taking the course, extra copies may be purchased. Items not in stock will be purchased if in print. We also run regular reports on the Library system to find in demand titles not yet identified via ReadingLists@Glasgow.  We will then move copies to the High Demand Collection and consider the purchase of additional copies, as appropriate.

How do I request digitised copies of book chapters and articles?

The service is also the means by which the Library organises the digitisation of in-copyright book chapters and articles for course use. The Library provides this service under the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency’s Higher Education Licence. This licence covers all scanning of extracts for course material done by the University. Simply add information about any chapter/article you wish digitised to the note for Library field in your reading list.

More on digitisation of course materials is available via our Moodle site.