University of Birmingham Policy on Resource Lists

ResourceLists@Bham is an important service to enhance the student experience. Integrating directly into Canvas, the system provides seamless and consistent access to all types of learning resources, including books, journal articles, multimedia and digitalised content. To deliver the best experience to our students, Library Services and academic staff need to work in partnership from the outset of planning new modules. The aim of this policy is to provide a clear and consistent framework to enable this collaborative partnership by articulating the roles and responsibilities of Library Services and academics/list creators. 

ResourceLists@Bham Principles 

In order to ensure that the student experience is an effective and constructive one, the key principles to be followed are that:

  • Resource lists are consistent, accurate and clear.
  • Students understand what is required of them.
  • Resources are available at the point of need. 
  • Resources are accessible to all, including through 24/7 access to resources, where possible. 
  • Resource lists provide access to a wide range of material in different formats.
  • Resource list adoption ensures the University is compliant with relevant copyright legislation. 

In order to achieve these principles, resource lists should be:

  • Realistic: so that students have sufficient access to resources in either physical or digital format, and can achieve required reading within expected time frames. 
  • Accurate: so that students can find the correct resource, including correct editions.
  • Prioritised: so that students understand what is expected of them and Library Services understands what it needs to provide.
  • Clear: so that students understand how resources are relevant to each part of the module. 
  • Up-to-date: so that students are working with the latest information/ research in their discipline.
  • Timely: to ensure Library Services have time to acquire and make resources available.

ResourceLists@Bham Policy responsibilities 

i. All Schools/Departments adopt the Resource List Policy

The policy will be a compulsory requirement by September 2020 for Undergraduate and Post Graduate Taught courses with reading lists. In the interim, Library Services and academics/list creators will work collaboratively on the phased approach to achieve full adoption by the target date. If there are compelling academic reasons which make this impossible, the department should discuss the issues and alternatives with their Library Services Academic Engagement Team representative. 

ii. ResourceLists@Bham should be the single source for all resource lists.

All resource lists should be managed using the Library Services' reading list software (ResourceLists@Bham), which links to the University's VLE (Canvas) and provides the framework for achieving the Resource List Principles.

iii. A central budget is available for resource list materials.

A ring-fenced, central budget has been established within the Information Resource Fund (IRF) for acquiring materials on resource lists. Library Services will utilise the IRF to provide access to all resource list material in the most effective manner. Any journal titles added to resource lists, which are not currently held by Library Services, will be purchased in line with the Library Services Collection Management and Development Policy. 

iv. Content of resource lists should be appropriate and realistic.

To ensure that appropriate resources are available for students, the content of resources lists should take into account the mode of attendance of students, method of delivery, the anticipated use of resources, and any expectation of students being required to purchase material.

v. Resource lists are produced with accessibility in mind. 

Where possible, resource lists should not be overly long. However Library Services recognises that long lists may be appropriate in some disciplines. Expectations should be realistic about how much students are able to read and what Library Services can supply. Importantly, resource lists should be structured in such a way as to allow students to discern the relative importance of items on a list. If there is a requirement for alternative accessible formats through RAPs, these will be referred to the Library's Digitisation Service.

Clear structuring of Resource lists will also provide Library Services with information to:

  • Prioritise acquisition decisions
  • Prioritise the acquisition of alternative formats in accordance with our duty to anticipate need. 

vi. Module leads are responsible for resource lists and their maintenance.

Module leads are responsible for regularly maintaining their lists, or delegating and monitoring the work. To support full adoption during the first year of implementing this policy, Library Services will add brand-new resource lists on behalf of academics. Academics are also responsible for ensuring resource lists are integrated into Canvas (or other appropriate University system) in order to ensure maximum visibility at the point of need and that their students are made aware of the list relevant to their studies. 

vii. Resource lists are updated by the published deadlines

Resource lists may be updated at any time. However, if resources are required for the start of term, lists should be updated by stated deadlines to give Library Services sufficient time to arrange digitalisation, purchase and make resources available. Library Services will send out deadline reminders to all departments  in good time aligned with acquisition timescales and the shape of the academic teaching year. 

viii. Engagement with ResourceLists@Bham will be monitored and evaluated. 

Usage of ResourceLists@bham will be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Library Services will provide bi-annual reports to Colleges, which will include:

  • An assessment of academic uptake and engagement with ResourceList@Bham.
  • The availability of resources. 
  • Overall student usage and feedback.

These reports will be circulated to Directors of Education and Heads of School for cascade and action is required. An annual report will also be submitted to the University's Education Committee. 

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Policy review

This policy will be formally reviewed by Library Services on a three-year cycle, the next being summer 2021.

Additional information and guidance can be on our ResourceLists@Bham pages. 


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