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Subject Guides

Reading Lists: a Practical Guide

Key Texts

About Key Texts

There are Key Texts collections at both the Morrell and King's Manor libraries. Their purpose is to provide short loan and bookable access to items which are in high demand for a specific time period.

  • Books, DVDs and CDs can be moved to Key Texts. Journals and reference material will not generally be moved into the collections. 
  • If there is an ebook available, a print copy will not be moved into Key Texts unless there are exceptional reasons for doing so.
  • Only one copy of a title will be kept in Key Texts, unless high levels of usage require additional copies to be moved into the collection. 
  • Key Texts items can be booked for specific time periods and renewed by returning and re-issuing them in the Library. 
  • Items are moved into Key Texts when tagged in reading lists and are withdrawn on an annual basis (during the Summer vacation) if they are no longer in use.

How to tag items for Key Texts

If you want to move an item into the Key Texts collection you will need to assign it a Key Texts tag.

Click Add tags to item (or the pencil icon) and choose either Morrell Key Texts or King's Manor Key Texts and click Save.


The Library will ensure that we have enough print copies or ebook licenses available based on the module student numbers. Additional copies or licenses will be ordered if necessary based on standard purchasing criteria for each department. 

Requested items are usually transferred into the Key Texts collections each weekend. 

Note that these tags will not be visible to students, so it's very important that you tag items as Essential, Recommended or Background as well because this will help students prioritise their reading. 

Other ways of providing access to high demand reading

There are other ways that we can provide access to high demand reading:

  • Monitor the number of students on modules: We purchase e-copies or extra copies (where possible) depending on the number of students on the module using a particular Reading List (this ratio varies by department).
  • Fast-track purchase: We have processes in place to enable fast-track purchase of items in high demand.
  • Monitor queues of requests and bookings: We fast-track purchase e-copies or extra copies (when available) for items with a queue of requests or bookings.
  • Monitor ebook turnaways: A turnaway occurs when the limit of users has been reached. We monitor this and fast-track purchase extra ebooks from another source when a turn-away happens more than once (some publishers restrict the number of simultaneous users for ebooks).

Your Academic Liaison Librarian can provide advice on the most effective actions to ensure students can access resources that are in high demand.