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Subject Guides

Reading Lists: a Practical Guide


Reading List Policy

The Library's Reading List Policy aims to improve access to materials on your reading lists for students, and to simplify processes for academic staff.

Reading list principles

The key factors which contribute to a positive student experience are:

  • Reading list quality and consistency
  • Student understanding of what is required of them
  • Readings available when students need them
  • Readings accessible to all students on a module

Reading lists are most helpful to students if they are:

  • Realistic: so that students can access everything on their list there must be sufficient copies of items and appropriate loan periods, and resources should be available in digital form wherever possible 
  • Accurate: so that students can find the correct resource, including correct editions
  • Prioritised: so that students understand what they are expected to read and the Library understands what it needs to provide
  • Clear: so that students understand which resources are relevant to which parts of the module
  • Up-to-date: so that students are working with your latest information
  • Timely: so that the Library has time to acquire and make available the required resources

Read the Policy in full below.

Additionally, we have created some Reading List Guidelines, included below, which provide more information on the rationale and practical implementation of the Policy.

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I can't sign up for one of the workshops but I still want help with using the new system.

Contact to request 1-2-1 training.


How do I arrange a departmental-specific workshop?

Your Academic Liaison Librarian can arrange department specific training if required.


Why should I use online reading lists?

Reading Lists is an interactive, student facing reading list system that allows academics to build lists for students and manage, edit and update them in one place. Reading Lists works in Yorkshare module pages, presenting relevant module materials directly in Yorkshare and allowing students to click straight through to the YorSearch record, journal article or e-book. Reading Lists enables the Library to quickly and easily check lists and make sure that items are available for students.


I have a student taking one of my modules who has either a print impairment or another condition that impacts on their reading. How do I ensure they have accessible versions of required course reading?

Students with a print impairment often require their reading to be digitised so that their screen reading software can read the texts. Module convenors who have students with a print impairment taking their module are required to use the tag 'Accessible format request' to items that need to be scanned for a print impaired student.

Add tags to item > Accessible format request

Please note that the amount of reading can vary by student with some not able to read more than 3 items per module per week. Check with the student if in any doubt and only tag those items that are required for the student. If you have any questions about this please email


What options are there in Reading Lists to adjust the font and contrast settings?

You can view accessibility options in Reading Lists by clicking on your name in the top-right corner, then Accessibility Menu. From here you can adjust the font size and site contrast to improve list visibility. Students can also adjust these settings when logged in.

User Menu > Accessibility Menu


I have multiple lists associated with my module. How can I consolidate these into one list? In what order will my students see the lists?

There is guidance on managing multiple lists on the Managing Lists tab.


What has happened to older lists?

Whilst modules that were running this academic year with published reading lists rollover automatically, we have access to the last 5 years of lists so, if you need to resurrect something, please contact us using the email address.