Implementing a reading list strategy at The University of Manchester – determination, collaboration and innovation

Olivia Walsby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reading lists are a fundamental part of any programme and it is essential that libraries and academic colleagues work in partnership to ensure that universities are able to provide students with ready access to key information resources. It is generally recognized that today’s students have higher expectations than in the past, in part as a result of paying fees. At The University of Manchester 91% of 1,446 students consulted as part of an independent library survey responded that they believed the Library should guarantee them access to all the books on their reading lists. Whilst the Library at The University of Manchester tends to score very well each year in the National Student Survey, analysis of the open comments have shown that a high percentage of negative remarks about the Library have related to the lack of available core and essential texts

A three-year collaborative Library-wide project (Books Right Here Right Now), involving extensive research and consultation with academic colleagues and students, resulted in The University of Manchester Library reading list strategy. The strategy seeks to ensure that Library provision of reading list material is more effective and consistent. The successful implementation of a new service to deliver on this strategy has required determination, some lateral thinking and a truly collaborative approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalInsights: the UKSG Journal (Online)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2020


  • Reading lists
  • e-textbooks
  • reading list software
  • purchasing policy
  • reading list strategy
  • Collaboration
  • innovation


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