Agony Aunt: reading material availability

March 9, 2001

Q : Students complain that the library is too busy and they can't afford to buy books. How can I help?

A : The most useful thing you can do is to let your library have copies of your reading lists well ahead of your students. The library staff can then order multiple copies if needed. Most academic libraries will have a short-loan collection to which these can be added.

Most libraries will also add photocopies of journal articles to the short-loan collection for students to borrow or read in the library. Some libraries are creating electronic short-loan collections that enable students to read or print an article anywhere on campus.

You could create a course pack. This will help relieve the pressure on the library and may well be very popular with your students, depending on how much of the cost you pass on to them.

Encourage your students to read widely around the topic rather than concentrating on a few core texts. And, finally, encourage them not to leave their information-gathering to the day before an essay deadline.

Philippa Dolphin, Librarian, Birkbeck College University of London.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns