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Subject Librarians' Guide

A Guide to the processes and tasks undertaken by Subject Librarians

Agreed workflow May 2017

Updated Workflow for Module Resource Lists within the Academic Approval Process – Effective May 2017

The SN Librarian sign off on Module Resource Lists takes place after the approval / re-approval event
There is a standing condition at all approval / re-approval events that the Module Resource Lists be subject to the checking, agreement and sign off process detailed below,
1. As part of the run up to the Approval/Re-approval event, the module team create a proposed Module reading list. This can be either as a list or as a Reading List software URL (not yet visible to students). The list should contain no more than 3 Core items and up to 20 recommended titles, with clear bibliographic information.
2. It important that engagement with the SN Librarian begins as soon as possible in the process. Good practice would be that MLs contact their SN Librarian to discuss their proposed list.
3. Programme team provide CUR03s, including the proposed / indicative Resource Lists, which can still be at an initial, unchecked stage, to the Faculty Officer by the agreed deadline prior to the Approval/Re-approval event.
4. At this point, the Faculty Officer passes all CUR03s, including the Resource Lists, to the SN Librarian, for checking and consultation with the Module Leaders. Module Leaders must indicate to SN Librarian if an empty list is intentionally so, and give reasons for ‘no resources required’.
5. A standing condition of all approval / re-approval events will be that the SN Librarian confirms in writing that the availability and costs for each module reading list are acceptable. This has to be done within a fixed time period, to be agreed between the Faculty Officer and the Subject Network Librarian and confirmed by the approval panel.
6. The SN Librarian will complete the checking and sign off process (see attached), and ensure all signed off lists are on the Reading List software and links to existing resources are in place. SN Librarian ‘publishes’ the lists to make them visible to all and provides the Reading List software URL to Faculty Officer
7. The Faculty Officer will record that the Module has met the conditions and record the Reading List software URL  on the CUR03.
8. The SN Librarian will inform the Academic Partner Librarians that the approved lists are in place on Reading List software, and request purchase of any eBooks or other eResources not already in the UHI libraries. The SN Librarian will also provide the Module Leader with the URL for embedding in Brightspace.
9. The SN Librarian will provide a summary sheet of costs (at the time of sign off) to the Academic Partner Librarians. This document should indicate the cost of one copy of each Print title (regardless of stock level) and the cost of any eResources not already in stock.
10. SN Librarian to review the Reading List software after a further period (two months) to ensure that links to print and eResources purchased since the list was created are in now in place.
Future Developments
In order to encourage the use of existing resources, the prioritising of eResources on Resource Lists, and to save time in entering resource details, training will be given to enable module leaders to create their lists from scratch on Talis Aspire.

Resource Lists - Amending Core and Recommended Texts between Approvals

Reading List Core Text Changes between Approval Events

At the meeting of the Library Practitioners Group on Thursday 23 February 2017, the following working guidance/parameters were agreed
Timing of Changes
Module Leaders should advise Subject Network Librarians by 15th March of each year for changes to Core texts for modules being offered in Semester 1, and by 15th October each year for Semester 2 modules.

  • o This is to allow time for agreement to be reached with the Subject Network Librarians, books to be ordered for the print and digital libraries, catalogued and added to the library at relevant locations.
  • o It is also to ensure that students who have purchased their own copy of the Core Texts have not wasted their money on titles that are changed near to, or after, the start of the module.
  • o In the case of titles that are already available as eBooks through the university library catalogue, changes can be made at any time, as there should not be significant costs incurred by EO or Academic Partner Libraries. Consideration should be given to students who may have already purchased the Core Text being replaced.

Exceptions to March/October changes
There may be times when a change is requested outside of these timeframes. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but there should be a significant reason for the change, such as-

  • o New edition published incorporating significant changes, such as legislation, technological or political changes, significant finds, new discoveries in the field
  • o Changes in the structure or scope of the module (this will normally have gone through a MOD1 process).

Approval and Re-Approval
Changes can obviously be freely made, in consultation with the Subject Network Librarian, for any approval events happening out with these times.
Increase in costs
An increase in costs cannot always be avoided, however many Academic partner libraries have relatively small budgets, and all budgets are under pressure. Academic staff can increase the likelihood of changes in core texts being approved and made widely available to students, by selecting, where possible, titles available as eBooks for university libraries.
Failure to reach consensus
Subject Network Librarians should work together with Module Leaders to manage Module Resource Lists, ensuring that titles will be reasonably available to students through the libraries. In the event of the Subject Network Librarian and the Module Leader failing to reach agreement on changes in Core Texts, the matter will be escalated to the University Librarian. The University Librarian will work with the Module and Programme leaders to reach a solution.
Spreading the Message
These parameters will be disseminated to module leaders by the Subject Network Librarians through Subject Network Leaders, Faculty Officers, and through a LibGuide on the Library webpage. Module leaders will advise any tutors on the module of the need to go through this process to ensure Talis Aspire is kept accurate and up to date.

Reading List Recommended Reading Changes between Approval Events

Subject to agreement between the Subject Network Librarian and the Module Leader, Recommended texts can be changed at any time.