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Ordering books and journals

Our Library Collection and Access Development Plan 2015-2018 (PDF) outlines the plan for developing our collection in line with BU strategy.

Requesting books and journals

For books, journals or other resources, a request should be made to your Faculty Librarian by email, or by bookmarking the item on the library's reading list system. You can also request new books via the book suggestion form.

It is also helpful to know the:

  • Programme / course and unit the item is for
  • Level or year
  • Number of students
  • Number of copies
  • Whether there is a key chapter that could be scanned for an online reading list (so that the entire group can access it easily).

If you have not done so already, the Library will check for the availability of your item and your Faculty Librarian may clarify the request before placing an order. Books are normally available to students within four to six weeks of an order being placed by the Faculty Librarian.

Journals are normally reviewed on an annual basis and new requests are often subject to discussion by academic groups to establish the annual funding required. Please provide suggestions for new titles to your Faculty Librarian as far in advance as possible.


Each Faculty allocates a budget to the Library on an annual cycle. The Faculty Librarian manages the Faculty library budget and makes the decision in consultation with academic staff about which resources to buy.

Availability and access

Wherever possible we purchase access to electronic resources. The advantages are:

  • 24/ 7 access
  • Access from off-campus
  • More than one student can use a resource simultaneously where available.

For books, there are a number of e-book title lists that you may wish to check the availability of before submitting a request for paper copies.

Where print remains the only alternative the Library will, resource permitting, purchase multiple copies. This would normally mean multiple copies of key texts with no electronic alternative in a ratio of between one book for every 10 to 15 students.

The Library has a number of mechanisms to maximize availability, such as shorter loan periods or providing reference only copies of very popular books.

Your Faculty Librarian will discuss the options with you when you recommend books for purchase.

We also operate an digitisation service. If the key chapter of published texts can be identified, Library staff will scan this under the auspices of the CLA scanning licence. The chapter can then be made available to students in your unit via the reading list.

Supporting research

As a researcher you have unique insights into the literature of your research topic.

We welcome suggestions for resources that will enhance our collections in your research area.

Before you direct students to specific resources please ensure they are available to students in the Library or ask your Faculty Librarian to consider buying them

Some aspects of your research process, for example the methodology will have a wider relevance for research colleagues. Recommendations for texts and resources in the area of methodology and research practice can be sent to Emma Crowley.

Your Faculty Librarian can also advise on how best to access resources held in other major collections.

New units and new programmes

The development of new units and programmes will normally include a discussion about the resources that will be required to support your programme. However, once these procedures are complete it is helpful for those who are delivering units for the first time to discuss resource availability as soon as possible with your Faculty Librarian.

Information about new resources

Your Faculty Librarian will work closely with you to ensure that collections are up to date. This may include:

  • Changes requested because of revised and updated reading lists
  • Information from publishers, which may come direct to you if you register an interest with a publisher or be sent to you to consider by your Faculty Librarian
  • Trials of new resources arranged by the Library to gain feedback on eventual purchase
  • Information from scholarly activity, books reviews, from subject organisations, mailing lists etc.

Your Faculty Librarian will also regularly ask you about withdrawing items from stock, in particular older texts and items that are no longer relevant to the current curricula of the University.