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"Not enough books!"

30 November 2018

What does the library do to make sure we have what you need?

A photo of a tunnel lined with books.

Request system

The request system is designed to ensure the items in high demand keep circulating and get to the people who want them. Items that already have requests on them are only be issued for 7 days to make sure more people can access them.

High Demand reports

The Subject Librarians receive a report of all the physical books that have been requested by more than 2 library users. At this point they may buy additional copies or set a copy to reference only so it will not leave the library and can always be available to users.

Reference items

There is usually a reference copy of those books in the highest demand that are not available as e-books. Reference copies can’t leave the library so you can photocopy (5p per sheet) or scan a chapter to your email for free, or just read the book while you are in the library.

E-books                                                                                                                          A photo of a phone being held up with shelves of books displayed on the screen.

It is library policy to buy key reading list and high demand items as e-books when they are available from the publishers. E-books usually allow multiple people to access at the same time, however you may find that an e-book only allows one person access at a time. We try to avoid these types of e-books but sometimes they are the only option available.

Some e-books are not available to buy by institutions even though they are available for individual devices. If an item that is not available to buy as an e-book and is in high demand we will buy a few extra print copies and often set one as reference only.

Reading Lists

We check ALL the online reading lists and buy either print or e-book (and often both) of each book on the list to make sure we have them in the collection.  


We offer your lecturers a service were we attach copyright cleared scans of key readings to your module reading lists. These scans are accessible and work with screen readers.

Which book?

Sometimes we hear from your course reps that there are not enough books but we are not given details to follow up. If you are worried that the library doesn’t stock a book or doesn’t have enough copies of a key text please let us know the title of the book so we can investigate further.

Recommend a book and Interlibrary Loan

A photo of books suspended from the ceiling. If there is a book that you want to read but we don’t have in our collection you can recommend a book for purchase. This is a great service if you think other students will also benefit from having access to the book. If the book is very specific to your research needs only, then you can request an InterLibrary Loan and we will try and get the item from another library for you to borrow.

Topics: Library help Study tips