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Policies and documents

Information Resources Management and Access Policy

Library and Learning Services provides access to collections of information resources relevant to learning, teaching and research in the University.

Our aim is to manage the collections dynamically in response to user need and requirements. Policy for managing the collections is aligned to the University’s 2026 Strategy.

This document clarifies the policy underpinning the management of library collections for the benefit of University staff, students and other users of the collections.

1. Selection and Acquisition

1.1 Selection

The selection of material is undertaken in partnership with the Schools. Each subject within the Schools has a designated Academic Liaison Librarian who ensures that the collection is relevant to the current and anticipated teaching and research needs of their programmes. Each subject area must ensure that they supply their Academic Liaison Librarian with full and accurate information regarding their requirements.

Purchase suggestions are welcome from all members of the University. However, constraints on budget and format may require further discussion between the School and Academic Liaison Librarian before purchases can be made.

Where new programmes of study are being considered or existing programmes of study are being revalidated, early consultation with the relevant Academic Liaison Librarian is strongly recommended.

The library operates a digital-first selection and acquisition policy. Digital formats will be purchased wherever possible. When choosing a format, Library and Learning Services will consider issues of accessibility, licence models, quality, perpetual access, cost and suitability.

1.2 Acquisition

Library and Learning Services purchases material in the most appropriate and cost-effective way to support teaching, learning and research: 

Material to support taught courses

Library and Learning Services purchases material to support taught courses according to principles set out in our Reading Resources Strategy. Further details of this strategy are available on our Reading lists page.

Library and Learning Services policy prioritises the purchase of digital formats. Where possible, digital content will be purchased in a format that allows concurrent user access; the purchase of single user licence items will be considered where no other suitable electronic alternative is available, but the constraints of such licences should be recognised when planning modules. Single user licence items should not be selected for Essential Reading.

In order for material to be supplied in a timely manner, Academic staff should provide Library and Learning Services with updated reading lists (preferably on “Your Reading Lists”) well in advance of the start of a module and no later than 8 weeks prior to the start of teaching.

When planning a new programme or module, Academic Liaison Librarians should be consulted as early as possible. Reading lists for programme or module validation should be submitted via Your Reading Lists. Academic staff should contact their Academic Liaison to ensure that they have access to Your Reading Lists and editing rights for their lists.

Journals

Library and Learning Services policy is to acquire digital access to journals. Many electronic journals are purchased as part of bundles or packages as these generally represent the best value for money. Journal usage is monitored, and subscriptions are reviewed on a regular basis.

As journal use is monitored on an annual basis, it is best practice to link to articles using permalinks. This ensures that all use of a given journal is captured. Academic staff should contact their Academic Liaison Librarian for more details on linking to journals and journal articles.

Journal subscriptions generally run from January to December each year. Therefore, any decisions to acquire or cancel titles need to be taken well in advance. When planning a new programme or module, academic colleagues should consider the length of time required before a subscription can commence and the timing of the University’s business planning cycle. They should discuss any subscription requirements with their Academic Liaison Librarian. Full details of access to all current journal titles are available on Journals A-Z.

Research Material

Where possible, Library and Learning Services will purchase material to complement existing collections. However, where material is not held in existing collections, the Interlibrary Loans service is the preferred source for material that is required for individual or specialised research. 

Library and Learning Services will collect and preserve the University’s research outputs by maintaining RaY, the institutional open-access repository.

Interlibrary Loan service

The Interlibrary Loan service is an integral part of the services provided by Library and Learning Services. The service supplements and enhances the University’s library collection provision by borrowing material from other libraries or obtaining copies of journal articles.

Library and Learning Services provides unlimited and free, at point of request, Interlibrary Loans to University members. However, there is a limit of 20 active ILLs on a user’s library account at any one time. 

Donations

Library and Learning Services has benefited from donations of individual items and collections in the past. However, it is not possible to accept all print donations to the Library. It is not possible for the Library to accept unsolicited donations. Any donations which are not relevant to our collections will be disposed of. 

Potential donors are asked to supply lists of items to Library and Learning Services. If donations are accepted, the Library reserves the right to determine location and other considerations related to use or disposal. Donations which do not meet the principles of the Information Resource and Management Policy will not be accepted. Library and Learning Services will not accept items and/or collections on a loan basis.

2. Information Resource Management

Course materials

Under the Reading Resources Strategy, Library and Learning Services will purchase digital access to, where available, all items considered to be Essential Reading. If appropriate digital formats are not available or where costs would be prohibitive, print formats will be purchased. The numbers of copies of print formats purchased will be considered in the context of each module.  One copy of each item considered to be Further Reading will be purchased where budget constraints permit.  Any items which are categorised as a Set Text will not be purchased by Library and Learning Services and students should be asked to purchase copies.

Scans of chapters or articles can be requested for high demand Essential Reading items, where no digital format is available to purchase.  All scanning requests must comply with current copyright legislation.  Further details are available on our Digital scanning page.

Usage and availability of stock will be maximised through use of the reservations system and multicopy purchase (including electronic books).

Stock editing

Stock editing is an essential part of Library and Learning Services’ Information Resource Management and Access Policy.  Stock is reviewed on a regular and ongoing basis to ensure that space in the Fountains Learning Centre is managed effectively.  The removal of underused, out of date and superseded items from the shelves provides space for new and relevant material.

Preservation

Library and Learning Services will ensure that print items added to the collections are protected.  Materials will be secured using RFID and paperback items will be protected with reinforced covers.  Damaged items may be repaired or replaced depending on cost-effectiveness and user need.

Theses and dissertations

Theses submitted under York St John University regulations should be submitted to the Research Degree Submission Moodle site in electronic format as a PDF document in accordance with the requirements set out for submissions and examinations.

Library and Learning Services will upload eTheses to the institutional repository (RaY) following approval by the Board of Examiners.

Dissertations completed as part of undergraduate or taught masters are not held by Library and Learning Services.

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