At the end of November, we invited librarians from a range of institutions and representatives of leading academic publishers to the latest in our series of roundtable sessions – this time taking in the fitting surroundings of the Old Library in Birmingham.
The first set of discussions focused on the topic of reading lists, allowing attendees to address all aspects of the process – ranging from how to best manage titles on multiple reading lists to the role of ebooks in disseminating core readings – with a surprisingly spirited interchange on the best strategies for getting reading list information from academics in the first place! Key questions that arose from discussions included:
- How do libraries use print and ebooks to best deliver material on course reading lists?
- What information can suppliers and publishers provide librarians to help them with acquisitions decisions?
- Some libraries are seeing low usage of ebooks that are classed as core titles on courses – what strategies can be used to promote student usage of these materials?
- Can terminology surrounding different categories of materials on reading lists be standardised – to prevent confusion?
In the second half of the event, delegates were asked to give a preference for the topics they would like to address – and their choices were used to guide the ensuing discussions, with attendees grouped by their shared interests. One key focus was accessibility, where library delegates emphasised the importance of equitable access to core texts for all students; there was discussion of potential areas of improvement for publishers and suppliers, as well as news of Dawson’s recent decision to set up an ebook accessibility working group with a key publisher partner. Keeping the topic on ebooks, access models were also a focus for discussion – institutions shared their preferences for acquiring online resources, which we found were not the same for each institution!
To read detailed discussion notes from the roundtable session, please click here.