What are reading strategies?
It is essential that the library takes a strategic approach to collection management and development, by working closely with the academics to ensure the best value for money and so meet the needs of students, also taking into account work based and collaborative learning.
Investment over the last few years has grown our portfolio of digital resources. As the institution has grown, alongside budgetary constraints, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet core reading requirements by means of print materials alone. We therefore need to take advantage of the digital resources we have.
The concept of Reading Strategies started at the University of the West of England whose library service faced similar challenges to GCU. Their initial pilot with the School of Health was extremely positive and was then rolled out to the remaining Schools. Reading Strategies were then successfully implemented at the universities of Coventry and Worcester.
The aim of Reading Strategies is to:
‘Improve the visibility and ease of access to core reading resources, particularly e-resources. This will include encouraging a move from print to digital as the preferred means of providing access to core reading.
These aims need to be pursued in tandem with an ongoing commitment to improving and supporting the Information Literacy levels of students, so that they have the skills to locate, retrieve and manage appropriate information. The outcome should be to improve student access to resources, help them succeed in their studies and research, and increase their satisfaction with the library service.’
In practice this requires a standardisation of all reading lists with the three categories outlined below and all module specifications amended to include a resource framework section, which outlines not only what they are expected to read but how they are to access it.
Key to the success of Reading Strategies will be the Academic Liaison Librarians (ALLs) who will work closely with course leaders to help them find alternate e sources for current reading lists. Where no e alternative can be found, if appropriate, the library would scan chapters of books that would be stored in the Learning and Teaching repository and linked to from Blackboard.
Advantages of reading strategies are:
 Boden, D., Keene, J. & Hannaford, A. Enhancing student access to library reading resources. University of Worcester. 2009.