Category Archives: Student-Led Resourcing

E-books put to the test


ebookThe Library has been working with your Library Champions to assess our e-book provision.  We buy books from a range of different suppliers and regularly check in with students to find out:

  • which suppliers your prefer
  • which features you like or would like to see in the future,
  • to identify services where improvements need to be made
  • which features and services meet students current ways of working.

Your Library Champions recently attended some E-Book Focus groups where all the various suppliers were put to the test and where they also had the chance to feed in their view on e-books in general.  They provided some really insightful feedback and we are using that to guide our purchasing strategies.  So, for example,  where there is a choice of supplier we will opt for those that have been identified as the preferred option by students.

We tested two main categories of e-books:

1. E-book collections which come direct from the publishers.  These are usually DRM-free (Digital Rights Management -free) meaning the publisher does not impose any copyright limits and you can print/save/copy as much as you like.  Not every publisher offers this, and some will only offer packages of books rather than allowing you to select individual titles.  We have a range of materials available in this form, including large packages from CUP, Cambridge Books Online, and  OUP, Oxford Scholarship online,

2. E-books available via hosting services. These hosting services provide books across a wide range of publishers, many of whom do not offer their e-books in any other way.  Theses books are usually subject to some form of DRM (Digital Rights Management), which is a way of limiting printing and download to set limits agreed with the publisher.  So for example, you may be able to download a chapter or a set no. of pages only, not the whole book.   Our VLE and DawsonEra platforms emerged as preferred hosting services, based on the feedback from our Library Champions – do let us know if you agree or if you have other favoured services.

If you have feedback you would like to pass on to us about e-books in general or particular suppliers, just get in touch with the Library LiaisonTeam via  The more input you provide, the better we can frame our e-book purchasing to meet your needs, and the more feedback we can provide to our suppliers to address those areas where you’d like to see improvements.

Here are some of the key messages from the Focus Groups and we’ll be working on these with our suppliers.  If you have anything else to feed in, please do get in touch.

  • DRM free books are appreciated as the print/download limits can sometimes be frustrating.
  • You like e-books to appear on screen in a similar form to the printed item.
  • The citation features are really helpful – you can pull off the citation in the correct forms for your bibliographies and referencing.  Although it was interesting to note that some of you weren’t happy to trust that function and would always check you have the right format for your referencing!
  • You would appreciate help pages on e-books advising on DRM issues and different features such as notes, citations, export options etc.
  • You like a combination of print and e-books for core items, especially when items are not DRM free
  • The ability to use the search function to pinpoint quotes or subjects within e-books are a great timesaver
  • You like clear uncluttered interfaces rather than ‘overly flashy’ interfaces that just get in the way of the content you need to access
  • You would like simple feedback / report error options from within the e-book platform or library catalogue in order to quickly flag problems that you might encounter

And, lets end with some e-book stats which show how much some of our ebooks are being used currently.  You may be interested to know that

Library IWOOT scheme


  • Need an item for your module, but it’s not in the library?
  • Want extra copies of an item that’s already in the library?
  • Think an e-book version of a book would help students read for your module?

Why not request the item by completing this online form and we will review it in the Library for purchase.

This scheme is designed to support book suggestions for students on taught courses. Members of staff and PGR students should submit suggestions through their department in the usual way.

Once we have received your form in the Library we will review it and let you know whether your request has been successful.

Book donations

We regret that the Library is no longer able to accept donations of textbooks from students.

If you would like your books to go to a good home these options are worth considering:

• Submit a book to the online second-hand book shop run by The Guild

• Donate your books to the charity Book Cycle located near Exe Bridges at 7 West Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1BB. Contact by   or telephone 01392 420 021

• Donate the books to the Hospiscare Book Shop located at 84 South Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1EQ


Growing our Digital Collections

All E- Resources poster

In 2015 we have introduced a range of new digital materials as we continue to grow our digital collections.

New content is available across all disciplines and all content is available 24/7, worldwide.

New resources encompass ebooks, e-journals, online reference works and databases, news content, audiovisual materials, geographical datasets.

Our new resources include:
• – online version of the Financial Times newspaper and databases
• Loeb Classical Library (520+ full text volumes of Latin & Greek Literature)
• Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection (538 journals)
• Marine digimap online marine maps and datasets
• Henry Stewart Talks (850+ talks) (850+ audiovisual management and marketing lectures)
• Digital Theatre Plus (160 videos – filmed performances, documentaries and interviews)
• Oxford Handbooks Online (Archaeology 19 handbooks) (Law 12 handbooks)
• American Psychological Association ebooks collections, 2013 and 2014. (69 new e-books)
• Palgrave e-book collections: History (391 titles)/Literature (188 titles)/Media & Culture (188 titles)/Social Sciences(465 titles) (1232 titles in total!)
• Cambridge University Press Journals (349 journals)
• Oxford University Press Journals (286 journals)
• Taylor and Francis Journals (2011 journals)
• British Standards Online – full-text database of more than 50,000 British, European, International standards.
• full text maritime and commercial law database

Do dive in and explore. If you have any feedback on these new resources, please contact your Subject Librarian.

The Library IWOOT scheme

An IWOOT, or ‘I Want One Of These’, form allows students on taught courses to suggest books to the library for purchase.  If you need a book for one of your courses but it is not currently stocked in the library then let us know by visiting the ‘I Want One Of These’ page.

Last academic year, the Library spent over £8,000 on resources that you’d requested through this scheme, buying over 230 titles


Each year we scrutinise the feedback from the NSS survey and use that information to direct our annual Library Resourcing Campaign. We want to make sure that we are providing even more of the resources that you need. During 2013/14 we are directing £298k to boost access to core materials: this is in addition to the millions spent on library resources across the Colleges.

Packages provided include SAGE Research Methods Online, Literature Online and Ethnography Video Online. This funding has also provided access to over 9000 e-books this year.

We are committed to student-led spending, so do talk to your Library Champions to request books, as well as using the general IWOOT request scheme. For up to date information on new resources and current highlights, see:

Library IWOOT Scheme

A big thank you to everyone who has put in a suggestion to the Library ‘I want one of these’ scheme.  The following titles, suggested by you, are just a few of those that have been ordered this month!  If you are a student on a taught course and the library does not currently have a title you need for your course then please go to our Online form at IWOOT

Who’s your Library Champion?

Look out for your Library Champion’s poster


We’re now in our 3rd year of the Library Champions scheme and we have recruited a total of 46 Champions across all our campuses. Each Champion represents the taught students within their subject area and will feedback your views on the Library services to us. They also have a budget to buy books, so if there is anything you need for your courses, you can contact them to order it. Look out for the posters in your departments – these should have contact details on for your own Champion. If you have any questions about the scheme or want to know more, please see:

Last year our Champions bought a total of 1023 items for library stock, selected by you: these included multiple extra copies of in-demand books, e-books of heavily used materials, DVDs to support film courses and brand new titles to support your courses. Do get in touch with them and help them spend up this year!

Make sure the Library has the books you need with an IWOOT!

Getting the books you need from the library is child’s play, even if the library doesn’t have them!  All you need is an IWOOT.  If you are a student on a taught course and the library does not currently have a title you need for your course then let us know by filling out an ‘I Want One Of These’ (IWOOT) form.  We will then forward it to your College/Department as a recommended purchase. Once an approved order is returned, we will process the order as soon as we can so the item is available for you to borrow.  Just go to



Travel Bursaries Scheme 2013/14

The British Library: just one of the many locations our students visited last year through the travel bursary scheme

Following a successful pilot year, the Library is very pleased to announce that we will be running the Travel Bursaries Scheme again for all students on taught programmes. Successful students will receive up to £200 to enable them to travel to other libraries and archives around the UK and abroad: all visits need to be in support of final year projects/dissertations. Here are some quotes from some of last year’s successful applicants:

“I definitely would not have been able to start my dissertation without this trip”

“The visit has been of great value to me as the research gathered from these visits will make up an invaluable part of my dissertation.”

“I now feel confident in continuing with my research and am very grateful for the library travel scheme for allowing me this opportunity.”

Applications are now invited from all eligible students for the first round of funding this year: the first deadline is Friday 29th November.

For further details, including what the bursary covers and how to apply, please see our Travel Bursaries webpage.