Reading List Service

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is Leganto related to the Reading List Service?

Leganto is the University’s new system for managing reading lists. It makes preparing and sharing course reading lists easy, and it makes the best use of our library resources. For the launch of the service in September 2020 library staff will assist with moving your reading lists to Leganto and into the VLE. In later phases of the service you will be able to update and produce reading lists that are relevant, interactive and accessible for your students to access via the VLE.

2. Why should I send you my reading list?

To save you time! The new service will allow you to add materials subject to copyright or licensing restrictions, from practically any resource – print and e-books, online journals, websites and YouTube videos. But given the high volume of work academics are undertaking to prepare for Blended Learning in the next Semester we are trying to help by doing some of the legwork for you. If you send the lists to us now at we will help to produce your lists within the new service and the VLE. In the future you will be able to edit and add to the lists to ensure they are comprehensive and up-to-date.

3. How does it integrate with our VLEs?

Watch this video to see how it has been integrated within MyAberdeen.

Please do not try to access your Leganto Reading List in MyAberdeen until August, as it is currently being worked on.

Similar integrations are being investigated for MyMBChB, MyBDS and MyPA, which are VLEs that specifically support the Medicine (MBChB), Dentistry (BDS) and Physician Associate Studies (MSc) programmes.

4. Will my students need to learn anything to use it?

It’s fairly intuitive, but there will be many resources available to help students navigate the tool.  It will make it easy to find and access what they need to read, watch and listen to, all in one place as it links directly to the library catalogue, Primo. Academics can add notes to the lists to fine tune student engagement..

5. Why are you asking me to highlight the top three items on my Reading List? They are all important!

We do understand that there are likely to be many more than three essential items on your reading lists. The three you flag to us as being the most important will be added to our ‘Fast Check’ service. These will be reviewed and if not available electronically we will try to assist in identifying an alternative that could be offered.  The remaining items on your reading list will also be checked, but at a slower pace.  We hope to upload all the content of each reading list as soon as possible, but realistically we can only promise the top three are reviewed in time for the start of term.

Please note – Links to journals are likely to pose less of a problem than extracts from printed materials.

6. Will there be more licences available to support e-book access for multiple students?

Unfortunately, we cannot promise this. The Reading List project does not have an allocated budget with which we can purchase additional resources, it must be done in line with our existing book budget. If additional licences for existing holdings can be purchased cost effectively, we will certainly consider doing so. By including an approximate student number for the course when submitting your reading list, we are better able to make such decisions.

7. One of my essential items is currently available in the VitalSource / Kortext free trial. Will this be available to my students in the first half session?

The period in which we will continue to have access to additional content as a result of COVID-19 is under review. Anticipated pricing for e-textbooks where there are no special arrangements in place means that we cannot guarantee access to titles from providers like VitalSource and Kortext. The Library is represented in national negotiations with academic publishers in order to try and reach affordable deals for UK higher education sector.

8. Reading lists online does not equal reading materials online

Correct – Where possible we will link to an electronic resource, or if you recommend a particular chapter within a printed book which we already own we may be able to scan it and offer that as a link (subject to the building being open to staff).  As we move back to normality on-campus students will be able to see what stocks we have in the library and reserve / borrow items on our shelves for loan.

9. Can students still be asked to purchase books, e.g. from Blackwell’s?

Students should certainly be able to choose to buy their textbooks if they wish to, and in some cases that may be the most effective alternative to access to a print book in the Library. We hope to find a way to connect our reading lists to the service offered by Blackwell’s to provide a seamless route to purchase. However, at this stage, while the campus branch of Blackwell’s remains closed, we are still exploring what will be possible.

10. Our healthcare students can access e resources through the Knowledge Network. Will there be a way to highlight this to students if the school does the work to indicate this?

Yes.  All reading lists for Medicine and Dentistry will be sent to the Medical Library staff to check. The Knowledge Network will be one of the many sources checked, and we will be able to load the links to Leganto and the Medical VLE.

11. I have existing scans but they are poor quality, can I still share these with my students in September?

Please share them with us so that we can review them. We need to ensure materials are machine-readable to support accessibility requirements. We also need to ensure the University is complying with copyright legislation and licensing restrictions.

12. How much of a book can be digitised?

To ensure the Reading List Service launches on time for books, the current restriction is 10% of the pages or one chapter, whichever is greater. Books not covered by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence can only be scanned with the permission of the rightsholder. There is no restriction on copying from books which are out of copyright.  For articles in a periodical, one article from one issue of a periodical can be used.

An announcement on 20 August by the CLA temporarily permits 20% or two chapters of a book from participating publishers to be made available via Library reading list services. The additional content can be made available until 31 July 2021. We will review our processes after the launch of the new service to recognise these additional permissions.

13. Will students download an e-book to their own device, or will they get access via some sort of 'portal'? How long can they borrow an item for use on a personal device?

This depends on the licence the Library holds for an item, as permissions vary by publisher and platform. On some platforms this information is displayed on the landing page for the title.

14. Will there be a limit to how many students can access a particular item?

Yes, this may be the case for some items. A portion of our electronic books are restricted to a set number of simultaneous users, e.g. one user or 3 users at a time. Others are licensed for unlimited simultaneous users. Where possible, these details will be available within the reading list, with some data also available in the Primo record.

15. Why are you asking me to estimate the number of students on my course?

As mentioned in question 6, this will help us assess whether additional licences are required for existing e-book items we already hold.

16. My courses rely on students being able to access printed items within the Library collections. How can they do this if the Library is closed?

We hope to provide limited access to print collections, subject to any ongoing national or institutional constraints. We are exploring all options including looking into whether a click and collect service with limited access to Library buildings or sending items by post, is possible.

17. Is there any Leganto Training for academic staff?

To avoid duplication and confusion while the Library is developing the Reading List Service we request that you do not start to create your own lists. In a later phase of the project CAD will publish bespoke training materials to assist you in adding to or modifying your online reading list.

18. How are books being prioritised for purchase?

While we setup the service, essential item e-book purchases are being authorised for if they are available up to a £200 threshold.

19. What’s the difference between an e-book and an e-textbook?

Publishers determine the categorisation of their books and often classify books that contain study materials and exercises specifically designed for students as textbooks. Library licences for e-textbooks, or e-texts, are tied to the number of students on a course and must be renewed annually.  Unfortunately, the licensing model applied by publishers means that e-texts are considerably more expensive than e-books for the Libraries to purchase. Currently we are unable to purchase e-texts to support the Reading List service. However, Jisc is negotiating with publishers on behalf of universities to try to secure a more affordable deal. We are tracking developments closely in the hope that we can provide some e-texts in the future.

20. How do I know if the books I requested are NOT available in online format?

Please consult this Excel Spreadsheet, as it contains details of requested titles that we have NOT been able to purchase to support the Reading List Service. 

The spreadsheet is arranged into two different worksheets:

  • No ebook available for purchase - the requested title has either never been produced as an ebook, or not with a licence that allows it to be bought by an academic library

  • Only available as e-textbook - these titles are not the same as general ebooks, and have much higher costs. Currently we are unable to purchase e-textbooks to support the Reading List Service. See FAQ 19 directly above for further details

The spreadsheet is sorted by Course Code.