Reading materials

ADMINISTRATION   LEARNING & TEACHING   SUPPORT
Student notes (readers)   Things to consider     Faculty Liaison Librarians
Reserving Library reading materials        
Ordering texts        


Things to consider when preparing reading materials for students

  • Ensure that reading materials relate as clearly as possible to other learning modes and activities in the unit of study. Students are often frustrated if they can’t see the connection between what they are asked to read, what else they are asked to do, and how they are assessed. See Unit of study design.
  • Choose texts and readers that are appropriate to the learning levels of first year students. Keep in mind that your first year students may have variable levels of background knowledge, especially in large classes. See Diversity in L&T.
  • Let students know what library support is offered by your Faculty Liaison Librarian.
  • Familiarise yourself with the University’s copyright guide.
Reading materials

Student notes (readers)

Many unit of study (UoS) coordinators organise for hard copies of essential and highly recommended reading material to be made available to students in their unit of study. These are generally referred to as student notes (and also sometimes called ‘readers’ or ‘reading bricks’).

Research conducted at this university shows that students have a preference for hard copy notes and readers, rather than having them accessible only online:
"‘I don’t like reading things online’: Students’ views about online versus hardcopy access of course materials".

Student notes (readers) can be ordered through the University Publishing Service (UPS), who will sell them to students through the University Copy Centre (UCC) (look for the Copy Centre tab on the UPS site).

  • Contact your local administration office to enquire about their procedures, as they may make arrangements with UPS for you.
  • If not, the Department Sales section of their website outlines the process.
  • Check the deadline for submitting these notes with UPS.

Reserving reading material through the Library

You can also make reading material available to your students via the University Library, using the following options:

  • Put items such as books in the2-hour loan collection, so that students can access them for short periods in the Library.
  • Submit a request to the Library’s Course Online Readings Service to scan printed materials into a digital format for the Library's Online Catalogue Reserve Collection. They can also provide a link so your students can access existing electronic documents such as electronic journal articles. For more information see the Library’s Course Online Readings Service.
  • Order new student coursework material for the Library's holdings.


Faculty Liaison Librarians are available to help you with all of these services.
The library also offers other key services to support your teaching.


Ordering texts

Coop logo

You can order prescribed textbooks for your students, as well as copies of recommended readings, by submitting a Text List to the University Cooperative Bookshop (The ‘Co-op’).

How to submit your Text List

  1. Order Texts via the Co-op website - click on the ‘Lecturers’ tab and follow the steps.
  2. the University of Sydney branch with all the ‘What the Co-op need to know’ information below.


What the Co-op needs to know


When to place your order
Give as much advance notice of your requirements as possible. Any order placed after the 15th Dec, or the 15th May for the relevant semesters the following year may not arrive in time for the beginning of term.

The approximate delivery times are:

  • 2 – 3 Weeks – Australian titles in stock at suppliers
  • 6 – 8 Weeks – International titles and those titles not in stock at Australian suppliers
  • 12 – 16 Weeks – Foreign Language titles

For more information and advice, see the Co-op ordering information.