In November 2013 at City University London Library, we introduced a scheme called Read for Research #readforresearch
This allows our research and postdoctoral and academic staff doing research to recommend both general and specific research titles for purchase by Library Services.
It is very easy for our research staff and students to order a book through a webform on our website https://www.city.ac.uk/library/read-for-research
Initally, it was intended for print book copies but we have seen a move towards researchers requesting ebooks and these can also greatly benefit students who find it easier to read books on the screen.
We have tagged the books on out Library catalogue and a list can be found here.
We have created a ‘reading list’ of some of the titles ordered so far and this indicates the breadth and diversity of research being undertaken at City.
The scheme has been very popular and in the first year approx. £20,000 was spent and the popularity has meant that we have been able to continue the scheme since with the support of our Library Leadership Team. I have found it a great way to engage with researchers and have an insight into their research topics. I also think it makes researchers feel valued and feel that their research is important to the University.
One of our research students has created her own #readforresearch reading list on her blog https://blogs.city.ac.uk/ludiprice/2014/05/08/read-for-research-reading-list/ and one of our academic colleagues has created a Read for Research Community on Mendeley.
It has also helped Library Services to support the University strategy and focus on building up research collections. We find that books chosen by the students tend to be borrowed by them and also may be of interest to other students. For example, some books ordered on fashion may be of interest to Fashion Journalism students. We also engage with students on social media #readforresearch and students mention the titles they have recommended.
Feedback from our research students has been very positive:
“Library support for research students has been excellent. I was especially impressed with the #readforresearch campaign, allowing research students to order books using a special library fund” (PhD Research student, City University London)
Diane Bell (Research Librarian)