Choosing a textbook

Choosing textbooks for your subject?

Find out how you can ensure that your students can access their prescribed and recommended textbooks when they need to, by working through the following checklist.

Latest editions and buying textbooks

The latest edition of the textbook is usually the most widely available.

Check online retailers to see if your text is in stock to avoid access issues for your students.

If it’s unavailable, you'll need to consider an alternative text. Contact your Faculty Team for assistance.

eBook formats

Our eBook collection provides free access to textbooks for your students. If the eBook is not already held in the library, you can use the Suggest new materials form to request that the Library buy the textbook in eBook format (if available).

Contact your Faculty Team to confirm the eBook license provides adequate access for your cohort.

A Leganto reading list is the ideal place to include textbooks available as ebooks from the Library’s collection. Students can directly access their textbook readings by topic, module or week.

Early-in-the-session assessment tasks

Confirm your prescribed and recommended textbooks on the Textbook List at least 8 weeks prior to the start of session. The Library uses this page to order and need significant lead times to ensure resources are available for the start of session.

If the textbook is only available in print, request the item be added to selected campus Reserve using the Print Reserve Request Form. Books held in print Reserve are readily available for student digitisation requests and 2 hour loans.

Subject i2 site versus the textbook list

Edit details in the list or in the subject site so they align. You can also add notes on the textbook list so students can purchase/access their textbooks, such as links to the publisher’s website.

If you are not sure what purchase/access information needs to be listed on the Textbook List, the Library Acquisitions Team will be able to assist you further.

Common questions and issues

Confirm the right textbook details are listed on the Textbook List and advise students of the best way to purchase or access their textbooks (such as purchase from the publisher).

Check the information on the Textbook List matches with the Subject Outline on Interact. Subject coordinators are responsible for keeping this information up to date and consistent.

Check with the publisher that there are appropriate stocks for student purchase. If it is in stock, advise students of the best way to purchase/access their textbook. We recommend adding these details to both the Textbook List and the Subject Outline.

Ask if the Library Acquisitions Team can provide eBook access to the textbook.

If the textbook is out of print, liaise with the Library eReserve team as a matter of priority to organise alternate student access to textbook content. Out of print content will generally only be made available for the current cohort.

If the textbook will not be coming back into print, it is time to review the textbook. Discuss with your Head of School if additional time is needed and contact your Library Faculty Team for assistance in identifying a new title.

The Library may still have eBook access to this edition or older editions. Check in Primo to see what is available and discuss with your Library Faculty Team if the access options will be adequate for the cohort.

If students are not able to readily purchase/access the textbook, contact the Library eReserve team to discuss alternative access options. You may need to rewrite/reorder assessments and readings for future sessions to mitigate ongoing textbook access issues.

Submit a Print Reserve Request form for print items to be placed on Reserve.

Check with your Library Faculty Team regarding what kind of access the Library provides to the title.

Give students links to information about eBook etiquette.

Direct students to our eBooks Library Resource Guidetutorials and videosOnline Workshops or one on one Library assistance.

Give students information on How to request items and digitisations.

Portions of a print book may be digitised for students to access online using the eReserve Request form. Copyright limits may apply: one chapter or 10% of the total pagination.

Print only resources may be added to on campus Reserve for 2 hour loans using the Print Reserve Request form. Please provide details, e.g. Chapter 2 required for week 2 online quiz.

Library items in high demand may take some time to be returned to the library if out on loan. We recommend that one copy of the text be placed in Reserve prior to the session starting. Once items are placed in Reserve, digitisation requests can be processed within two working days.

Generally, Copyright limits the amount of an item that can be digitised to one chapter or 10% of the pages in the book, whichever is greater.

Submit an Print Reserve Request form for print items to be placed on Reserve.

  • Advise students on the printing restrictions. The cause of eBook printing issues can vary depending on the eBook platform, publisher and access provided. Most frequently the issue is publisher imposed restrictions that allow library users to print out a set portion of the title every 24 hours.
  • Information on eBook printing restrictions are listed in brief on the Library eBooks page and in more detail in the eBooks Library Resource Guide.
  • If you are not sure about what restrictions apply to your title, contact your Library Faculty Team for further clarification.

Your advice to students will depend on whether there is an open book exam or other circumstances that will require a personal copy of the text to be purchased.

To ensure that students can access the eBook version of their prescribed text, suggest that they follow the steps in our eBook etiquette video.

Give students further information about eBook use specific to the eBook platform.

If you are thinking of using a custom textbook (a compilation of chapters from various titles within a publisher’s stable to create a new unique book), please first contact your Library Faculty Team to investigate if alternative access can be provided by the Library.

You may need extra time allocated for a subject rewrite, discuss with your Head of School.

Contact your Library Faculty Team for assistance in locating suitable learning resources and to determine possible Library access options.

A Leganto reading list is an ideal place to have the prescribed textbook listed. Leganto can link directly to the book, chapter or extract.

eBook chapters can be listed individually and by topic or week. Scanned chapters from print only books can also be included.

To get more information about Leganto, read our Leganto Guide.

Other useful information

Suggest new resources

Suggest new material for the Library to buy.

Keep up to date with new resources

Staff can set up a number of alerts to help you keep up to date with the resources available in the library.

Professional development

Register for our online professional development in learning and teaching.