Library Services Collections Textbook Guidelines
Prescribed and Recommended Textbook Guidelines
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To provide guidelines for the Library purchase of prescribed and recommended textbooks.
James Cook University Libraries in Townsville and Cairns, and the study centres in Mt. Isa and Mackay.
Textbook purchases for JCU Singapore and JCU Brisbane are not included in these guidelines.
The Library will not purchase the following prescribed or recommended texts:
- Course packs and student packs prepared by Colleges for distribution to students.
- eTextbooks and eBooks where the Library is unable to comply with licence conditions.
- Student packs produced by publishers that require web or single user access registration by an individual student.
- Student workbooks which are required to be completed by the student.
eBook: An eBook is normally an electronic version of a printed book although they can and do exist without any print equivalent.
eTextbooks: eTextbooks are written for students and published for use in educational institutions. eTextbooks may be born digital and not available in print.
Prescribed textbooks: Prescribed textbooks are texts listed as required reading in the subject outline and are intended as a primary source of study material for the subject.
Recommended texts: Recommended texts are secondary or supplementary texts that complement the subject study materials.
Single-user/1-user licence: This licence allows for a single loan at any one time. Library staff receive notifications on titles when there are no further copies available for use.
Three-user/3-user licence: This licence allows three users to loan the book simultaneously. Some titles have a minimum 3-user licence purchase. Library staff receive notifications on titles when no further copies are available for use.
Unlimited user licence: This licence allows unlimited simultaneous user access without restriction on the number of users.
The purchase of prescribed and recommended textbooks is to provide alternative access for JCU students to learning resources listed on subject outlines. Students are normally expected to purchase or have access to their own copy of prescribed textbooks.
JCU Library has an electronic preferred model of purchasing to ensure access to prescribed texts independent of time and location. In line with this model, purchasing of prescribed and recommended texts follows two basic principles:
- Where an ebook is available on an acceptable library licence it will be purchased in preference to purchasing a print copy
- Print copies will only be purchased where no ebook is available, or a specific need for a print copy is identified.
1. Prescribed Textbooks
The guidelines apply to the prescribed textbooks as listed in the JCU subject outlines.
The Library will normally purchase a minimum of one copy of each prescribed textbook according to a formula based on student enrolment numbers (not EFTSLs) for each subject as reported on the University’s student statistics database.
Prescribed Textbook Purchasing Guidelines
No. of Students Enrolled
Concurrent User Licences or Print Copies
As required based on usage
- Purchasing of eBooks is determined by the ebook licence available for libraries.
- Preference is given to purchasing eBooks with unlimited user access.
- Where ebook licences are restricted to a number of simultaneous users (e.g. 1 user or 3 user licence) guidelines are applied to determine the number of licences purchased based on the access model and number of students enrolled in the subject.
- Library staff monitor usage of eBooks that have a limited number of simultaneous users and purchase further copies as required.
1.2 Print Textbooks
Print copies of prescribed textbooks are only purchased for the campus or study centre where the subject is offered when:
- An acceptable library licence is not available for the ebook.
- A specific need for a print copy has been identified
The demand for prescribed textbooks is monitored and additional copies are purchased as required.
2. Recommended Textbooks
The guidelines apply to the recommended texts as listed in the JCU subject outlines.
The Library will normally purchase a copy of each recommended text for subject offered.
Where an ebook is available on an acceptable library licence it will be purchased in preference to purchasing a print copy. The minimum simultaneous user licence available will be purchased for recommended texts.
Print copies will only be purchased where no ebook is available, or a specific need for a print copy is identified.
Where an ebook is not available on an acceptable library licence one print copy per subject / per campus or study centre will be purchased.
Recommended Textbook Purchasing Guidelines
No. of Students Enrolled
Concurrent User Licences or Print Copies
Associate Director, Information Resources
Director, Library and Information Services
Date for next review:
20 June 2007
20 May 2009