Skip to main content

COVID-19 update: Library spaces are open to all members and visitors with precautions in place. Learn more.

Reading Lists: information for academic staff

Providing us with your unit of study reading list as early as possible means your students will have access to their readings throughout their course.

The Library uses a unit of study reading list system called Leganto. Students can access their readings through the 'Reading List' tab in Canvas sites.

What you need to know about key dates and changes to our Unit of Study service in 2022:

  • 13 December 2021: The Library’s first request for Semester 1 2022 reading lists is sent to Canvas instructors.
  • 24 January 2022: The last day to submit your list to ensure all items are added. Lists submitted after this date are not guaranteed to be complete by the start of semester.

The University requires all unit of study reading lists to be in Leganto.

  • For all remote or online units, unit coordinators must have 100% of material of their required reading list in electronic format.
  • For material delivered on campus, unit coordinators should aim for 70% of material on required reading list to be available electronically, with 100% online as the long-term aspiration.
  • Items on readings lists should be tagged as ‘Required’ and ‘Recommended’ readings.

What do required and recommended readings mean?

  • Required readings are defined as 'essential for the learning outcomes of the unit of study. Accessing and studying these readings is necessary for assessments and to prepare, participate in or extend the resources available through the learning activities of the unit.' Physical items marked as required will be moved to the short loan collection (formerly called '2 hour loans').
  • Recommended readings are defined as 'important additional readings that complement and add value to the required readings and to the resources available through the learning activities of the unit. They help build upon knowledge and lead to a deeper understanding of core concepts.'

Training materials are available, including an online guide and workshop recordings.

Preparing your reading list

How can I ask the Library to order new material to support my reading list?

The Library will source online subscription materials as a priority, to support equitable and sustainable practices.

You should allow 6-8 weeks on average for new items to be received. Films requiring licence negotiation may take longer. You can ask the Library to order items by:

  • Tagging the citation as 'Place a purchase request' in your reading list or,
  • Ordering via the online form
  • Items tagged as ‘Required’ can be sourced from outside the Library’s existing collection
  • Items tagged as ‘Recommended’ will usually be sourced from within the Library’s existing collection. Where the item is not available, an Academic Liaison Librarian is available to assist with sourcing an alternative option in the collection or when there is no suitable replacement, help source externally

To view limits on what the Library is able to purchase, please see ordering and purchasing electronic resources.

How do I reuse a previous list?

  • For courses run from January 2021 to present, the Library will automatically rollover reading lists approximately 10 weeks out from the start of your course date listed in SEAMS. For courses run prior to 2021, please contact the Library via our online form.

How do I make changes to my rolled-over/reused list?

Once you have received notification that your list is ready for review, please use our Reading list guide for instructions on how to use the key functions in the system.

How do I create a new reading list?

It’s simple to create and manage your reading list in Leganto. Please see the Reading list guide to learn more.

The deadline for reading lists submitted to the Library is 4 weeks out from the start of the course. Reading lists will be available from the first day of semester. There are two options for creating a new reading list:

  1. Use the Reading list guide to create your new list
  2. For new units, the Library can support constructing your reading list. Submit the list via the online form
  3. For existing units, the Library can support populating ‘Required’ readings from your list. Items tagged ‘Recommended’ should be managed by the Canvas instructor. Contact the Library via the online form

Not all my items are available?

Library staff may need to perform additional tasks to make your items available to students. This could include approving copyright, ordering new items, scanning/digitising, or moving to a short loan period. When the Library has completed these checks, the item will then be available to view.

If your item is marked as 'Being Prepared' please see the Reading list guide to learn how to send your list to the Library.

When will my list be ready?

Library staff will aim to make lists received before the 4 week deadline available in time for the start of semester, but may prioritise by week order if necessary.

Can I access previous eReserve Lists?

eReserve is no longer accessible and all lists have been migrated into Leganto. Please note historical lists are not in week order. To access these lists, submit a request via the online form.

Can I add items to the list throughout the semester?

Leganto allows you to add and remove items throughout the semester. The Reading list guide will step you through the process of how to self-manage your list.

Who can I contact for assistance?

For further information, please Contact a librarian or use Live Chat.

Reading Lists: Best Practice

What should go on my reading list?

  • Scanned items to which you want to provide students with a quick link, or that are in the physical library collection.
  • Ebooks or journals you can link to via library databases. Please note that you can provide students with these links within Canvas without breaching copyright. You can use Leganto if you want to keep all your readings in one place, but do not have to use the Leganto system if you are simply providing links to our online resources.
  • If you would like to access teaching support for information and digital literacy skills, please Contact a librarian.

What can be added to unit of study readings?

  • Journal articles
  • Books and book chapters
  • Your personal copy of a book
  • DVDs, CDs, scores and streamed material
  • Links to online resources

How will items tagged ‘Required’ or ‘Recommended’ be managed?

For items tagged ‘Required’, Library staff will support academics, unit coordinators and teaching support staff in using Leganto to build their reading lists.

For items tagged ‘Recommended’, it is expected that academics, unit coordinators and teaching support staff will manage readings within Leganto.

What do I need to know about copyright?

The unit of study reading list service helps the University to mitigate risk by managing electronic copying limits, reporting and other requirements of the statutory licences contained in the Copyright Act.

For more information, see copyright for unit of study readings or contact Copyright Services.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have died.

The University of Sydney Library acknowledges that its facilities sit on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all. Learn more