Teaching & Learning


UCL’s new Student Centre is run by UCL Library Services - so where are all the books?

26 February 2019

Students are increasingly accessing their core readings online through ReadingLists@UCL, thanks to strong levels of engagement by academic colleagues

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When the vision for the UCL Student Centre was being developed our students were asked for their top ten reasons for using study space.

After a quiet place without distractions and access to computers, the top reason was availability of resources. And that meant books.

But one thing that stands out about the Student Centre, which opened on 18 February 2019, is that there are no books to be seen, apart from those brought in by students using the building.

Appearances are deceptive, as Ben Meunier, Director of Operations for UCL Library Services, explains: ‘We have invested substantially in growing our e-book collections and made them accessible via Moodle/ReadingLists@UCL.

At the end of June 2018, 67% of all taught courses were on our ReadingLists@UCL service, a total of more than 3300 reading lists.’

Students can access core readings any time, any place, anywhere with ReadingLists@UCL, a tool which Library Services has put in place to ensure equality of opportunity.

Use of e-books at UCL increased by 45% in 2017, and the ReadingLists@UCL service continues to attract heavy usage from students and levels of engagement with academic colleagues.

Visitor statistics have increased substantially this academic year and UCL reading lists have already had in excess of 450,000 visitors since August 2018.

 This increase is likely to be because more reading lists have been set up and more students are able to benefit from them. As students become accustomed to finding good quality lists for their modules, they are actively seeking out online lists for their other courses.

To set up an online reading list email readinglists@ucl.ac.uk and the reading list team will be happy to help.  Attend the weekly Reading Lists drop-in on a Wednesday afternoon for a refresher on managing your list, or read more about them on the Library Services webpages.