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Queen's University Library

Creating Course Reading Lists

This page provides information on how to integrate online resources into your course reading lists.

On this page:

Online access to course readings

Digital material

Access may be provided to any material that is already digital if it meets any of the following three criteria:

  1. The library has a license to the material and a persistent link to it can be created
  2. The library has a license to the material and the license allows a copy to be made for course reserve and/or use in a course management system
  3. The material is available on the open Web and a link to it can be created

The library provides online access to millions of journal articles and ebooks.  Some of your recommended course readings may be available online via the library to Queen's students.

Create permanent links to online readings

Restricting access to students registered in a course

NetID course-authorized web spaces:

Course packs and online readings

Print course pack services at Queen's:

There have been significant increases in the quantity of electronic information sources available
for courses in recent years, and there have also been advances in license provisions and copyright
decisions affecting the use of materials.

Before you create a course pack...

Check to see if your course readings are available online via the Library.  The library pays for online access to millions of full-text online articles and ebooks.

If an electronic version of a reading exists, consider creating a web link instead of including the reading in a print course pack. 

Online course reading lists

Online course reading lists (with links to online full-text course readings) provide maximum flexibility for students.  Students get 24-7 access to course readings, and can choose when to print individual readings.

Platforms for publishing an online course reading list:

* Provides NetID-protected web spaces

Library course reserves

The Library Course Reserve service makes available a special collection of high demand items to support current courses.  When available, a link to the digital version of a reading is now preferred over housing the print version of the reading at the Circulation Desk.  This will allow for 24/7, multiple user access to the reading.  Print-only materials will still be housed at the Circulation Desk.  

For Fall 2013 courses, Queen’s University is launching an e-reserve system. Using e-reserve, we will: 

  • Scan library readings that meet the requirements listed in the fair dealing policy
  • Acquire and process copyright permissions as needed
  • Create and provide links to electronic library resources
  • Adapt materials to meet accessibility standards
  • Make the readings available to students through Moodle

More Information about e-reserves | Get started by connecting your course via Moodle | Copyright and E-reserve Workshops

Accessibility criteria for course materials at Queen's

Course readings must be accessible to all students. Currently, students with a print disability who are registered with the Disability Services Office can obtain course materials in an appropriate accessible format (e-text, Braille, digital audio, Large Print) through Library Services for Students with Disabilities.  A print disability is defined as a disability that prevents or inhibits a person from reading print.   This includes students who are blind or have low vision, students, who because of a physical disability are unable to hold or manipulate a book, and students with specific types of learning disabilities.  

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 necessitates that Ontario Universities must meet specific accessibility standards.  Under the Act, the intention of the proposed Accessible Information and Communications Standard is to ensure that organizations and businesses provide access to information in various formats. The Standard will require that all new course materials adhere to accessibility standards and be available in alternate formats. This requirement could be in place in 2010.

Accessibility guidelines for course readings

  • Select course materials early.  This will allow adequate time to arrange for the conversion into alternate formats such as Braille or Large Print.  It is time-consuming and labour-intensive to transcribe materials with illustrations, graphs and diagrams into Braille.
  • Whenever possible choose electronic versions of readings.  Once text is in an electronic format it can be adapted to the student by methods such as enlarging the font, using text-to-speech software, and changing the contrast between the text and background.
  • Image-PDF files are not accessible to students using a screen reader.  Image PDFs (PDFs consisting of scanned images) must be changed to a text-based PDF.  This is done by adding Optical Character Recognition to the PDF file.  Because this is not always 100 percent accurate it may be necessary to edit the file.
  • Staff located in the Library Services for Students with Disabilities unit have expertise and access to a variety of assistive devices and adaptive technologies to assist you in providing course materials in accessible formats for students registered with the Disability Services Office.  Please contact Michele Chittenden at chittend@queens.ca or Carol Tennant at tennantc@queensu.ca for assistance.

Full report on course reading at Queen's

In Winter/Spring 2009, the Course Readings Working Group (Queen's University Library) explored current practices and ‘points of pain’ in delivering and accessing course readings at Queen’s.  The group spoke with and/or informally surveyed several students, interested faculty, Library course reserves staff and other university stakeholders.

Read the full report:


Last Updated: 28 August 2015