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Library Guides

Decolonise your reading lists

Structuring your Reading List

Consider structuring your reading list with sections to highlight different areas of thinking or weeks of teaching - this will help students identify key areas of learning. You could make use of the feature to add notes/annotations to items to give further context or background to items on the list. There are also important categories which will help students determine the core readings to focus on initially - 'essential' or 'recommended'. Consider the length of your list - data tells us that students are less likely to look at items at the end of very long lists.


Try to provide opportunities for students to add their voices and perspectives to their learning. This could be by:

  • Getting students involved by asking them for suggestions of resources that could be included in your reading list
  • Discussing the reading list and its purpose and implicit biases
  • Offering a range of multiple perspectives in assigned readings and encouraging students to choose which to read/discuss and invite students to offer suggestions for content to be included as background reading in the reading list

Review your List

Review your list on an annual basis to ensure it is up to date and accurate, also allowing for new content/focus and suggestions to be added to the list.

The library runs annual promotions for Black History Month, UK Disability History Month and LGBT+ History Month.  We work with academic staff to develop the library collection in order to add more books by black, disabled and LGBT+ authors.  Why not use these promotions as a basis to develop your own reading list?  Subscribe to the library's Twitter feed to keep up to date with all library news.