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Liberating CityLibrary

Diversifying your reading lists

This guide expands on and engages with the recommendations and best practice on embedding inclusive practice within academic programmes, outlined in the Inclusive Curriculum Development Framework for Addressing Degree-Awarding Gaps, with a focus on evaluating reading lists.

The information below is provided as a starting point for a challenging topic, and is likely to evolve over time.

Library staff are open to new ideas and suggestions to improve our approach to diversity. Please contact subjectlibrarians@city.ac.uk if you have any feedback. 

Diversifying your reading list checklist

The following questions can help you to evaluate your reading list.

  • What are the dominant voices, narratives and viewpoints in your areas of study?
  • What voices and narratives and viewpoints are excluded, how can they be identified?
  • Are the texts Western-centric, or Eurocentric?
  • Are bodies of knowledge distorted? Can discourse affect the way that we look at groups of people?
  • Who is the author of the work? Are the majority of the authors the same gender and ethnicity?
  • What is the relevance of the author’s identity in this context?
  • Who is talking about whose experience and/ or culture?
  • What is the place of publication and geographic coverage of the text?
  • What kinds of sources do we perceive to be of most academic value and why?
  • Are the authors and works reflective of the students at City? See City's HESA Student Return 2019/20.
  • Is your reading list accessible in terms of reading list design and formats used?

Adapted from UAL Decolonising reading lists CC BY-NC 4.0

Reading List accessibility

In addition to the reading list content, you must also consider the accessibility of your reading list and the formats you are listing. Please see Inclusive practice checklist, point 1 Accessibility on City's Inclusive Curriculum Development Framework & approaches. 

Reading Lists should:

  • Be well structured and easy to navigate
  • Clearly identify core and background reading to help students prioritise their reading
  • Be annotated to give guidance on sections
  • Consider including a range of formats, such as multi-media resources, to accommodate a range of learning styles. See the Audio visual resources section below for a selection available through the Library. Ensure that videos and audio have accurate captions or transcripts.
  • Prioritise online resources which can be accessed by students who use assistive software or who are studying remotely
  • Be published in good time to enable library staff to prepare material for students with a referral for alternative formats.

For more guidance visit the Reading Lists Online Guide or contact your Subject Librarian.

Collaborate with our City communities

Liberating CityLibrary - I was chosen by you, circular book sticker.Students can suggest new titles for CityLibrary via the Liberating CityLibrary scheme. The scheme aims to improve the diversity of the collections, amplify underrepresented voices, recognise multi-dimensional identities and create a sense of belonging at City, by empowering students to choose books so they can see themselves represented in the collections.

Books chosen by library users can be viewed on the Liberating CityLibrary reading list or can be found on CityLibrary Search using the search term 'LiberatingCity' and then filtered by subject area. You may wish to consider adding these titles to your lists.

Please refer back to Inclusive practice checklist, point 2 Reflective of, or meaningful to, the learners you work with? on City's Inclusive Curriculum Development Framework & approaches. 

Resources

Below are some examples of resources you can use to expand your reading lists.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity resources

Audio-visual resources

Consider including a range of formats, such as multi-media resources, to accommodate a range of learning styles.

Searching databases

Many of City's databases also offer useful filters for finding more diverse sources.