Providing key reading to support your teaching

Discover our library resources

Locate freely available material, legally

Acquire items that are not in the Library

Share reading with your students using the University Reading List system

Discover our Library resources

StarPlus
The University’s primary discovery tool provides access to all Library holdings, both print and electronic, including books, journals, and databases. Use the A-Z menu in MUSE to access StarPlus.
StarPlus video tutorial.

BrowZine
BrowZine is a free app for your mobile device which allows you to explore the range of online journals in your subject. It can also be used on your desktop PC. Read, save and export articles; create your own bookshelves; link to EndNote and Mendeley; share articles with students via Resource Lists.

Subject guides
To browse the Library's significant collections by subject take a look at the subject guides. Although primarily aimed at students, they are a useful introduction to the key resources for particular subjects.

Special Collections
The University is home to hundreds of unique and valuable collections and archives which can be used in your teaching and research. Collections include the National Fairground and Circus Archive.

Geographical restrictions
Some Library resources have geographical restrictions, as follows:

Streaming films and documentaries

Box of Broadcasts is an on-demand TV and radio service for education. Please note that due to licensing restrictions BoB is not available outside the UK. If the film/documentary you need for your teaching is not available on BoB, or if your students are outside the UK/EU, please complete the Library resource recommendation form so that we can check for alternative access.
Kanopy is a film/documentary streaming service. Staff at the University of Sheffield can request Kanopy films and documentaries for teaching by completing the Library resource recommendation form. Please note that all purchased Kanopy licence films and documentaries are on a one-year subscription basis, which will not be renewed without evidence of usage.
Some Netflix Educational Screenings of Documentaries are available. Please see the terms and conditions on their website before using. This service is only available for existing individual Netflix members.

Acquire items not in the Library

Ask the Library to buy books

If we don't have the library materials you need to support your teaching either add details of the resource to your reading list or complete the Library resource recommendation form. You can also use this form to request a book chapter be made available digitally if an e-book is not available.

Use or adapt open textbooks
Open textbooks have permissive licences allowing you to use, adapt and share books with your students. Textbooks can be adopted in their entirety or you can copy elements to incorporate into your own teaching materials. The Pressbooks Directory offers 3,000 titles and the Open Textbook Library contains over 700 peer-reviewed titles.

Inter-Library Request Service
To assess a book before asking the Library to buy a copy, you can borrow the title through the Inter-Library Request Service. Complete the 'Inter Library Loan Request form' available on the MUSE A-Z list of services.

Approaches from publishers and suppliers
Some publishers may contact you directly to gauge your interest in a product or journal, and to offer you a trial. These invariably involve a commitment to future costs, and there are other factors to consider too. With this in mind please get in touch with the librarian for your department who can assess the offers, inform you of any existing arrangements in place and arrange any trials as necessary.

Purchasing policy

Library purchasing decision tree

Library purchasing policy for key reading.


Locate freely available material, legally

A lot of literature is freely available under 'open' initiatives. Use one of the tools below to locate them.

Open textbooks
Open textbooks have permissive licences allowing you to use, adapt and share books with your students. Textbooks can be adopted in their entirety or you can copy elements to incorporate into your own teaching materials. The Pressbooks Directory offers 3,000 titles and the Open Textbook Library contains over 700 peer-reviewed titles.

Open Access books
The Directory of Open Access Books lists thousands of peer-reviewed books which are free to read and share.

Articles & papers
You can find legal copies of freely-available material, which you can share with your students and use in your own research, through tools such as Open Access Button, Unpaywall and Kopernio.

Journals
Use the Directory of Open Access Journals to locate peer-reviewed, high quality, open access journals.

Copyright in teaching
To understand more about how copyright may impact your teaching, please see our Copyright and your teaching web pages. You will find guidance to ensure that your use of copyright material for teaching purposes is legally compliant, sustainable and fair, using materials such as books, journals and audiovisual materials (images, music and film).

Share reading with your students using the University Reading List system

Our Reading List guidance explains how to create and manage your online reading list.

If an item is not in stock in the Library, you can add the title to your reading list and the Library will aim to make the resource available to your students. You no longer need to complete the resource recommendation form for material added to reading lists.