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Library Services

Distance Learning Support Policy

1. Purpose

The core purpose for developing a policy to support distance learning is to ensure a clear relationship between the student and academic support offered by Library Services and City's Vision and Strategy 2030.

This document is intended for academic and professional staff who are involved in the design and delivery of distance learning programmes and will be reviewed as required to support any subsequent City policies or directives relating to distance learning.

2. Scope

For the purpose of this document, 'distance learning' is understood to include courses which are designed to be delivered primarily online from City and courses delivered through face to face teaching at a satellite campus. These courses are identified on SITS using codes 81-83 (Distance learning: based in the UK) and codes 91-93 (Distance learning: based overseas).

This document does not relate to:

  • services for students undertaking placements or work-based study components of campus-based courses
  • students enrolled on a campus-based course who live or work remotely from campus
  • flexible courses where some on-campus attendance is required on a regular basis.

3. Online resources

Distance learners are expected to use online library reources including e-journals, e-books and databases. Access to these resources is normally via a student's IT account.

Licence agreements are in place for subscription online resources. Not all licences provide access to distance learners so an early engagement with Library Services (see section 9 'Next steps') is essential to establish available access and identify any additional subscription costs. Where additional costs are required, these should be identified in Stage 1 course approvals and should be met by the requesting School.

Distance learners are expected to be aware of internet restrictions and laws in their home territory as this may affect their use of some online library resources.

Referece should also be made to Library Services' Online Resource Policy.

4. Digital Course Readings

Digital course readings are extracts from material which is not available online and which can be accessed via Reading Lists Online in the form of scanned readings from books and journals.

For distance learning courses based at City campuses, these scans are made available in accordance with the terms of the Copyright Licencing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence. For courses based at overseas campuses, digital course readings are made under the terms of the CLA Overseas Campus Based Scheme; these readings can be stored on overseas servers (although access must be possible in the UK for auditing purposes), and scans must be made in the UK via the Library Services Digitisation Team. The Library Digitisation Team should be made aware of any courses for which digital course readings may need to be made available.

Whether the course is based in London or overseas, if digital readings are required these may incur additional costs to the School for which Library Services can provide a quote. Any queries should be directed to the relevant Subject Librarian in the first instance. Details of our Subject Librarians can be found at libguides.city.ac.uk/subjectlib.

5. Inter-Library Loans

A limited Inter-Library Loans service will be accessible to distance learning students, supplying only eligible items which are available in online format. Standard fees will apply for all requests. Details of the Inter-Library Loans service can be found at libraryservices.city.ac.uk/resources/inter-library-loans.

A postal service for inter-library loans is not provided.

6. Copyright

It is vital that the copyright law of both the UK and overseas territories is adhered to by staff and students in the delivery of any distance learning course. When planning and delivering a distance learning course academic staff should be aware of the following points:

  • UK copyright law: any resources made available should conform to UK copyright law and the terms of any licences which the University holds. Currently these are the Copyright Licencing Agency Higher Education Licence and the Newspaper Licencing Agency Licence.
  • Overseas copyright law: the copyright regime of the territory where overseas students are based prevails. Students are expected to be aware of the copyright law in their country. The Library Services Copyright and Digitisation Team is only able to provide guidance on UK copyright law. City is not responsible for any breach of overseas copyright law.

Copyright guidance is available from Library Services.

7. Physical resources

Where a distance learner is able to visit City libraries in person, they are permitted to borrow up to 10 items at a time and are bound by the terms and conditions of the Library Code of Conduct and the Information Services User Regulations. All library loans and access to libraries are dependent upon the production of a valid City student ID card. Loans are subject to the same recall and fine process for all borrowers.

There is no provision for postal loans. Distance learners planning to visit other UK university libraries should refer to the SCONUL Access website for further details. Distance Learning students are also eligible for membership of Senate House Library.

Most other libraries in the University of London federation are available for reference use, either through the SCONUL Access Scheme or the University of London Libraries Access Agreement.

8. Library support

Any support from Library Services for distance learners is dependent upon prior discussion and agreement with the appropriate contacts (see section 9 'Next steps') and may have an associated cost to the school delivering the course.

Additional Learning support is not available from Library Services without prior discussion and agreement with the Student Disability and Neurodiversity Service.

All students are bound by the terms and conditions of the Library Services Code of Conduct and the IT User Regulations.

9. Next steps

In order to ensure effective course planning, early engagement with Library Services is essential and should be established in the initial stages of course approval.

For all schools (excluding Bayes Business School) contact Claire Packham [email protected] (Head of Library Academic Services)

For Bayes Business School contact Jacqui Gaul [email protected] (Head of Business Library Services).

Head of Business Library Services, reviewed May 2023