Policy on Textbook Provisions


  1. The University or XJTLU is Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University.
  2. A textbook is any type of material that is purchased by Library to support learning for a module (i.e. a book, novel, ebook, etc.).
  3. A mandatory textbook is a required book in either print or electronic format for a module that students are obligated to purchase.
  4. An optional textbook is a book in print that students can choose to purchase or not.
  5. A reference textbook is a book in print that is considered additional or recommended reading by academic staff and is only purchased for Library’s collection where it can be offered for loan.
  6. A desk copy is a copy of the mandatory/optional textbook that is provided by Library to the module lecturer free of charge.
  7. A DLTC is a departmental, school or centre learning and teaching committee.
  8. A Module Leader/Convenor is the academic staff member responsible for determining if a textbook is mandatory, optional or reference.


  1. This policy applies to the ordering and provision of module textbooks and provides a framework for determining whether a textbook should be considered mandatory.
  2. This policy should be read in conjunction with the following University policies and procedures:
    1. Policy on Print Book Collection Development
    2. Timeline and Manual for Textbook Modification
    3. Textbook Provisions: Roles and Responsibilities


  1. XJTLU Library is dedicated to supporting teaching and learning, research and providing service to the highest standard. One of the primary ways in which Library does this is through purchasing and providing provisions for texts and materials that support teaching and learning.
  2. To better meet the needs of both students and individual modules, textbooks are purchased by Library and made available to students prior to the start of the academic semester.
  1. Books that are deemed mandatory are purchased according to module enrolment estimations made in the semester prior to the module start date.
  2. When books are deemed optional a percentage of books is purchased based on the previous ’year’s data for book collection (Textbook Collection Rate or CR).
  3. Students may obtain textbooks that are classified as optional via other means, such as obtaining an e-book, borrowing the book from Library’s collection, or purchasing it from a vendor of their choice. 
  4. All textbooks confirmed in e-Bridge will have additional copies purchased for Library’s collection; the number of copies purchased for this purpose will comply with the Policy on Print Book Collection Development.
  5. Module Leaders can stipulate if a reference textbook should be available for loan or short loan.
  1. Module Leaders may choose to not have mandatory and/or optional textbooks.


  1. As students are obligated to purchase all and any texts that are classified as mandatory by a Module Leader with DLTC approval, it is necessary for these texts to conform to the textbook selection criteria.
  2. A Module Leader may select a maximum of two mandatory textbooks; requests for additional mandatory textbooks will require the approval of the DLTC.
  3. A Module Leader may select a maximum of two optional textbooks; requests for additional optional textbooks will require the approval of the DLTC.
  4. Restrictions on regional availability and/or high cost may result in a mandatory textbook not being purchased and made available to students.


  1. Module Leaders are responsible for choosing textbooks for a module with DLTC approval. If choosing to categorise a textbook as mandatory, the textbook should meet the criteria outlined in  Roles and Responsibilities.
  2. S/he will need to review textbook details on module specifications and update these each semester.
  1. If s/he would like to review sample copies of a textbook, s/he will need to contact publishers directly to make these requests.
  1. S/he is responsible for providing accurate information (i.e. ISBN, title, author, publisher) when making textbook decisions in e-Bridge by the published deadline each semester.
  1. By failing to meet the deadline, Module Leaders and DLTC bear all responsibility for potential delays in textbook availability and distribution to students.
  2. If a textbook is out of stock, out of print, unavailable for the region, restricted, above the threshold for reasonable cost, or out of date, Library will notify the relevant Module Leader/Convenor. In this case, changes to the order must be communicated to Library within 5 working days from receiving the notice.
  1. If a Module Leader/Convenor  chooses to use textbook in electronic format, s/he is responsible for distributing access codes to students.
  2. If a Module Leader/Convenor is absent, s/he should delegate the responsibilities outlined above to a colleague, normally the Departmental Library Liaison Officer or DLTC.

Please refer to Textbook Provisions-Roles and Responsibilities for more information.