Joining the Library

All members of academic and support staff will automatically have a Library account set up on their behalf.

To use our online resources you can log in using your Aston University username and password. 

You will also be eligible for the SCONUL Access scheme.  This is a reciprocal arrangement which allows University staff to visit most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland and use or borrow books.

Booking an appointment with your Information Specialist will provide you with more details on how Library Services can assist you and how to make best use of:

Teaching Support

Information and Research Skills

The quality and diversity of information sources are wide ranging. From search engines to subject gateways to electronic databases, students have a vast amount of information before them. Library Services (LS) can help provide students and staff with the information literacy skills they need to successfully identify and use these services in support of their assignments and project work.

To make information skills sessions work for you and your students they should be:

  • integrated into the course through careful planning
  • appropriately timed to ensure that the skills acquired can be put into practice immediately
  • focused on the subject content relevant to students at that point in their course
  • structured to ensure progression to more complex sources and services
  • designed to provide students with the skills to critically evaluate the information retrieved

We can help you achieve these things. We offer a successful induction programme which reaches over 90% of new students. We also aim to ensure that our research and information skills sessions reach larger numbers of students too. Information literacy sessions can help improve research and critical skills. They can help students to improve their marks and provides invaluable experience for future professional careers.

Information and Research Skills Sessions

We can provide you and your students with tailored information skills sessions.  Information skills sessions can be readily incorporated into the courses/modules for which you are responsible. Please do contact your Information Specialist, who will be pleased to work with you to tailor sessions to the needs of you and your students.  As students progress through their course, formal sessions can be supplemented with drop-in sessions, refreshers on specific services, etc.  Examples of what we do include:

Introductory sessions

  • Using Library Search – find books, journals, electronic resources and general library information.

Research and project skills

  • Using LibrarySearch.
  • Develop systematic search strategies (keywords, Boolean logic, strategies to refine and focus search results etc.)
  • Know how to use full-text and/or bibliographic databases.
  • Find company and market information, scientific and technical information, foreign language services, statistical information.
  • Citation searching using the citation Indexes.
  • Using full-text newspapers (online and WWW).
  • How to use search engines, subject gateways and evaluate Internet resources.
  • Recognise plagiarism and reference correctly.

Current awareness

  • Keeping up-to-date using current awareness services

Managing bibliographic references

  • Bibliographic referencing software
  • How to cite references

Requesting an ISBN

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number, used to identify text-based monographic publications (for a single publication, not a serial publication such as a journal).

Aston University Library Services has a supply of ISBNs for publications by Aston staff; to be eligible to use them, the requestor must be a current contracted member of staff. The publisher for Aston ISBNs is Aston University. Aston ISBNs are administered by the Open Research Team.

Aston University's ISBNs have been purchased from Nielsen, the National ISBN Agency for the UK and Ireland. All ISBN publications must meet the UK's legal deposit requirements, which are administered by the British Library If your publication is electronic only, the Library can make the e-deposit on your behalf at your request.

To request an ISBN, please email

Module Reading Lists   

Each Blackboard module now has a Readings menu item which creates a one stop shop for Academic and Library staff to manage reading lists in a consistent way, and for students to access them easily via My Module Reading Lists.

Please log in to the Module Reading List system via MAP or here and update your lists annually. 

Information on how to do this can be found on the academic staff LibGuide. Adding new books to the list will alert Library staff to purchase them. Journal articles and web pages can also be linked to directly.  Digitised documents for your Blackboard module can be requested via the Reading Lists system (Talis), or via your Information Specialist.

For more information about these services, or if you would like any help in finding books for your module, please contact your Information Specialist.

Request a book for purchase

If you would like to recommend a book for the Library to purchase, please complete the online form or email your Information Specialist. We will purchase any books which are in support of the teaching, learning and research needs of the University depending on budgets available and whether or not the item is still in print.  If the book you have requested is not yet published, the order will be kept on file and processed once publication is confirmed.

When you ask Library Services to order books please remember the following key points:

  • On average it will take a month from Library Services ordering a book to it being on the shelf.
  • Truly urgent orders can be obtained much faster – please tell us if this is the case.
  • Give requests to Library Services as far in advance as possible.  

Further information on book supply times.