Library guide for teachers: Course literature acquisition

A library guide to support the teaching work

How do I notify and contact the library about course literature?

The library acquires the course literature for the curriculum, and the library budget is used to update the literature each academic year.

The course literature for the curriculum

Your teaching is a practical implementation of a course that is part of the curriculum of a degree programme. The curriculum determines the literature that is used for a specific course.

Depending on the faculty, either the faculty’s head of academic affairs, the training officer, or the course coordinator is responsible for notifying the university library about changes in the course literature.

Are you unsure about the course literature notifying process in your faculty? You can ask your supervisor, training officer, or the faculty’s administration staff. Once the curriculum has been approved, the library will need information on the course literature as soon as possible, and no later than May for the autumn semester and November for the spring semester.

The library can provide support for curriculum planning by, for example, identifying the available formats and licenses for books that need to be purchased by the library:

Course literature updates

Are there any updates to the literature listed in the curriculum for this year’s teaching programme? The teacher who oversees the course is responsible for informing the library of any changes in the course literature before the upcoming semester. For example, the library needs information about new editions or the supplementary reading material used in the course.

Please notify the library about the updates in the course literature:

  • no later than 31 May to ensure that the course literature is available at the beginning of the autumn semester.
  • no later than 30 November to ensure that the course literature is available at the beginning of the spring semester.

You can still provide the information after these dates; however, the library may not have enough time to process the request before teaching begins. The library requires the literature updates well in advance so that staff can research the availability of the literature, order material from the publishers, and negotiate the licensing terms of the e-resources.

You can send the book and course information to the library using the acquisition proposal form in Helka (login with your University of Helsinki username and password). The following information should be included in the “Reasons for Purchase” field of the form:

  • the course code and title
  • if the literature is compulsory or optional
  • when the course will be implemented
  • the number of students enrolled in the course or the number of students participating in the exam

If you have any questions related to course material, you can contact the liaison librarian for your department or the following service email address:

Liaison librarians for textbook enquiries

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences: Merja Kettunen

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: Miamaria Saastamoinen

Faculty of Pharmacy: Miamaria Saastamoinen

Faculty of Arts: Minna Helander

Faculty of Educational Sciences: Anne Pannula

Faculty of Medicine: Henna Sorvali

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry: Merja Kettunen

Faculty of Science: Mari Viljanen

Faculty of Law: Arja Niskala

Faculty of Theology: Kaisu Leinonen

Faculty of Social Sciences: Matti Lamminen


How are the textbooks for the library selected?

Getting a book in the library collection is a multi-step process that is worth taking the time to do. The library may negotiate with the publisher, for example, over the terms of use and the number of simultaneous users. The library aims to acquire course literature as e-resources that do not limit the number of simultaneous users.

Publishers may offer limited access to the e-material or sell e-books as part of an extensive and expensive package; in these situations, the library will estimate the cost of the acquisition in relation to, for example, the book's usage. The library will obtain a print textbook if an e-version is not available or the printed copy is cheaper. It is not always possible to purchase an individual e-book or an unlimited license to an e-book.

Further information: Collection Policy