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Feature: University of Northampton Aims for ‘Aspire’ Roll-Out in New Academic Year

Alison Spencer

The University of Northampton is one of many in the UK planning to roll-out the Talis Aspire reading-list application in the next academic year.

The library was finding it difficult to use its existing list technology to deliver on student expectations. It wasn’t scalable, and it was unpopular with students and academics. After a review in 2011, the university is now making changes, and developing an integrated learning environment to improve its services to students.  Becoming part of the Talis Aspire community will enable the university to deliver on that promise and maximise the use of its extensive collection of print and ebooks.

The Northampton Challenges:

  • The previous list management system contained 762 lists – but only half were up-to-date, and most were not being used – either by students or academics.
  • Faculty members were not engaged in the list-building or reviewing process – and the library wanted to change this.
  • The library knew it had to support the student experience – and that meant providing improved access to resources through the seamless integration of the Talis Aspire reading-list application.

The Northampton Solution:

The team at Talis worked with the university to develop a network of champions in each school. The champions are now working with colleagues to introduce the new reading-list solution through training sessions and faculty planning days. The university is confident that the new system will provide the library with opportunities to engage with academics – and deliver a seamless, accessible reading-list experience to students.

Progress so Far:

  • The university is planning to surface the reading-list links in each module of the upgraded Virtual Learning Environment – Blackboard – work is now underway to make this happen.
  • The liaison librarians are now involved in the faculty planning days and working to embed reading-lists in faculty workflows.
  • The fast implementation of Talis Aspire means that the library will be ready to meet student expectations in the new academic year 2012/2013.

See the University of Northampton reading-list site here

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