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First look at Day Two sessions from Talis Insight 2015


Day Two at Talis Insight UK 2015 will focus on the latest developments at Talis and our user community. If you have not done so already, register now to reserve your spot!

Thank you to everyone from the Talis Aspire User Group UK who submitted some excellent proposals for sessions. We are working on finalising the timings and running order. In the meantime, here is a snapshot of the accepted sessions and a brief synopsis of each:

Collections change and lists evolve: the growing challenges of responsive resource management

Helen Adey, Resource Acquisitions & Supply Team Manager
Nottingham Trent University

Since Nottingham Trent University spoke about the challenges of collection management in library workflows centred on resource lists at the 2013 Talis Aspire User Group meeting, the issues have become even more complex. The library has introduced a range of new measures, tracking systems and reporting tools in response, all focused on making back-of-houses process ‘resource list aware’. In an increasingly heterogeneous acquisitions and fulfilment landscape (and in a post-Swets world a less predictable one) what steps can libraries take to improve the integration between their resource list environment and their library’s management and acquisitions systems?

Engaging academics through improved training

Rachel Fell, Senior Assistant Librarian
Manchester Metropolitan University

In 2013, MMU Library Services ran a small pilot project to train academics how to manage their own resource lists using Talis Aspire. Feedback was mixed and whilst participants could see the benefits and found the software to be intuitive several commented that it was time consuming and fiddly and the library were unsure of how to continue. Fast-forward to now and we have really turned a corner but what has changed?
In this session Rachel Fell, Senior Assistant Librarian at Manchester Metropolitan University will explain how academic staff are now seeing the attraction and potential of managing their own lists. Comments from those recently trained include:

A great way of making essential readings easily accessible.
Peter Gossman, Principal Lecturer, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

The training session was very useful and informative and, as a result, I felt confident to experiment with the Aspire technology. I now build reading lists quickly and effectively not just for my modules but also for individual lectures and workshops.
David C Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Department of Management

A very useful, very hands-on training session that really helped me get going with Aspire. The programme itself can save academics a lot of emails regarding digitisations and allows the user to manage the ‘Readings’ section on their Moodle pages in an effective way.
Dr. Xavier Aldana Reyes, Lecturer, Department of English

Rachel will focus on the re-development of training sessions, introduction of a new online guide and launch of the Aspire Moodle plug-in developed by Lancaster University.

Integrating Talis Aspire into Acquisitions and Digitisations workflows

Maria O’Hara, Acquisitions and Discovery Officer
Sylvia Ford, Acquisitions and Discovery Officer
King’s College London

While we have been using Talis Aspire since 2012 how we use it has been constantly changing and developing. Over the past year we have done a lot of work to integrate it more fully with our processes. The Talis Aspire software has enabled us to take a more dynamic and holistic approach to reading list fulfilment. Working together with the Digital Assets and Research Support team and the Library Services’ Partnerships & Liaison team we have created a Vision for Reading Lists and implemented a Reading List Fulfilment Service and implemented a Reading List Fulfilment Service.

This service is still in development but it has already become the main way in which we receive module reading lists for acquisitions review. We are also receiving an increasing number of digitisation requests in this way. We would like share our experience of moving from working on departmental reading list projects to implementing a university-wide Vision for Reading Lists. We will look at how this has prompted us to make academic engagement a priority and the successes and challenges we’ve encountered in the process.
With the increased volume of lists being sent for review through Talis Aspire we have also worked extensively on putting systems in place to manage a complicated reviews workflow. We will also share this experience with our colleagues and touch on how it fits in with our future plans and our aim of making the ordering process more systematic.

Reading Lists and Digitised Content at RGU: Experiences and Expectations

Susan Copeland, Information Resource Manager
Edward Alaszewski, E-Services Librarian
Robert Gordon University

RGU began using TALIS Aspire Reading Lists in 2011 and, following a pilot phase, the Library Service offered to create ‘Aspire Lists’ for all interested academics. In July 2014 the service to users was enhanced following the Library’s acquisition of Talis Aspire Digitised Content. Over the years there have been many changes to the way in which the Library manages the service (for example transferring responsibility from the Client Services section to Bibliographic Services). There have been operational changes to the way in which the lists are maintained and implications for related Library activities (e.g. ebook purchasing). There have been changes to the workflow to accommodate increased demand and there have been policy changes (e.g. relating to ‘reviews’). Through work with the reading lists, the Library is strengthening relationships with academics and with the Department for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Assessment.

In retrospect, we would have done some things differently (adding dates from the outset, taking more advantage of service calls etc.). There are some elements of the system we would like to be different (such as aspects of reporting and statistics). There are some activities we intend to do differently in future (such as encouraging Academic staff to update their own lists). Pressure to continuously streamline our processes and enhance our service results partly from the success of what has been provided to users so far. Some students now focus on the reading lists for links to electronic resources (and need to be reminded about the other material in the Library), every month new lists need to be created for modules not previously represented on ‘Aspire@RGU’, and over 1000 digitised readings have been made available between June and December 2014.


Christina Harbour, ReadingLists@Anglia Project Manager
Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University chose Talis Aspire back in March 2013. Now in Phase 3 of the project this session will highlight the different ways in which we evaluate and advocate the system to academic staff.

The previous reading list system at Anglia Ruskin University was a difficult process for academic staff, the library and students. We used the One Page Project Plan (OPPP) to identify how to run the project and advocate the system to the University as a whole. We decided on using a top down and bottom up approach in which academic staff complete the list themselves with help from the library. Since our pilot phase in July 2013 nearly 1000 lists have been added to the new system.

As a result of this success we needed ways to evaluate the project. This has included writing an evaluation plan and reporting to a project review meeting every three months. We also use Talis Aspire reports to keep our own analysis in Excel and we tested a sample of 5% of current lists for clarity and quality.

Open information in need of liberation: Aspire and the conundrum of linked data

Richard Cross, Resource Discovery and Innovation Team Manager
Nottingham Trent University

Talis Aspire’s applications are built on the foundation of open linked data (a widely heralded ‘public good’ in the information realm) and cloud hosted SaaS (the increasing norm in the information industry sector). But the ability to open up, share, link and compare resource list information on the open web is far less well reflected when it comes to the needs of those managing resource list services within an educational institution. The ability to repurpose and republish the contents of lists outside of the Aspire interfaces is limited; independent reporting access to list data even more constrained. This presentation will explore some of the problems raised when open data exists just beyond the librarian’s reach, and suggests some changes which might increase the ‘openness’ of what is currently enticingly inaccessible (but hugely powerful) information.

We will be announcing more speakers and session details for Day Two next week. So watch this space!

Which of these sessions will you be making sure you don’t miss at Talis Insight UK 2015?

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