The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions started a project in the fall 2011 in order to investigate the amount of electronic/digitized content in literature lists. The survey revealed the need for a reading list management tool. A new project was initiated with 8 HE institutions as participants. This is how we were introduced to Talis Aspire.

At BI we’ve had online reading lists since about 2000. Our system has been developed and customized over the years, but has reached its limitations. We were also in a process of rationalizing our routines and workflow – we called it a “work smarter project”.  Too much time was spent checking references and spelling, we needed a tool with the ability to harvest metadata from the library catalogue. The students wanted information about library holdings and availability.  But most of all, there was a need for linking up electronic resources. We spend millions each year on information resources and we wish to make them visible and market them in every way. Instead of listing articles in their reading lists, lecturers would print and hand out in class, or post PDFs on the VLE.

March last year, Mark Bush from Talis paid us a visit. Participants involved with reading list creation at BI were summoned for the meeting. With his presentation, Mark managed to convince us that Talis Aspire Reading Lists were able to solve our most crucial issues. A test site was set up for us and we were able to experience functionality, possibilities and how different resource types looked like in Talis.

We experienced some limitations due to testing access vs full access, and we also saw the need of implementing our hierarchy in order to see the full picture and utility value of Talis. We also had some challenges due to our new discovery system Oria (Primo), regarding to harvesting metadata and linking. Some issues here will probably remain unsolved until the new library system, Alma, is operating in 2016. We will probably need some time before we can fully take advantage of all the possibilities in both Oria, Alma and Talis.

During the testing period we have been playing ball with the different program areas at BI, to make sure that all issues are taken into consideration. They are all impatient to getting started with Talis, and that provides us with a good starting point. There may be challenges ahead regarding to different workflows in different departments, and the different internal workflows vs Talis’ workflow, but we trust these issues to be solved.

All in all, we strive for simplicity and quality in our services, and we hope that Talis will be a powerful tool to achieving this, including making our electronic resources more visible and easier accessible for our students.

After some months of testing, documentation, workshops, discussions and presentations we were ready to move on with Talis. We applied for investment funding, and January 2015 we finally signed the Talis Order Form.

Written by:

Kristin F. Danielsen, Senior Librarian
Hilde Marie, Librarian
BI Norwegian Business School