Having completed our Talis Aspire Reading Lists Tenancy Questionnaire, we were able to organise our Talis Aspire Reading Lists kick off webinar, which was scheduled for 13th February 2014. We gathered our project team together to attend this webinar; our project team consisted of eight but covered all the key teams who will be inputting into our Talis Aspire Reading Lists implementation. Our Project team was made up of three people from the IT Department  with expertise in authentication and implementation; four from the library, involved in our Discovery (Primo) and LMS (Bibsys and Alma), as well as reading list quality checking and library acquisitions; and one project consultant.

Laura Unwin, our assigned Talis Support Consultant led us through the Talis Aspire Reading Lists project outline so that we were clear what the Talis Aspire implementation would cover. We were introduced us to the tool that Talis use to manage the implementation –  Basecamp. Basecamp provides a clear summary of each stage of the project outlining the key tasks in each area. The Talis Aspire kick off webinar answered our questions, while also identifying areas that we should consider further over the coming weeks, such as branding and design, hierarchy, and VLE integration. Talis outlined each of these areas taking actions to organise follow up conversations enabling us to consider our approach, and ensure we had the right people available for the detailed conversations so that we could reach an agreed approach quickly. An example of this is branding our Talis Aspire tenancy, a designer from our graphic department, assisted with branding and design inputting requirements to the Talis team, enabling them to develop the design we wanted, at every stage our graphic designer was able to review and sign off on the work that Talis had done, allowing us to reach a quick agreement on the design for our Talis Aspire tenancy.

Laura used Talis Knowledge to guide us through our implementation, this helped answer some of our questions as they were raised, or enabled us to learn a little more prior to discussing further with the Talis team. To compliment this, there is also the community discussion forum LIS-TALIS-ASPIRE which we registered for, this means we can raise questions to the community of Talis users (understanding how they may have addressed elements that we are only just starting to consider around our Reading List implementation project), while also being able to see what further established Talis customers are discussing / thinking about.

Throughout this process we have been looking for the right partners within the university for this project, wanting to involve enough people to get buy in, but not wanting to include too many people until we have something that we can show. We focussed on who within our institution is in possession of the qualifications and the expertise we need? We decided that everyone needs to know enough about the project to get an overview, but not everybody needs all the details. Talis Aspire Reading Lists is a project that brings multiple teams together so as to ensure the most effective setup, and then rollout for Academics and Students.

We are currently working to complete our hierarchy, this is an ongoing discussion which Talis are helping us to understand the implications around our decisions. Some of our issues are: Who will use the hierarchy, when, and from where? Today our reading list are a part of something we call “course description”, also containing information on learning outcome, course outline, learning process and exams. Our course descriptions are provided by Lotus Notes, a system managing hierarchy and workflow. Lotus Notes is planned phased out during the next couple of years, but we still don’t know what to replace it. In other words: Do we want a full hierarchy in Talis or will this be provided by the systems our reading lists will be integrated with? We should get this resolved shortly, and we can then start to think about our Talis Aspire Reading Lists rollout… this is when it will get interesting!

Written by
Kristin Danielsen and Hilde Marie Sandstrak