Skip to content

What we learnt at our Academic Engagement themed Talis Aspire Days

Natalie Naik

In November, we hosted two events to discuss the topic of academic engagement for recently joined customers and for institutions who are not yet using Talis. These events were kindly co-hosted by Northumbria University and UCL (University College London). We wanted to find out more about how our universities have successfully tackled the challenge of academic adoption and provide some more information on how Talis supports this.

Hear from academics

Professor Tom Lawson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Dr Lesley Gallacher, Senior Lecturer from Northumbria University spoke to us about the impact of reading lists in their taught courses.

Tom saw the benefits immediately as he wanted to ‘regularise’ his teaching experience for both students that were on-campus and distance learners based in Korea. He later added that once he started using the lists, he began to think harder about the content and structure of the lists and allowed him to review how he was using them in his teaching.

Lesley explained that since using the lists she has noticed an improvement in the quality of her top students work, as they are now finding resources much more easily and widening and depth of their study. She noted that the lists with better structure have better engagement, and her most engaged students have encouraged her to improve her lists across all of her modules.

Watch their session here

Eugene Walker, Departmental Administrator from the UCL School of Management joined us to share his experiences from a different perspective. He works with academics and part of his role includes promoting the lists to them, encouraging best practice and liaising with the library.

During his session, Eugene shared what he found useful when engaging academics. He explained their challenges and pressures and why they took a ‘project management’ approach.

Watch his session here


Hear from the library team

From Northumbria University, Annette Coates, Head of Library Collection & Digital Services and Amanda Foster, Content Delivery & Copyright Librarian delivered a session on their experience of implementing reading lists.

They explained why they decided to implement and how they did this, including how they introduced to academics and lessons learnt along the way.

Watch their session here

Carol Dell-Price and Claire Whittingham, Academic Librarians from Teesside University started at the beginning, exploring the need for reading lists and how they gave the library an opportunity to improve processes. They told us how they approached academic engagement, and the outcome of their efforts, including how they have changed the processes along the way.

Watch their talk here

Maria O’Hara, Reading List Services Officer, Goldsmiths University of London gave us a session around 5 key points. She covered the challenges academics face and why it’s important to consider this when trying to engage academics.

Watch Maria’s talk here


Hear from Library Management

At the events, we heard from Head of Library Services at Northumbria University, Nick Wooley and Head of Liaison and Support Services at UCL, June Hedges. They kicked off the events with a welcome to the co-hosting universities and gave us more information about the library services and digital strategy of the institution.

Watch June’s talk
Watch Nick’s talk


Hear from Talis Services

At the events, we wanted to share some information on the ways in which Talis supports academic engagement, particularly, through the Talis Services Team. Emma Dodd, Support Consultant shared the many ways you can get involved with the Talis community and great content created by the community that can help you.

Watch Emma’s talk

Some of the links to webinars and articles shared by Emma can be found below:

Engaging academics in using reading lists – Victoria University of Wellington
Encouraging staff engagement with online reading lists – University of Worcester
Reading lists – justifying the benefits for both students and lecturers
How can I encourage students to make the most of reading lists?
How can Google Analytics help drive academic engagement?
Examples of Talis API’s in library catalogue


We’d like to thank Northumbria University and UCL for co-hosting these events and to all of the speakers for sharing their experiences and learnings.

Are you interested in finding out more about how academic engagement with Talis Aspire? If you’d like to discuss this or organise a demo, please email Sales Manager Paul Dibble (

If you want to hear more your peers on topics around the impact of digital in Higher Education – join us at Talis Insight Europe 2018 in Birmingham in May, or Talis Insight Asia-Pacific 2018 in Melbourne in February.

More from the blog