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Talis Aspire

How the University of Worcester improved the student experience of the library with Talis Aspire

Natalie Naik

Thank you to Judith Keene, University Librarian at the University of Worcester for contributing to this post.

The University of Worcester have been working on specific issues with student satisfaction over the last couple of years, having identified gaps in reading lists as a potential reason for a negative student experience. They implemented Talis Aspire and with the hard work of the library teams, have seen their student satisfaction scores increase year on year.

In 2014, student satisfaction with resources became a focus for the library team at the University of Worcester. They had noticed poor feedback around the availability of resources, which were reflected in internal feedback surveys and the library NSS survey question. Despite having done lots of work to improve discovery, they believed the issue lay in not knowing enough about what resources were required by students

In order to ensure that the library team could provide as many resources required by students as possible, they decided to look at reading lists provided by academics. At this point, the library had access to about 40% of lists on average with a big variation between subject areas.

The team decided the most effective approach would be to attempt a top-down approach, by convincing senior management that having access to all reading lists was essential to ensuring a good coverage of course materials in the library. They looked at data across 6 academic Institutes (faculties), comparing the average NSS score for subjects in each Institute against the average number of lists. When plotted in a graph, the correlation was clear, and this was an effective argument when talking to the Heads of Institutes and Pro-Vice Chancellor.


A graph showing correlation between student satisfaction and the percentage of reading lists available to the library. ‘Institute’ here refers to the faculty.


This presentation got their attention and sparked a huge push to get every reading list across the institution to be provided to the library. This push also encouraged the library to look at the tools they were using to ensure they could make the most of this information. It was at this point that the University of Worcester selected Talis Aspire to manage their reading lists and copyright clearance management to ensure that the new lists could be managed effectively.

The library team offered to set up the reading lists in Talis Aspire for the academics, to encourage even more to come forward with their lists. Students were also employed to do some of the manual data entry work, which allowed the library team to focus their efforts on sourcing the lists and coaching the academics on the benefits and features of Talis Aspire.

At this point, the library had 85% list coverage. By using Talis Aspire and having lists set up and running reports, the library team were able to identify gaps in their stock and make better-informed purchases. In fact, this was so successful, that the library team spent around £25,000 on single items to cover bases. Because they were able to pull statistics from Talis Aspire, they were able to justify needing more budget to buy more resources.



As well as providing more resources for students, the library found that Talis Aspire made academics’ reading lists much more available to students and also to the library team, improving the student experience all around. This was achieved by establishing a consistent process and through continual communication with academics. Over 95% of modules now have a list in Talis Aspire.

The statistics that the library have received are a testament to this ongoing effort from the library team. As shown in the charts, in 2014, the overall score for the NSS question 16 on library satisfaction was 74% across all subject areas, in 2015 after having Talis Aspire for 1 year it was 83%. It has increased each year since then and in 2018 it was 91%.

One of the biggest signs of improved students experience is the consistent improvement in NSS scores across all subjects. In 2014, only 37% of subject areas scored over a 4 out of 5. In 2015 it was 66% and in 2016 it was 87%, showing a real improvement across the university as a whole.

As well as the NSS survey, the university-run an internal student survey which provides an opportunity to gather lots of feedback and respond to any issues.

In the University of Worcester’s case, it is clear that having reading lists in Talis Aspire helped to improve student satisfaction. By allowing the library to better manage their stock and ensure the right information was available, students had better access to the resources they need and as feedback showed, had a much better experience of using the library.


Join us at Talis Insight in 2019 to hear experiences first hand from the Talis Aspire community on their success stories. Find out more about the events here:
Europe: Birmingham, 30th April – 1st May
Asia-Pacific: Brisbane, 24th – 25th January

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