The Talis Advisory Board was set up earlier this year to enable us at Talis to work more closely with those who lead HE libraries in the UK. Find out more about this group and what they hope to achieve in this article, written by our Talis Advisory Board members:
“I joined the University of South Wales in 2016 and recognised that Talis Aspire had been a fundamental and highly valued part of our library service offer to Faculty and students for many years. Attending my first Talis Insight conference blew me away in terms of the engagement from the Talis team, in being truly responsive and engaged to its community of users. When the opportunity came along to join the Talis Advisory Board, I knew that with my university’s interest in big data and learning analytics, that this presented a great opportunity to not only work with Talis on their strategy and next steps, but that we could make an active and valued contribution back. I also truly believe that learners respond positively to technology and the opportunities that this opens up to them in terms of personalisation, flexibility and equity of experience.
Working with TAB colleagues and those from the wider UK sector – Ian and Rosie – has been a real privilege. In building a new network we have identified that we, of course, share very similar challenges in relation to improving student success, innovating our service offer, the evolving nature of pedagogic practice, and how systems, services and BI can fit into all of this. It has been thought-provoking, action-orientated and inclusive; all great attributes to have in a new advisory board.
The Talis Aspire User Group representatives have and continue to have such a fundamental and important role in how Talis develops its offer and so for me, my role on TAB is to be able to serve those representatives equally well from a directorate and strategic perspective.
We know that ‘how’ students learn is radically shifting, but equally important is ‘where’ they learn, and so to be engaged with learning systems development and evolution through working with colleagues at Talis is a fantastic opportunity. If we can improve student engagement with learning content and systems in a way that also innovates our practice, then for me that would be an absolute achievement.”
Emma Adamson, Director of Learning Services, University of South Wales
“The University of Lincoln has been working with Talis since 2010 (!), and this year we signed a new agreement extending our use of Talis Aspire for another three years. We also moved up to the Unlimited service layer and agreed on a development partnership in respect of Talis Elevate.
This shows how significant Talis and its services are to the university, so when I was invited to join the fledgeling Talis Advisory Board I knew that it could offer a worthwhile (and potentially fascinating) way to engage even more closely with the company and its future development.
It’s clear that the Advisory Board comes with some responsibilities (not least in terms of preparing for and contributing to the discussions) as well as attending the meetings but after just two events I am clear that this is a unique way to engage with one of our significant suppliers, and to help reframe that relationship as a partnership. I am hopeful that the work of the TAB will help other customers to work more closely with Talis too, and cement its position as a key part of the academic library community.”
Ian Snowley, Dean of Student Learning Development and University Librarian, University of Lincoln
“I agreed to join the Talis Advisory Board because Talis has always felt like a company who is willing to listen, learn and engage from the community. You can see this from the Talis Insight conference, which feels more like a Learning and Teaching conference than one hosted by a company. At our first meeting, there were stimulating discussions covering current and diverse topics of importance to our sector. The conversations were honest and robust and the Talis Team genuinely listened to our opinions and advice for product developments. Getting time to reflect and debate as a leader is not always easy but its value cannot be underestimated. So whilst Talis are gaining insight into our future direction we are also gaining real value in having time to share and discuss our strategic viewpoint.”
Rosie Jones, Director of Students and Library Services, Teesside University
“The University of Worcester implemented Talis Aspire in 2014, with the aim of improving the student experience of library resources. We certainly achieved this aim, with satisfaction levels quickly rising in all subjects as we identified and plugged gaps in provision, linked lists to our VLE and simplified access to a range of resources. What we had not expected was the profound impact on the library staff and reputation of the library service. As liaison librarians gained in knowledge and experience of the system and started working closely with academics on resource-related projects, their profile rose and they have become increasingly recognised as peers in the Learning and Teaching process. Today we have regular sessions in the PGCert that all staff new to HE teaching undertake, the use of Talis lists is embedded in university Quality processes and library staff have published, delivered conference presentations, used case studies to support SFHEA applications, and won coveted Talis awards! This year we are pleased to have the opportunity to run a small-scale project using the Advanced MIS data to support the university’s student retention agenda.
I believe that much of this has come about because Talis as a company are genuinely interested in understanding and meeting our needs as an institution, and in supporting Learning and Teaching rather than simply supplying a system. The creation of the Talis Advisory Board further demonstrates this commitment and I jumped at the chance to engage with it. I can’t think of another supplier where there is such an opportunity to influence developments and hopefully ensure that the product remains relevant and find it immensely valuable to share ideas and experiences with colleagues from across the sector, and my first TAB event provided a great opportunity to do just this. Each of our institutions is at a different stage of maturity in different areas so there is plenty to learn from each other, and I enjoyed a rare chance to sit and reflect on what I could bring to the meeting in answer to some of the questions the Talis staff posed. I look forward to future engagement with the Board and its members.”
Judith Keene, University Librarian, University of Worcester
This post was originally created for the Talis Informer, a quarterly newsletter from Talis aimed at those leading and influencing Higher Education libraries. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. For even more content and discussion, join the Talis Informer mailing group here.