We held the Talis Awards as part of an Insight Webinar series that we held in May, following the postponement of our live event. We were thrilled to host the Talis Awards online and still share the success stories from our Talis Aspire universities with our community.
The Talis Inclusivity Award was one out of three awards that we presented, along with Talis University of the Year and The Talis Aspire User Group Innovation Award, which is voted for by our Talis Aspire User Group representatives.
The Talis Inclusivity Award is for universities that show a dedication to improving access to resources for all students, and have stood out for their accessibility or diversity projects with Talis Aspire. This is a new award for 2020, and we felt it was important to highlight the great things our universities have been doing to tackle these challenges.
Our runner up was the University of Exeter for their wellbeing and alternative formats projects.
During the summer of 2019 they explored ways in which they could use reading lists to positively encourage wellbeing. They did this utilising Talis Aspire and including online LibGuides, working closely with AccessAbility colleagues. This university has been committed to supporting students in terms of accessibility with alternative formats and supporting mature students who have additional challenges of supporting families and taking time out of work to study.
The library team have been proactive in donating items of their own including jigsaws and games to support students who can be lonely and to give a well-needed break from studies. The team are looking forward to enhancing this service with future topics to evolve the collection and support for students. They shared the work they have been doing in a webinar in March 2020, which you can watch below:
Here’s what Susan Abbott, Digital Library Manager, University of Exeter said: “Here at the University of Exeter we have always been aware of the growing pressures on our staff and students during their time at University, we hoped we could help by providing easy access to wellbeing materials both online and in print. Not just support materials but to materials that promote activities to increase wellbeing like games, puzzles, audiovisual materials and leisure reading. It is great that we have been recognised for our efforts in this area by Talis, alongside great feedback from our users we know this has been a worthwhile service and we shall continue to develop this area of our activity in the future.”
Our winner was Leeds Beckett University for their Alternative Formats Service.
Leeds Beckett University have been running an Alternative Formats Service for over 10 years, providing reading list resources in an accessible format.
Using four process review practices along with data from the existing service, a new workflow was implemented by the library’s Learning Resources team, which removed duplication and single points of failure. The resulting changes made improvements to the management of the process in which alternative format resources are shared using Talis Aspire, and most importantly, improved students’ access to their readings from one place, using the same system as their peers, enabling greater independence. You can watch a webinar they presented on this topic below:
Natalia Gordon, Information Services Librarian at Leeds Beckett University said: “We are pleased to receive recognition from Talis for all the hard work we have put into improving our Alternative Formats Service, and it is a very welcome boost during these uncertain times. This successful project was the result of the collaboration between multiple library teams and the commitment of the individuals involved to improving the service for our print-impaired students. Throughout the review of the service, we were able to identify improvements to the reading list acquisition workflow that benefited all of our students. This result reinforces the idea that improving accessibility does not just benefit a small group but benefits us all.”
Pippa Wood, Senior Information Services Librarian at Leeds Beckett University has written an overview of the Alternative Formats Review project here.
Congratulations to both of our winners. We look forward to continuing to support them with their accessibility programmes, and seeing how these programmes progress in the coming months.
See our posts on the other awards:
Talis University of the Year
Talis Aspire User Group Innovation Award
You can watch a recording of the Talis Awards here.
If you’d like to see recordings from the Talis Insight Webinar Series, click here.