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Talis Awards 2020: Talis University of the Year

Natalie Naik
Talis Awards

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.

Talis University of the Year was one out of three awards that we presented, along with the Talis Inclusivity Award and the Talis Aspire User Group Innovation Award, which is voted for by our Talis Aspire User Group representatives.

Talis University of the Year is awarded to a university that has shown continued, all-round dedication to improving student experience and library workflows with Talis Aspire, and is an engaged member of the Talis Aspire community.


Our runners up for Talis University of the Year are the University of Waikato and the University of Oxford.

The University of Waikato has shown a very proactive response to academic need. They had academics concerned that they would struggle to have time to edit their lists, so they developed and implemented a new workflow which ensures academics are feeling supported. They’ve created this so that it continues to support academics in the future should they still feel they don’t have time to update lists, while also giving them the toolkit of processes to update lists in future if they so choose. 

They have also been very proactive and a key part of the APAC Talis Aspire User Group and supporting the running of the Talis Insight event in APAC.

Steve Donaldson, Library Systems Manager at the University of Waikato said, “It has been a rewarding experience working with the Talis team to put together a Talis Insight (APAC) agenda for the past three years that has worked to help build a community of practice within our region. To have that recognised through these awards, as well as the work we’ve been doing to create a better reading list experience for our academic staff is very much appreciated by all involved at The University of Waikato.”


The University of Oxford is the newest Talis Aspire university in this category, and have quickly stood out for embracing a new system into a complicated multi-site library setup. They have embraced questioning and reviewing their current workflows and are always biting at the bit for the next area to explore.

They have used COVID-19 to support the growth of reading lists, highlighting the value to academics and seeing a faster uptake than they had imagined. Even in these times they are continuing to be proactive and delving into the world of analytics and understanding how this can support them and help continue to deliver that student experience.

We’re looking forward to seeing them grow and develop with workflows and rollout further. 

“The University of Oxford are delighted to have been nominated as University of the Year.  Talis Aspire has become a key component in our digital education strategy and provides students with an online, authoritative and comprehensive source of linked reading lists, delivering a common and enhanced student experience in an accessible environment. We are grateful to our Talis colleagues who combine expert support with affability. We also value the wider Talis community whose generosity of spirit and creativity provide an important channel of support. We look forward to meeting everyone in person as future Insight events.” James Shaw – Document Delivery Services Librarian, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.


The winner of Talis University of the Year is the University of Gloucestershire.

The University of Gloucestershire is a smaller university but are 100% committed to the quality of student experience, and continue to push the boundaries.

They partnered with us on the CLA Digital Content Store integration, providing feedback and full testing, and resulting in many more of you making use of this. When it comes to new features this university are always the first with their hands up to try them and put them in place and provide constructive and clear feedback. They have embraced Automatic Profile Creation and more recently recognised the need and importance of learner analytics and are making the most of the Advanced Management Information System (Advanced MIS). 

This university continues to amaze us with their enthusiasm and we do look forward to seeing where they push the boundaries this year and how they shape the service they offer. 

James Hodgkin, Associate Director and University Librarian at the University of Gloucestershire said: “It was fantastic to be acknowledged by Talis, especially when I consider the number of Universities using Aspire. We are a small organisation and that means everything has been achieved with a few incredibly dedicated staff. Although Gloucestershire has always seen Talis in the much wider strategic context of learning technology and pedagogy, it is the hard work of the library staff that make it happen. We are proud to say every module will have a Talis reading list in 20/21 and our next stage is creating a framework to encourage all academics to get the most out of the system.”


Congratulations to all of our winners. We look forward to continuing to support them and their use of Talis Aspire to improve their library services and student experience.

See our posts on the other awards:

Talis Inclusivity Award

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.

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