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Our Services: Reading Lists: Using Talis Aspire

A guide on how to create and maintain reading lists using Talis Aspire

About Talis Aspire Reading Lists

Talis Aspire is used to create, maintain and access Durham University's online reading lists. It offers full control over their content and layout, allows linking to almost any online material (including ebooks, ejournal articles, multimedia, and websites) and provides students with an intuitive interface through which to locate, access and manage their course readings. It replaces the 'Library Resources' service previously embedded in DUO, streamlining communications between students, module tutors and the Library on provision of resources.

  1. An intuitive interface to help students find, access and manage reading list material.
  2. An easy to use system allowing tutors to arrange lists in the way that best suits the module and its students.
  3. Incorporate varied material types, including printed items, online resources, websites and videos.
  4. Edit your lists directly at any time and easily alert the library to items that need purchasing or digitising.
  5. Add notes to individual items to provide guidance and commentary.

If an online list exists for your module:

  • Links to the full reading list, and possibly individual sections of it, should be provided in your modules in Learn Ultra. These should be used wherever available, as they can guide your reading appropriately.
  • Alternatively, you can enter the module code or title into the search box on the Talis Aspire site then select the entry marked 'List', if one is presented, to view the reading list or 'Module' to see if there is more than one list for your module.
  • A final option is to use the browse feature under the search box. Select your faculty, then department, then level of study. You can sort the columns by module title or code by clicking above them.
  • NB: Not all modules have a reading list, as some don't require one. Ask your tutor if unsure.

Brief instructional documents and videos are available below.

Training opportunities will be available and advertised through Easter term and the summer vacation.

Contact library.resources@durham.ac.uk with any further questions or ask your Faculty Librarian for guidance. If your enquiry is urgent, try using the Ask DULib service.

Getting started - Tutors

You can rearrange, add or delete items in your reading lists directly on-screen. You can also divide your list into sections to guide your students' reading and add notes to highlight the significance of key materials and describe how students are expected to engage with them. Important, please note:

  1. You need 'List Publisher' permissions to edit reading lists. Request this from library.resources@durham.ac.uk.
  2. Click the 'Publish' button after making any changes to reflect them in the students' view.
  3. To alert the Library to new books you have added to your list you should select 'Request review' from the 'edit' menu above the list. The Library will see any new books added and purchase any new or additional provision required.
  4. The Bookmarking tool is the easiest way to add new resources of any format to your list. Set this up as soon as you have list publisher permissions.
  5. Add resources already in the Library's collections by opening the record describing that item in either the catalogue or Discover and clicking on the bookmarking tool described above. Add books not yet available in the Library by opening a publisher or vendor page describing the book and click on the bookmarking button. Add freely available online resources by clicking the bookmarking button with the relevant page open. Remember to then 'Request review' to trigger library purchases.

Video guides (6 available - select the arrows to scroll)

Finding a list - link to video
Adding structure - link to video
Installing the bookmarking tool - link to video
Creating a new list - link to video
Adding a book - Link to video
Adding a journal article - link to video

Quick-start guides (7 available - select the arrows to scroll)

Creating a new list - PDF guide
Structuring a list - link to PDF guide
Adding new resources - link to PDF guide
Adding online journal articles - link to PDF guide
Requesting library purchases - link to PDF guide
Requesting digitisation - link to PDF guide
Adding open access resources - link to PDF guide

Further help

Training opportunities will be available and advertised through Easter term and the summer vacation.

Contact library.resources@durham.ac.uk with any further questions or ask your Faculty Librarian for guidance. If your enquiry is urgent, try using the Ask DULib service.

Need inspiration? Examples of well thought out, structured reading lists

Social Policy: Principles, Current Issues and International Perspectives

Aspects of this list that are helpful to students:

  1. Introductory paragraph explaining the purpose of the list, how it supports the module, and how students are expected to engage with it
  2. Key textbook and general introductory titles highlighted and their purpose described clearly.
  3. A clear and consistent, easily-navigable structure presented by teaching week.
  4. Sections sub-divided into key and recommended readings enabling students to prioritise effectively.
  5. Essential readings clearly labelled with a note describing exactly what to read and highlighting the specific benefit of that text.
  6. All key texts and the majority of additional materials available online with a clear 'view online' link provided.

Current Geoarchaeology: Reconstructing Archaeological Sites

Aspects of this list that are helpful to students:

  1. Introductory paragraph outlining the context of the module and how the reading list supports it.
  2. The two main texts described prominently at the top of the list.
  3. A clear and consistent, easily-navigable structure presented by teaching week.
  4. Each section features a note explaining what topic the readings will cover.
  5. Each section sub-divided into essential readings and further readings enabling students to prioritise effectively.
  6. Essential readings clearly labelled with a note describing exactly what the student should read and highlighting the specific benefit of that text.
  7. Occasional brief exposition outlining the theme for the next few weeks, helping to scaffold students' understanding of the module structure and enabling them, potentially, to group their reading activities.
  8. Almost all texts are available online with a clear 'view online' link provided.