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Our Services: Reading Lists: Talis Aspire and reading lists

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

About Talis Aspire Reading Lists

Talis Aspire is Durham University’s new software for creating and maintaining online reading lists. It facilitates greater control over their content and layout, allows linking to a wide variety of material (including ebooks, ejournal articles, videos, and websites) and provides students with a clear and intuitive interface through which to locate and access their course readings. It replaces the 'Library Resources' service previously embedded in DUO and streamlines communications between module tutors and the University Library and Collections regarding provision of resources.

Information for students

If an online list exists for your module:

A link marked 'Reading List' should be present on the left of the screen in DUO...

..or you can enter the module code or title into the search box at Either select the entry marked 'list' to view the reading list or 'Module' to see if there is more than one list supporting your module...

...or use the browse feature under the search box at Select your faculty, then department, then level of study. You can re-order the columns by module title or code by clicking on the top of them if needed

NB: Not all modules have a reading list. Some don't require one and in some cases they may still be in the process of development. Talis Aspire is new in Michaelmas term 2020 and it will take time to populate new lists where needed.

Benefits of Talis Aspire

An intuitive interface to help your students find and access reading list material.

An easy to use, integrated system that allows you to arrange your list in the way that best suits your module and your students.

Incorporate different material types, including printed items, online resources, websites and videos.

Edit your lists directly at any time, and quickly and easily tell the library about items that need purchasing or digitising.

Add notes to individual items to provide additional guidance and commentary.

Information for Tutors

All ‘Library Resources’ lists present in DUO on 3rd September 2020, including those that were present throughout the last academic year, have been transferred to the Talis Aspire site. They look different to before, but all the same items should be present.

The 'Library Resources' link in your DUO modules is being replaced with a 'Reading Lists' link before Michaelmas term starts. No action is needed from tutors.

What to do

Module tutors should now have access to the Talis Aspire interface to edit their lists directly. Library staff will continue to add books and scans requested in submission forms already received, but now tutors should, where possible, make amendments via Talis Aspire rather than the Word document circulated previously. Self-help guides (see right) and twice-weekly drop-in sessions have been organised to assist you with this.

What do I have to do now?

  1. Check whether a list is present on Talis Aspire for your module and that all expected items are present. Create one if needed, or seek assistance if you think one should be present but the list is empty. 
  2. Contact if you have not received an email inviting you to accept 'List Publisher' permissions on Talis Aspire or you know of a module tutor who hasn't.

If I wish to make changes to my list, how might I go about it?

  • Add any essential online journal articles.
  • Add further essential books and alert the Library by selecting 'Request review' from the edit menu.
  • Request extracts for scanning if any are needed.
  • Delete any materials no longer needed.

How else can I enhance my list if I wish to?

  • Highlight all of the essential readings in the list using the drop-down options adjacent to each item.
  • Re-arrange the list structure to make it intuitive to your students.
  • Annotate key items to explain their significance and add contextual notes where appropriate.

Quick-start reference Guides for tutors

The following self-help guides cover the most common topics in finding, creating and editing reading lists in Talis Aspire:

Drop-in support sessions are running throughout September to offer support with the main features and priorities. No need to book in advance; just follow the links during the windows specified.

Contact with any further questions.