The University of Leicester – Meeting Student Demand with Talis Aspire 

The University of Leicester is a research-led university in the heart of the United Kingdom. With a high-quality academic reputation and a place in the top 20 of all major national league tables, the university caters to over 20,000 students. It has an excellent reputation for student satisfaction – and has invested heavily in campus improvements, including the development of the new David Wilson library. With ambitious plans for future development and growth in student numbers planned, the university needed an experienced partner to deliver its reading-list service.

‘We wanted to improve visibility and access to Library resources and more specifically improve student experience. Drivers included – its ease of use to create reading-lists, its development and support, ability to integrate with our book supplier database, ability to integrate with our Blackboard VLE.’

 The Challenges:

  • The university migrated to a new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in 2011 and needed a reading-list provider that could support integration with Blackboard 9.1
  • Reading-lists were often delivered as printed handouts or directly uploaded to the VLE – the library needed to change this to improve its resource management processes
  • The library was keen to review its acquisitions strategy, and to support decision-making with better usage data – something Talis could provide through advanced analytics features.

The Solution: 

The library reviewed the available reading-list management solutions and made a recommendation that the university should invest in the Talis Aspire reading-list service. The recommendation was sent to the IT Portfolio Board and approved in early 2012.

‘Having evaluated what was available and driven by a requirement to provide access to reading-lists Talis Aspire provided the best solution.’

The Outcomes: 

  • The implementation work was completed in summer 2012 and the university tenancy is now live
  • The university plans to get academics creating reading-lists ready for use by students in the second term of the 2012/13 academic year
  • Talis expertise and ongoing support will ensure that the reading-list service will scale as the student numbers and services grow.

‘… we are on track to target Semester 2 and hopefully will start to get academics on board and creating reading-lists between now and Christmas.’

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Customer Thoughts

We want to improve student experience by providing access to reading-lists through our VLE, and ultimately have each course with a reading-list. This can only be achieved by academic colleague creating reading-lists which we think, or hope will be driven by student demand. We also hope to improve the acquisition workflow as well as have some additional and meaningful usability data on which resources are being used.

Joanne Dunham, Head of Collections and Information Systems, University of Leicester, UK

Project Details

VLE Blackboard
Authentication System Athens MD
Library System SirsiDynix
Discovery Summon
Resolver WorldCat Link Manager
EZProxy Yes

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