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Our Services: Reading Lists: FAQs

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

FAQs - please select a question to reveal the answer

There should be a content item marked 'Reading list' somewhere in the module already. Clicking the link opens a Talis Aspire overlay (follow any login prompts that appear) and presents the list associated with the respective module code and academic year. If so, click the 'save' button and exit using the X at the top-left. If not, find the right list using the search box then, with the right list on-screen, click 'save' to confirm then the X in the top-left to exit back to your module. This video depicts the process (the video has no sound). NB: If a 'relink' button is displayed and the list on-screen is correct, no further action is needed and you can close the window.
You will need to add a new reading list content item for each section. Do this by hovering over the module, click the +, select 'Content market' then the + icon in the option marked 'Reading list'. Click on this newly-created content item to open the Talis Aspire overlay, find the correct reading list if not displayed by default, then choose appropriate section from the drop-down box. With the right section in the preview, click the 'save' button to confirm then the X in the top-left to exit. Set the link as visible to students and try the student preview to confirm. NB: You can also add links to reading lists or sections within them whenever there is the option to insert an 'LTI Item'. The process is the same as described above. This video depicts the process (the video has no sound).
By adding new books to your reading list in Talis Aspire then selecting 'Request review' from the 'edit' button above the list to alert the Library. Remember to click on the 'Publish' button as well to reflect the new additions in the students' view. The Requesting Library Purchases guide provides further details
Please follow the Requesting Digitisation of Key Extracts guide for requesting digitisation and Requesting Digitisation tab above for further information about what can and cannot be provided
There is no typical timescale. This depends on the time of year, how many requests the Library’s Acquisitions team have received recently, whether an e-book or a print copy is purchased, where it is bought from, and how busy the Library’s Cataloguing and Processing teams are. It can take anything from a few days to a few weeks. More detail is available in the Requesting a Purchase guide
There is no typical timescale. This depends on the time of year, how many requests the digitisation team are handling, whether a book needs to be purchased or recalled to scan from, and whether the information provided matches what is seen in the book.
No. The Digitisation Team contacts tutors if we need to confirm details about requests or if there is a problem. We do not routinely notify tutors when requests are complete. However, once requests are complete, a ‘View online’ link will appear next to digitised chapters within the list in Talis, and you can use the ‘Digitised’ option from the ‘Filter’ menu at the top of the list. We will always notify you if we are unable to fulfil a digitisation request for any reason.

Please contact us if you have any questions about digitisation or the status of requests.
No. This would delay the acquisitions process significantly if applied widely. Once an order has been placed, whether for a print or an online copy, the title will be listed on the catalogue and Discover recording the date the order was placed. This will be updated with information on availability once the material is available and processed for borrowing or online consultation. You will be contacted only when books cannot be sourced.
Log in to Talis Aspire, select ‘My bookmarks’ from the purple bar then click on the ‘Install Bookmark Button’. You then need to enable the bookmark favourites bar for your browser, if not displayed already, to deposit the button on. In most borowsers, Ctrl+Shift+b toggles it on and off (Command+Shift+b in Safari) but if that fails full instructions for doing this are available for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. You then just need to drag the blue button marked ‘Add to My Bookmarks’ up and drop it on the favourite bookmarks bar (you can move it about afterwards if needed).
Check for existing eBooks using Discover. Enter the title and author keywords, selecting 'Library collections' when prompted, then with the results on screen select 'Available online' from the 'Availability' filter on the right. E-books already listed on a Talis Aspire reading list will have a ‘View online’ option next to them, or you can find them selecting the ‘Online resource’ option from the ‘Filter’ menu at the top.
Where an e-book isn't already available, check for library licences using the Gobi and LibCentral supplier catalogues. There are instructions for using Gobi, and instructions for using LibCentral.

Where an e-book is not an option available, check whether sections can be scanned.

Where there are no suitable online options available, discuss potential solutions with your Faculty Librarian, whose contact details can be found in your department's Subject Guide.
When you select 'Request a review' from the 'edit' menu above the reading list, the Library is alerted to all new materials you have added to your list. For all new books we always check for an ebook first and only buy a print copy if no online access can be sourced. If you have marked any of the new books as 'essential' (either by changing the designation under 'no importance set' or in an entry in the 'Note to the Library' box) we will alert you by email if online access cannot be sourced.
Simply add the library's print version to the reading list and insert a suitably-worded 'Note for Library' (e.g. 'Please purchase ebook') from the three dots to the right. Once done, request a review from the 'edit' menu above the list to convey this to the Library. Students do not see this information. You will be alerted if an ebook cannot be sourced.
When you make any changes to a reading list, the revisions are stored in a separate ‘draft’ copy that students cannot see. When you select the ‘publish’ option the changes become visible to students. Selecting ‘Request a review’ from the ‘Edit’ menu alerts the Library to the changes so we can check whether any purchases will be necessary. These processes are completely independent of each other.
This happens when the Library is still checking through your list after it was last submitted for review. You can check whether the review is still open by selecting .'Review history'. While a review is still open, the Library will see any new books you add to your list and seek to acquire any we don't have.
‘Essential’ means all students undertaking the module will need to read this material. ‘Seminar’ denotes material intended for discussion in a seminar. ‘Preparatory’ designates material students might be expected to consult before commencing their studies. These options cannot be re-named by individual tutors or departments but can be changed by Talis. It is desirable to identify a limited number of labels that are meaningful for students and tutors throughout Durham University but it is not desirable to have a high number of competing or contradictory labels to choose from.
You can use the Note for library function to highlight anything you think we need to know. For example, if you require additional copies of a print title, additional licence for an e-book, or digitisation of extracts from titles previously not in stock. Simply click the three dots next to the relevant object, add a Note for library and input the details. NB: students do not see this information; it is not reflected in their view
You can toggle the ‘View online’ button on and off and select its destination URL manually. Find the book on the catalogue and copy the link you would click to visit it. In your reading list, click the three dots to the right of the book and select ‘edit’. Choose ‘Web address’ from the drop-down to the right of ‘Add field’, click the ‘Add’ button and paste in the URL you copied from the catalogue. Then toggle the ‘Online resource’ radio button until you are prompted to select the desired URL. Choose the one you just pasted then save.
Yes. You can drag items or sections up and down the screen using the up/down arrows icon to the right but you cannot drag beyond the top/bottom edges of the screen. To move an item or section further, select ‘cut’ from the three dots to the right, scroll to where you want to insert it, hover your cursor where you want to deposit it and select ‘paste’ from the resulting menu.
No. Unfortunately this is not possible at present. You can copy individual items from one list to another by selecting ‘Add to My Bookmarks’ from the three dots to the right of the item you want to copy, opening the list you want to copy it to and selecting ‘Add resource’ as you hover the cursor over the list. The book you just copied should be at the top of the resulting menu. You can copy several items from your original list to your bookmarks in this way then paste them into your new list in quick succession if needed rather than toggling back and forth between lists for each individual item. Unfortunately this doesn’t work for sections.
No. The only option is to copy and paste items from one list to the other, as described above.
Yes. Any given reading list in Talis Aspire can be attached to as many modules as required. When viewing the list, select ‘Hierarchy and student numbers’ from the ‘edit’ menu just above the list. Start typing in the module code into the search box and select the appropriate module from the results. If you cannot find your module this way it may need to be inserted - please contact if this is needed.
Yes. You can link lists to, and un-link them from, specific modules by selecting ‘Hierarchy and student numbers’ from the ‘edit’ menu above the list. Choose the module you wish to assign the existing list to and un-link the other one[s]. You can then create a new list to attach to another module or you can make a duplicate of an existing list and link that to the relevant module from the ‘Hierarchy and student numbers’ option in the ‘edit’ menu.
We are no longer using the Word and spreadsheet templates from previous years. Please add new books to the relevant reading lists, select ‘essential’ if they will be in high demand, and choose ‘Request a review’ from the ‘edit’ menu above the list. The Library will see the new books and purchase sufficient provision, alerting you by email if online access cannot be sourced.
There are instructions for the main steps available from the right hand column in the Using Talis Aspire guide. You can also email for answers to specific questions. If you would like some live, interactive guidance, please contact your Faculty Librarian.