Checklist for success - Talis Aspire Reading Lists

How to make your Talis Aspire Reading Lists (TARL) tenancy a success.


Purchasing Talis Aspire Reading Lists is only the beginning of the journey. The area’s outlined in this checklist are all contributors to incorporating reading lists into your institution’s teaching and learning and library acquisitions processes. Print this out and tick them off as you go.

Review objectives

  • You had some aims and objectives that the purchase of Talis Aspire was designed to meet. Have you reviewed these now that you have had Talis aspire for some time?

Project Board

  • Do you have a team of people who take responsibility for the way that reading lists are used in your institution?
  • Do you meet regularly to discuss who specific tasks are contributing to your objectives and targets?


  • Get your academics and course administrators up to speed with the creation and publishing of lists.
  • Plan how you are going to reach out to specific schools, faculty or departments.
  • Find out where academics are most keen on reading lists, and turn them into your allies.

Consider where change is needed

  • What can you do differently now that you have Talis Aspire?
  • What can you do away with now you have Talis Aspire?
  • What extra things can you do now that you have Talis Aspire?

Awareness through integration

  • How do your students get to see their lists? Through the VLE or student portal?
  • How do academics know that they need to create lists? Through the Module Validation processes at your university?

Who controls the list?

  • Having the academic control the list frees up a lot of time from the subject librarians and academic liaison teams.
  • Having the library control the list might make it slower to get to your module coverage targets as you have a small team trying to create all the lists.

Can academics just start playing?

  • Devolved Constraints allow academics to ‘just login and get going’. Have you set this up?

Feedback and evaluate

  • All the while that you are meeting with users using Talis Aspire, are you gathering their feedback and using it to inform decision making?

Acquisitions review

  • Have you reviewed your processes to see how acquisitions can take advantage of the data captured by Talis Aspire?


  • Have you got a set of routine tasks that you aim to complete each year?

Staff Training

  • Have you got a process in place for making sure that new and returning staff are introduced to talis Aspire and to how the university manages reading lists?
  • Do you hold refresher drop in sessions?


  • Have you a plan for how you want to use rollover in Talis Aspire to copy lists from year to year?


  • Have you a plan for how you can use the hierarchy update feature to keep your TAlis Aspire hierarchy reflecting the latest changes to the modules being taught at your institution?

Ask if it is possible

  • Have you asked the community for advice?
  • Have you asked the Talis support desk for advice?

So how many did you tick off?

If you want to know more about any of these checklist items, please contact us and we’ll be happy to either offer advice, or put you in touch with other customers who are already doing what you are trying to do

Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.