At our Library Innovation Group (LIG) meeting this coming Monday (20 June), we’re going to be taking a fresh look at how we support the use of online reading lists in the University of Lincoln.
At the moment, we use a reading list product called LearnBuild LibraryLink, which integrates nicely with our Blackboard VLE and allows subject librarians to keep on top of multiple lists. However, it’s fair to say it’s not always the easiest software to use. Here are my instructions on maintaining reading lists in LibraryLink [PDF].
When I gave a presentation about our experiences of using reading list software at the second ‘Innovations in Reference Management‘ event last year (#irm10), Owen Stephens the event organiser liveblogged our situation quite nicely:
Paul reflecting that Lincoln only partially successful in implementing ‘reading lists’.
University of Lincoln – bought reading list system, funds were only available for short period, so had limited time to assess full requirements and how far chosen product met their requirements.
- filled a void
- improved consistency
- gave library an ‘in’ on launch of new VLE (Blackboard)
- hundreds of modules linked in by 2000
- students are using them – have usage stats from both LearnBuild and Blackboard
- some simple stock-demand prediction
Unfortunately there were quite a few areas not so successful:
- not intuitive; time-consuming
- software not being developed
- no community of users
- competing developements (EPrints, digitisation, OPAC, RefWorks)
- too closely linked to Blackboard module system
- Subject libraries don’t like it, but lack of uptake from academics means that it is the subject librarians who end up doing the work.
However, unless library can demonstrate success, unlikely to get money to buy better system… So library putting more effort into make it work.
So: on Monday, I’m hoping to kick off a discussion by giving a quick run-through of the various online reading list management options available to UK Higher Education libraries. These screenshot slides (which are a visual aid / aide mémoire rather than a proper presentation) list the various products and approaches to reading list management. Some are commercial software projects; others are Open Source projects; still others are being developed in-house at various universities (and are not necessarily available for the University of Lincoln to use – e.g. the University of Huddersfield’s MyReading Project); there are a couple of wildcard solutions in there too.
Here are the slides: