Students, get a head start on your reading with ReadingLists@UCL!

By Sandra Bamborough, on 15 December 2014

Many UCL courses have an online reading list to guide you in your study. Reading lists are a tailored list of resources which may include links to full text readings, library books or TV clips, which you can access online anywhere, any time.

ReadingLists@UCL are created by your teachers to suit your department’s teaching, so each will be different. Your reading list might contain week by week readings to read in preparation for class, for example with key texts which link out to full-text e-journal readings, or e-books. Where books are in the library, you will see links to the library catalogue (Explore) so you can instantly check whether the book is on the shelf and place a reservation if it is on loan. A resource list could also give guidance for your own research or self-guided learning.

Other resources include digitised book chapters, links to TV or radio programmes, and specialist databases, all of which you have access to because you are at UCL. There may also be notes to guide you, or tags to show which resources are essential reading. You can sort the list by importance, add your own notes, or export the readings into a different citation format.

Access the reading lists for your courses directly through Moodle via a link in the ‘Library resources’ block, or search the ReadingLists@UCL homepage by module code or title, or by your lecturer’s name if they have made this available. You can also browse by department or search Explore, the library catalogue. Not all courses will have a list, and it is your department or tutor who will decide whether to create one.

You can find more information on the student information webpage for reading lists!

All change! New library webpages arrived 4th September

By Sandra Bamborough, on 2 September 2014

UCL Library’s webpages have migrated and launched on Thursday 4th September.


As a result the address for many of our web pages has changed, so please remember to check and update your bookmarks.

For searching for, and accessing, your reading lists, the address remains the same:

Similarly the web address for Explore does not change. Explore is the library catalogue and resources page from which you can bookmark journals, books and ebooks to add to your reading list.

Here are some key addresses which have changed – the new ones are on the right in blue:

DESCRIPTION CURRENT (until September 4th 2014) NEW – from September 4th 2014 onwards
Teaching & Learning Support Section home page
ReadingLists@UCL home page
ReadingLists@UCL for teaching staff (guides and FAQ’s)
Form to request a new reading list
Quick guide to adding resources to your reading list
FAQs for support staff
ReadingLists@UCL for students
ReadingLists@UCL news page

How do students access their online reading lists?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 29 August 2014

Most often, students find a reading list via their Moodle course, where they simply click on the reading list they need from the Library Resources block.  This block contains a link called ‘Reading list for…’ which links to the reading list with the same course code.

How do you set this up for them?  First request a reading list to be set up using the online form.  In Moodle, turn on the Library Resources block and it will automatically link to the reading list with the same course code.

Students can also access their reading list by searching:

  • ReadingLists@UCL using course code or title, or even the academic’s name if this has been added
  • the library catalogue Explore

Once students have found their online reading lists they can view them in different ways.

  • Use the ‘View bibliography’ button to produce a list of all the readings in alphabetical order, which can be printed (click ‘Export’ then ‘Export to PDF’)…
  • … use one of the drop-down boxes to select different citation styles. If a key citation style is missing, use the green ‘Feedback’ button to request another.
  • The reading list can be printed out in its existing layout (sign in, select ‘Export’ and then ‘Export to PDF’)
  • either of the above options can also be emailed to oneself, to save a copy.
  • The ‘Export’ button enables exporting references in different formats: we will cover this in another post, and on our webpage guides.

If you have questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Using ReadingLists@UCL for pre-session readings

By Sandra Bamborough, on 29 August 2014

Once a student has registered and started at UCL they will be able to access the reading lists for their courses on Moodle, through the Library Resources block.

The good news is they don’t need to wait until then: if you have created an online reading list for your course, even if more resources will be added in readiness for the new term, your students will be able to access this online now. Students can search by module code or title, or drill down through the hierarchy till they find their course, then click on their list.

They can see which readings are essential, or suggested for student purchase, so they can read or buy these before they arrive at UCL. Some links may take them to subscribed resources hidden behind a log-in page (e.g. an electronic version of a book or journal article, or TV programme) which they won’t be able to access until they have registered at UCL.

One department is already making use of this for their students by including details in their welcome letter. This is a great taster for their courses and the keen and enterprising student can get ahead with their reading.

For those thinking of coming to UCL in the future, our reading lists offer a fantastic shop window of what we have to offer those students who choose to learn with us.

Students can find more information on the reading list student page.

Have students really looked at this list?

By Pamela Clarke, on 31 July 2014

Interested to know how frequently your reading lists are being looked at?  Has that important item on your list actually been read by students?  If you are curious,  then try the green “Dashboard”  button at the top of your reading list.

Dashboard is a neat feature that provides some statistics on how many times a resource  has been clicked on, and even provides links to alternative resources for some items.  The Dashboard button is located under the table of contents on your list, and uses a traffic-light colour coding system to indicate frequency of use.  Green for high,  amber for moderate, and red for low resource use.  You can adjust the date range to capture a termly or even weekly snapshot of traffic.

One note of warning: the figures include repeat clicks on the resource, rather than the number of individual students accessing readings, so figures are a rough indicator only.

This can also have more useful applications if you are interested in using this type of feedback as part of your teaching practice.  Check out the Dashboard and let us know if you find it useful, or can think of any improvements!


Help with your reading lists

By Sandra Bamborough, on 2 July 2014

Did you see our recent blog and all the good things students had to say about our ReadingLists@UCL?

If that’s not enough to encourage you to start on yours now and get ahead of the flow ready for the new term, here’s a hard-to-beat offer: there is a little more TLSS project time available for inputting new reading lists should you find yourself becoming short of time.

The TLSS team are also more than happy to review your lists for you, should you prefer to create your own list then have someone check the links are stable and the resources are in the library. To request a review, ‘Publish’ your list and you will be given the option to also click ‘Request review’.

To make the most of these services please email any new reading lists to or click the ‘Request review’ button.


Annual rollover

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 1 July 2014

The annual ‘rollover’ of ReadingLists@UCL is nearly upon us.  Each summer the reading lists have a new copy made for the September term, much like the Moodle snapshot.  This year the rollover is scheduled for the 14th July.  In brief:

  • Reading lists for 2013-14 will have an exact copy made for 2014-15, which will publish immediately
  • Permission to edit the lists also rolls over, so academics and teaching support staff will be able to edit the new lists straight away
  • Students and staff will not experience any break in access to their reading lists
  • The old version of the reading list (2013-14) will archive shortly after, which means it will vanish from public view but can be ‘re-awoken’ in future years if needed.

Points to note:

  • Anything not published on a reading list will not be copied onto the new list: do publish any changes if you wish it to be copied over
  • If you would like reading lists removed – for example if a course is no longer being taught – please email us and we can do this straight away
  • Similarly, if any courses have updated titles or course codes, just email us to request the details are updated.

If a refresher session on the reading lists would be helpful to remind you how to edit and manage your lists, do get in touch.  The ReadingLists@UCL webpages also have guides and FAQs.


New reading lists web pages

By Sandra Bamborough, on 26 June 2014

We have been busy updating the TLSS reading lists web pages.  Have a look at our ReadingLists@UCL home page to see the new content we have uploaded.

Do you know how to set up a reading list?  If you need a reminder on how to use your lists, here is a ‘Quick Guide’.  If you can’t remember, here is how to add your bookmarking button.  We have also added a few new FAQs to help you and your students get the most out of your reading lists.

Are you a member of a support staff team who works on reading lists, or would like to know more about them?  We now have a new page of FAQs to help support staff answer those niggly questions we have been asked most often.

If you have any other queries or would like some help or refresher training, please email us:

Student Survey

By Sandra Bamborough, on 18 June 2014

Just what do students really think about those reading lists you prepare for their courses using ReadingLists@UCL?  These are some of the positive comments we captured in feedback in early June from a straw poll of undergraduate and postgraduate students:

“If you didn’t have these you wouldn’t know where to begin”
“Good because you can link through to a text directly”
“If someone in the year below asked what’d help in their course I’d direct them to reading lists”
“… easy to use when doing bibliography”
“Useful if just looking for a chapter that’s linked through”

Find out how to set up a reading list  or email us


ReadingLists@UCL Introductions

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 11 June 2014


This summer sees extra energy going into ReadingLists@UCL as we are joined by Sandra Bamborough, who will focus on reading list advocacy across UCL.  Sandra will be visiting departments, seeking student feedback and highlighting good practice.  As the main contributor, this blog will regularly track her progress.

A long standing member of the TLSS team, Pam Clarke has been supporting ReadingLists@UCL since it began in 2011 and regularly gives orientations to teaching and support staff.  Pam will give updates on features and new functions to ReadingLists@UCL.

Of course there are many other people who help with reading lists and we will hear from them too over the course of the summer!

We would love to hear your questions and feedback, so please do get in touch with us at