Link rot

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 7 October 2016

I was reading recently about link rot, that modern nuisance when links to a resource or webpage no longer work.

It is food for thought when refreshing your online reading list for this term. Keep link rot in mind when creating links to new readings: if you have linked to webpages of an organisation that subsequently changes name, or readings on a shady website, students may find the pages no longer available the following year.

Occasionally it even happens in paid journal subscriptions: this year an Archaeology journal was taken over by a different publisher and every stable article link changed.

What can you do if you don’t have time to check through all your lists for broken links?  Navigate to the reading list and sign in; click ‘Review’ then ‘Request Review’.

Request Review

This sends a notification to the TLS.  We check for broken links and create more stable links where possible; we also check all books link to the library catalogue, where relevant.  If you have added a ‘Note to the library’ requesting books be purchased, or newer / more editions for the library, we pass this on to the relevant subject librarian.



Annual rollover complete

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 8 July 2016

The online reading lists have now rolled forward, creating copies of all lists ready for the 2016-17 session.  The reading lists for 2015-16 have been archived.

You are able to continue editing as usual.  In fact, this is the perfect time to update your list: students look at their readings over the summer and it is very easy to add a section of ‘Summer reading / research’.  Even if you haven’t finalised changes to some readings, you can still set up the structure and edit dates and notes.  Though students are very positive about their reading lists, one complaint has been over currency; the last year’s dates were still on display making the student doubt the currency of the readings too.

Do you feel too busy to get re-acquainted with how to update your list?  Come along to our office and we can sit with you to help you log back in and make a few basic changes; or ask us for a quick refresher to get started again.  We set aside Wednesday afternoons 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm for anyone to drop-in, or we are happy to visit you at your desk.


Please drop us an email if you would like to:

  • re-use a previous version of your reading list (for example, for those modules that run every other year)
  • Archive a reading list if it is not being run in 2016-17
  • Change a module title / name on an existing reading list
  • Set up a new reading list


One final thing. Your ‘My Lists’ page will still display the 2015-16 lists. From the ‘My Lists’ page:

  • To remove older lists, check the boxes left of the list title; at the top of the page click ‘Action’ -> ‘Remove’
  • To add in new lists, navigate to the 2016-17 list and click the button ‘Add to my lists’ (top right hand side).
  • All reading lists are at the same module URL each year (e.g. ), this does not change.  The link from Moodle to the reading list (via the ‘Library Resources’ block) is also stable and will link to the same place.


Annual reading lists rollover

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 28 June 2016

We are warming up for the annual ‘rollover’ of ReadingLists@UCL.  Are you prepared?

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 Thursday 7th July 2016.  In brief:

  • Reading lists for 2015-16 will have an exact copy made for 2016-17, which will publish immediately
  • Students and staff will not experience any break in access to their reading lists
  • Editing rights remain consistent, so academics and teaching support staff will be able to edit the new lists straight away
  • The old version of the reading list (2015-16) will archive, which means it will vanish from public view but can be found and re-used in future years if needed.

Please note:

  • Anything not published on a reading list will not be copied onto the new list: publish any changes before 6th July, if you wish them to be copied forward.
  • If you would like reading lists removed – for example if a course is no longer being taught – please email us any time
  • Similarly, if any courses have updated titles or course codes, email us to request the details are updated.

Do you need a refresher on how to edit and manage your lists, ready for September?  Drop in to our office on a Wednesday afternoon for summer training, or the ReadingLists@UCL webpages also have guides, FAQs and contact details.

How do I bookmark from COPAC?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 1 June 2016

Many academics encourage students to research more widely or use libraries beyond UCL.  If you wish to add a book to an online reading list that is not in UCL’s Explore catalogue, COPAC is a useful alternative.  It is a union catalogue, searching 90+ UK library catalogues including the British Library, University libraries and specialist research libraries.  Most teaching staff prefer this to a commercial alternative, such as Amazon or online bookshops.

Bookmarking from COPAC is slightly different.  Start as usual:

  • Navigate to the title of the relevant item
  • click on the ‘Add to My Bookmarks’ button

At this point, instead of turning into the bookmarking screen, you will see a new link called ‘Bookmark to reading list’ appear to the right of the bibliographic information, under the locations details (see below):



  • click on this ‘Bookmark to reading list’ link to bookmark the item as usual (ignore the contents of the screen on the right).
  • check the item links correctly from the reading list.

This has been a frequent question this week – even from one of our ReadingLists@UCL team!

For other FAQs on non-standard bookmarking, scroll down this page and under ‘Categories’ select ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Back by popular demand! Summer drop-in training

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 1 June 2016

  • Need a quick reminder on how to update your online reading list for next year?
  • Would a ‘getting started’ session help you get ahead?
  • Or do you just want a few tips on setting up a list?

Drop in to the TLS office on a Wednesday afternoon 2.30-4.30pm from June 1st until October 2016.  We will be on hand to trouble-shoot problems, walk you through linking a reading list to Moodle, or just set aside some time to set up an online list with someone on hand to help if you get stuck!

Our office is in UCL Senate House, room 318.  If you aren’t familiar with this UCL Library Hub, ask at the UCL Senate House reception desk, or call the TLS office on 020 3549 5729 (internal x65729).

When you request a new online reading list we always offer a 1:1 orientation (just 20 minutes or so) at your own computer, to get you started.  Hazel and Pam also regularly visit Teaching Committee or Departmental meetings for a 10-minute introduction or demonstration.  Do get in touch to request training, demonstrations, or just for more information!


How do I add a pdf to an online reading list?

By Pamela Clarke, on 4 May 2016

Puzzled about how to add digitised readings to your online reading lists for students? Concerned about mysterious pdfs in Moodle?  Or worried about the copyright issues in course readings?

Then worry no more as the Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) are here to help! We offer advice and help to ensure course readings are copyright compliant, using UCL’s CLA licence, and other licencing schemes such as the NLA, and ERA where appropriate. Our course readings service will check readings are legally compliant under one of these licences and add the digitised readings to your online reading list.

To find out more feel free to “drop-in” to TLS (Senate House, room 317, 3rd floor, South Block) between 2.30-4.30 pm on Wednesdays. Contact us at: We also have webpages with information at your fingertips about the course readings service that you might find helpful.


A librarian asks: which books are not in the library?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 25 January 2016

We were recently asked by a librarian if there was any way to see which books on a reading list did not link out to the book in the library catalogue, Explore?  Librarians check through newly updated reading lists to ensure books and other resources have been purchased, where possible.  Once purchased, librarians can also update the reading list to link to the available book or journal.


csvTo answer the librarian: there is a way to check this!  You can ‘export’ a reading list into a spreadsheet (CSV) format.

Sort by ‘Type’ to view all ‘Books’ and if the ‘Local Control Number’ field is blank there is no link to Explore. Either UCL doesn’t hold the resource, or the academic didn’t make a link to it.

This can also be useful for those librarians who are updating lists, or who have inherited one and want to check whether you need to link any items to the catalogue to make them more readily accessible for students.

Of course, you can also ask our team to do the checking for you, by publishing the reading list and clicking on the ‘Request review’ button. TLSS will check through and link to books or journals where possible, or update unstable links to e-books or e-journal articles.

Ziggy Stardust’s reading list

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 14 January 2016

As Term 2 begins, comfort yourself: even glam rock stars have reading lists.

A list of David Bowie’s top 100 books was published on his website in 2013. His reading list is heavy on 20th centry classics, from Capote’s ‘In cold blood’ to Stoppard, but also has a nod to the ancient (Dante and Homer) and the mystic, with Levi’s ‘Transcendental Magic’.  That last one isn’t held in UCL library, but many of the others are: take a look and enjoy reading the literature that helped shape this artist.

You can contribute your views on Bowie’s book choices using the Twitter hashtag #bowiebookclub – or, of course, set up your own reading list to inspire your students!


How do I add a course to my Reading List?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 11 January 2016

Lynda offers a huge range of video tutorials supporting learning in software, creative and business skills – all free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students.


Lynda 5


Log on to Lynda, using your UCL username and password when prompted.



Lynda 4



Find the video or section of the Lynda course that you would like to add to your reading list and bookmark as normal, by clicking on the ‘Add to my Bookmarks’ button. (For further information on how to set up a list and add the bookmarking button please see our webpages).




Change the ‘Type’ to ‘audio-visual document’, then add any other metadata you think necessary, e.g. change the title to display the title of a section. Finally, check the ‘Online resource’ box is ticked, save the bookmark and publish your list: when your students now click on your reading list they will be taken directly to the video or section.

It is also possible to search for and bookmark Lynda resources from the library catalogue, Explore.

How do I update my reading list for Term 2?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 11 January 2016

As many of you will be aware online reading lists are a fantastic way to present course materials to your students in order to better, and more fully, engage them.  Feedback from students has been very positive!

There are benefits for you, too:

  • Update readings and publish immediately
  • Flexible layout makes them suitable for a few essential readings, or fuller lists.
  • Ideal for a variety of resources, such as film or TV clips (e.g. using YouTube or Box of Broadcasts), online training tutorials with, professional body webpages, image database resources etc.

During the start of Term 2, TLSS* are happy to help by creating empty reading lists for new courses and to help with your digital readings.  You can then take ownership and share editing rights with your colleagues.  We will show new colleagues how to use their reading lists.  For those of you who may like a quick reminder, would like some tips, or have questions, we are also continuing our drop-in sessions throughout the winter.

Our drop-in sessions are held in the TLSS office every Wednesday afternoon, 2.30-4.30 p.m, and will continue up to and including 24th February.  Visit us in UCL Senate House, 3rd floor, room 317 in the staff area (ask at the UCL reception desk). See our poster for more details.

In addition we welcome the opportunity to visit departments for ‘Getting started’ sessions or for one-to-one refresher sessions; email us for further information, to set up a reading list, or to book a visit!

* TLSS: the Teaching & Learning Support Section, part of UCL Library Services.