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A varied reading diet: Liberating your list

Hazel M Ingrey8 September 2022

In nutrition, one school of thought prefers to add variety into one’s diet, for example eating ‘a rainbow’ of fruit and vegetables, rather than demonising ‘bad’ foods by recommending a decrease in fat / sugar consumption.  This approach balances out the less nutritious ingredients without the need to exclude any food groups.

Licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/44176993@N03/8567619056 ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse

“Muffin Tin Monday – rainbow of food for St. Patrick’s Day” by anotherlunch.com

As in good nutrition, so with a varied reading diet.  If you are reading a little more literature by African authors, or texts taking a social model of disability approach, you may have less room for Eurocentric, male-dominated or white-biased views.

Recent newspaper articles show that what one person thinks a varied diet, another considers censorship or blacklisting of literature.  As a profession librarians are ethically opposed to censorship and UK HEIs have not banned any books.  There has however been a student-led movement in Liberating, Decolonising, broadening or diversifying curriculum and institutions, that teaching departments and libraries have engaged with to varying degrees.  Reading lists are a small part of this, but can be a key, tangible window on course content, so is often an accessible first step in reviewing a module.

In the news articles, trigger or content warnings are conflated with discouraging reading, or even censorship of texts.  If you use content warnings on your reading lists you may not agree that this is a logical conclusion.  Content warnings can look like metadata: that is, data about data.  Keywords to help the reader navigate a list of resources, rather than limiting access to them. Indeed adding notes is something we encourage as best practice when setting readings, to set context and expectation.

We will shortly be publishing some suggestions on how you might use your reading list to evaluate module content through through a liberated lens. Involving student collaborators in this work can develop their information literacy skills as they assist in evaluating readings, and also add variety to your module readings, benefitting from the multiple backgrounds and experiences of the student body.

The canon is still there, in both reading lists and library: nobody has lost any literature.  But an outcome of learning how to evaluate their reading diet is that students develop better critical appraisal skills in their research and reading.  An environment of polarised opinion only hinders this progress.  Now isn’t that headline news?

 

Reading List of the month

Hazel M Ingrey9 June 2022

Do you have a lovely reading list that deserves some applause? Or know a colleague’s reading list that is a neat exemplar?  A community of UK university librarians, who work with reading lists using the same software, put forward their most esteemed reading lists to be ‘reading list of the month’.  The winner is chosen by Talis, the software creator.

This month’s list is Children’s Literature Through the Ages by Mathew Tobin from Oxford Brookes University.  My favourite feature is the introduction video which explains the structure of the list and how to make the most of using it.  It is immediately engaging, shows how to navigate from Moodle to the list, and addresses print vs electronic sourcing.  The list demonstrates many of the excellent points we recommend in our ReadingLists@UCL Best Practice guide: it is clearly structured,  readings are signposted as ‘Essential’ or ‘Recommended’, and annotations (‘student notes’) enrich the student’s understanding of the resource.

If this inspires you to update your list for the new academic year, let us know and we’ll happily put your list forward to be a top list next time!  If you need any help with your reading list, or have questions around purchasing new resources, please don’t hesitate to get in touch (email).

 

Come for the owl postcards, stay for the range of services

Nick Forbes3 May 2022

Ever asked yourself the question, “How can I make my course readings accessible”?

Well, this is exactly the question the TLS team set out to answer at the lunchtime marketplace session at the recent 2022 UCL Education Conference.

We were thrilled to be able to attend the event, as this was a fantastic opportunity for us to get out there and talk to people about our services, whether it’s ReadingLists@UCL, course readings digitisation, or our copyright support services. As a user-focused team it’s essential that we engage with the academic community to understand how we can best support their teaching and learning activities. So this was also a brilliant opportunity to hear from lots of different staff and students, and learn more about how we can support them in getting the most out of their teaching.

A particularly pleasant surprise was the sheer range of people who came to speak to us – and the range of topics they were interested in! We had queries from UCL academics and PhD students about setting up reading lists, many of whom wanted to know more about how to replace document-based reading lists with online lists. As well as talking them through it, we ran a couple of demos of the ReadingLists@UCL service on our laptop. This is something we’re always happy to do, so get in touch if you want to arrange a virtual session!

We also had lots of queries about copyright issues. These mostly came either from academics teaching PhD research skills, or from PhD students interested in the copyright rules affecting their theses (e.g. the copyright status of photographs they wanted to include). We explained the tailored support and advice we could offer in this area, and our Copyright for PHD Students leaflets went like hotcakes!

Someone asked us whether films held on DVD can be converted to streams for inclusion on online reading lists (answer: they usually can!). And lots of people just wanted to know more about what TLS did in general – so we were happy to tell them. We also had a really interesting discussion with a couple of students about accessibility, and the many ways TLS services support this important area.

So in all this was a brilliant opportunity to get out and about and speak to people, promote awareness of TLS and our services, and learn more about what’s on people’s minds when it comes to things like course readings and copyright. The pandemic has made it harder to engage with the academic community – while at the same time increasing the need for support for remote learning. So being able go to an in-person event again was brilliant. Looking forward to the next one!

Editing interface upgrade

Hazel M Ingrey8 July 2020

ReadingLists@UCL has had access to a new editing interface for more than a year and many new list editors are already using it.  July 16th will see the final change to the new editing interface when the rest of UCL switches over.  This will only be noticable to people with editing access to a reading list.

 

Click to enlarge

If you are currently using the ‘Classic’ editing view which looks like this (click on thumbnail to enlarge), then on July 16th the view will change.

 

 

The new look is … well, a good deal like the usual view!  Once logged

(Click to enlarge)

in though, moving editing buttons (‘Add resource / Add paragraph / Add section’) become available as you move around the screen.  To the far right of the resource the ellipsis or three dots indicate a drop down menu of more options.

 

The main change is that you stay in the usual list view to edit, much like editing a Moodle page.

 

 

Please get in touch with us for help, including the following:

  • a 1:1 guided Teams session on how to edit and manage your reading list
  • to request editing access to a reading list, or for a new list to be set up
  • library assistance with populating your reading list

 

 

ReadingLists@UCL annual rollover

Hazel M Ingrey29 June 2020

Each summer the reading lists have a new copy made for the new academic year, much like the Moodle snapshot.  This year the rollover is scheduled for the evening of Monday 13th July 2020.  From about 5pm that day:

  • Reading lists for 2019-20 will have an exact copy made for 2020-21, which will publish immediately
  • The old version (2019-20) will archive, which means it will disappear from public view but can be found and re-used in future years if needed
  • Students will have continuous access to their reading lists: there is no down time for viewing lists
  • Editing rights remain constant, so list editors are able to edit the new lists as soon as they appear
  • Lists already set up as 2020-2021 will be unaffected by the rollover

 

Please note:

  • Unpublished changes will not copy forward into the new list: please publish your lists before 5pm 13th July if you wish your updates to be carried forward.
  • We suggest you stop editing reading lists before 5pm on 13th July, and continue editing when you can see it has the 2020-21 date stamp – certainly from the next morning Tuesday 14th July, if not sooner.
  • The Moodle ‘Library resources’ block needs no maintenance and will continue to link to the most recent year’s list.  The optional integration ‘Reading list items’ requires checking and possibly some re-linking of resources, particularly after the reading list has been updated for the new year.
  • To have old courses archived, new lists set up, or current module names amended, email us your requests!
  • A note on Late Summer Assessments for academic year 2019-20.

 

Do you need a refresher on how to edit and manage your lists?  The ReadingLists@UCL webpages have online quick guides including short videos, and FAQs. Though working remotely, the TLS team still offer 1:1 set up and refresher training through Teams.  Get in touch and you could walk away with a new list set up and ready to go, have guidance on how to link to non-standard resources, or find out how to embed reading lists in Moodle.

 

Late Summer Assessments

Hazel M Ingrey29 June 2020

Students involved in the Late Summer Assessments (24 August – 11 September 2020) may need to consult their reading list for revision.

Some rights reserved CC BY-SA 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/shinealight/2220267854/ ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

‘Exams Start… Now’ by Ryan McGilchrist

The reading list rollover on 13th July means that the 2019-20 reading lists will archive.  From 14h July the lists available to view will be the new lists for academic year 2020-21;  these are available to update immediately for the new session.

If you are aware of students who may need access to the 2019-20 version of the lists:

  • students can take a copy of the list by using the ‘View & Export’ button – before 5pm on 13th July
  • or save the URL of the list, which will continue to work even after the list is archived
  • or if a list has already archived, let us know that it needs to be revived, and we can do this.

The Exam papers archive remains available all year round, and the papers can also be searched for via Explore, the library catalogue.  Students will need to log in with their UCL ID when accessing these from off campus.

 

Chrome 80 browser update

Hazel M Ingrey5 February 2020

Google Chrome version 80 is being rolled out.  After 17th February using Chrome 80 may cause an error logging to some services, including ReadingLists@UCL.

If you use Chrome 80 and find you are unable to log in, workarounds include:

  • Use a different browser.
  • Use Desktop@UCL: UCL has not yet updated its Chrome browser so it will work fine.
  • Change the SameSite settings in your Chrome 80 browser.  Details of how to do this are in yesterday’s ISD update post.

Talis, the software owner behind ReadingLists@UCL, is also working to solve this from their end.  For the most up to date information on this please check the ISD homepage notices.

 

New look for ReadingLists@UCL

Hazel M Ingrey29 July 2019

Image of new reading list view. Click to enlarge.

Image of new reading list view. Click to enlarge.

 

The new list view for ReadingLists@UCL will be rolled out to UCL on 30th July 2019.

 

The new list view has been developed to improve performance, including on mobile devices. More importantly, it meets web accessibility standards making it inclusive for all UCL users.  Updating the look will ensure that online reading lists are fully compliant with the 2018 UK Accessibility regulations. Talis (the company which powers the ReadingLists@UCL software) has a Web Accessibility Statement which gives further details, inlcluding information on compatibility with screen readers and additional help on using accessibility tools with ReadingLists@UCL.

Some list editors have been using the new list veiw in Beta for the past few months: the ‘classic’ view will now be replaced.  There is a walkthrough video of the new look for student users – and anyone else curious to take a look.

Notices were sent to subject librarians, the Departmental Administrator’s forum, and Digital Education, to cascade to reading lists users.  If you have any questions about the new look please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the ReadingLists@UCL team.

 

Looking ahead…

The next developments will be a new Moodle integration in summer 2019, in conjunction with the Moodle team.  An update to the list editing view has been developed but won’t be rolled out to UCL until summer 2020: list editors who like the look of this are welcome to start using the Beta editing view from August 2019, just get in touch to arrange this.

 

 

Rollover complete!

Hazel M Ingrey19 July 2019

The rollover is complete! All your 2018-19 lists have been archived and a copy created for 2019-20, which you can edit straight away.

  • If modules are not running this year, please let us know so we can archive the list. This hides it from view to avoid confusion and also saves it for future re-use.
  • To set up new lists please get in touch or see our Getting Started advice.Image: review, edit, publish

Over the summer you can prepare your reading lists for the new academic year: you just need to review, edit and publish!

 

Do my digitised readings also roll forward?

When your new list is created, the digitised readings (digitised under the CLA licence and added to your list by TLS) also copy forward.  There is a separate, behind-the-scenes process in June where the readings are re-checked automatically for the coming year.  The only exceptions are a few readings which are not digitised under the CLA licence, but instead had direct copyright permission granted: the links to these readings will temporarily break until the permission is re-requested for the coming year.  This is a task that TLS does annually and they will be in touch if your readings are affected.

 

And finally don’t forget a new user interface is being introduced on 30th July.  See the Summer Update blog post for more, or view the walkthrough video to see how it will look.

 

 

Late Summer Assessments

Hazel M Ingrey27 June 2019

Some rights reserved CC BY-SA 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/shinealight/2220267854/ ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

‘Exams Start… Now’ by Ryan McGilchrist

Students involved in the Late Summer Assessments (19th August – 6th September 2019) may need to consult their reading list for revision.

The reading list rollover around 16th July means that the 2018-19 reading lists will archive.  From 17th July the lists available to view will be the new lists for academic year 2019-2020;  these are available to update immediately for the new session.

If you are aware of students who may need access to the 2018-19 lists:

  • students can now take a copy of the list by using the ‘Export’ button
  • or save the URL of the list, which will continue to work even after the list is archived
  • Or if a list has already archived, let us know that it needs to be revived, and we can do this.

The Exam papers archive remains all year round, and the papers can also be searched for via Explore, the library catalogue.