In 2015, the Social Science Library embarked on the ORLiMS (Online Reading List Management System) project, with funding from the IT Innovation Fund.
Following development work on the tool by the WebLearn Team, library staff have created 63 interactive reading lists, based in WebLearn, for use by undergraduate and postgraduate students in participating departments in the Social Sciences Division.
ORLiMS provides real time information on the location and availability of the material students are asked to read by their tutors and lecturers. Every book, journal article and resource on the list is linked to the corresponding entry on SOLO, so users are able to see:
- The number of copies held in individual libraries
- Whether they can be borrowed
- Whether they are currently available
- Full metadata from the original SOLO record
- Whether they can be accessed electronically, with direct links to electronic versions
For course instructors, it provides an easily manageable tool to build reading lists for students on a course, directing them to all the resources they need to read.
There have been 1618 views of ORLiMS reading lists by 553 different student users since the launch of the project at the beginning of Michaelmas Term 2015.
The Bodleian Social Science Library undertook an evaluation of ORLiMS at the start of 2016, the comments were generally very positive. Some of the comments made by academic members of staff were as follows:
“Very good initiative … I think this is an excellent idea”.
(Politics course leader)
“I have heard nothing but positive comments about the ORLiMS project from colleagues, and I believe that this will be a very significant improvement to our students’ experience here.”
(Associate Professor of International Relations)
“I think it’s a great resource and advance in terms of making the readings more accessible to students and tutors alike and especially for those who are working remotely. I would support its usage on a longer term and wider scale.”
(Respondent 4454376551, Criminology)
Besides successfully developing new software, we also advocated the principle of a reading list tool within the University and raised awareness of the complexities of reading list management in Libraries. The pilot was a successful proof-of-concept. It also started a wider cultural shift within the Bodleian Libraries, with various senior colleagues recognising the value of a reading list management system, and the benefits it provides to students, instructors and libraries.
More about ORLiMS: