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London Metropolitan University

Academic Staff Guides

Staff guides on utilising Library services, support, and resources

Reading list system / Talis

Access the Reading Lists system via the 'Reading lists' link on the menu within the Weblearn module area or via the Reading lists homepageHere is a short video (1m 40s) giving an overview of the system and showing how to set up your profile.

Items are added to reading lists using a Bookmarklet extension. This allows for the export of item records from a range of trusted sources such as the library catalogue, e-journals and websites, in a single click.

Talis have changed the traditional bookmarklet works. The bookmarklet can now be added as an extension tool on Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox browsers. It is not available for Safari.

New instructions for installing and using a bookmarklet extension on Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox from Talis. 

This video (1m 44s) shows how to install the bookmarking extension 

This video (6m 52s) shows you how to add items to your reading list.

This video (2m 30s) explains how to request a book for purchase when it is not already held in the library collections.


  • Install the extension into your preferred browser using the instructions above.
  • Select the extension in your bookmark toolbar and chose 'London Metropolitan University' as your institution.

Talis Aspire reading list extension configuration window


  • Navigate to the Library catalogue or other resource catalogue and locate an item record you would like to bookmark for a reading list. Select the Talis extension icon in your browser.


  • You will then be prompted to log into your London Metropolitan University account using your standard login credentials.
  • Talis will attempt to pull through all data associated with the bookmarked item. Check the data and enter any applicable missing or incorrect fields. Once done so, you can either chose to select:
    • Create - which will store the bookmark for future reading lists
    • Create & Add to list - from which you can chose from any reading lists that you have been assigned ownership of, chose the placement of the record, as well as it's importance and any further details.

Talis record data entry window, to check bookmarked resource information is accurate


Create & Add resource to a pre-existing list interface

This video demonstrates how to create a new reading list.


  • Go to 'My Lists' and select 'Create a New List'.

Screenshot showing the my reading list interface with the Create new list button highlighted


  • Enter the following:
    • List name: Enter the module code and module name
    • Description: It is not necessary to enter anything here
    • Hierarchy: Search for the module code and select from the drop-down menu
      • Anticipated student numbers: Depending on the time of the year, the system will populate this field with the estimated number of students likely to be taking this module. It is possible to manually edit this figure.
    • Year: enter the academic year, eg 2020-2021
  • Click 'Create List'

Create list interface

Hierarchy & Students interface


You may be asked to enter the name of the list owner. This should be the person within the School who is recognised as having responsibility for the module and the ownership of the reading list.

  • This brings you to a fresh list view, ready for items to be added.

Example of a freshly create list

It tells you that the list is empty and the list is unpublished.

Your empty list will have a number of options for you to add new information.

This video (1m 57s) shows you how to organise your reading list.


  • Choose the link to adding a section. This can be called 'Week One' or given the name of a theme - it is up to you. You can add supporting text in the Description field.
    You can continue to add as many sections as are necessary.

Reading list section creation interface


  • Now go to the first section you have created and choose the link to adding a resource. This will show a window containing your most recently bookmarked items.
  • Select the resource you want to add. Click on the 'Show more' button to open up the window to display a greater number of bookmarked items.

Add resource to reading list

Select either a bookmarked text or chose from the quick keyword search


  • Note how within the newly-added record, it shows 'Importance not set' in red text. Use the drop-down option to set it to either 'Core' or 'Additional Reading'. You can enter an item multiple times, eg a textbook may need to be read every week, so it can appear in multiple sections.

Selecting the importance of an item

If you change your mind you can:

  • delete an item or a section by clicking on the three vertical dots to the right and selecting 'remove';
  • re-order by clicking on the three vertical dots to the right and selecting 'move up' or 'move down'. The vertical up and down arrow symbol does the same job - click and drag the item to its new location.

The three vertical dots also contain an option to add a 'Note for students'. This will appear within the record with a mortarboard symbol and can be used to instruct students to read a particular portion of the work. 

Additional options for modifying list items


NOTE: When adding articles never use the Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) as this is not suitable for off-campus access, always ensure there is a full Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

Book chapters and journal articles can be digitised and the PDFs added to your reading list. This is particularly helpful to students when the library may not have multiple copies of printed items.

Instructions on requesting scans and digitised copies of materials, including copyright restrictions, can be found here: Scans and digitisation

Up to now, your reading list has been displaying the banner message: Unpublished changes! Your changes have been saved, but not published.

Once you are happy with your list and all 'Importance's are set it can be published by clicking on the blue 'publish' button. This makes the list visible to the students and sends a notification to Library Services to check for any items not already held in stock.

See this video (1m 27s) for information on publishing your list.

Don't forget to select publish after you make any changes!

For modules in the original Blackboard course view:

The reading list link should appear in the left-hand module menu.  Once you have published your reading list, click on the reading list link in Blackboard.  If it shows a preview, click Save to add the list.  

For modules using the new Blackboard Ultra interface:

Your reading list link will appear in the module content area:

1. Ensure that you have published your reading list (see previous sections of this guide).

2. Click on the Reading List link from within your Weblearn module.

3. The reading list tool will load. Your list for that module should automatically be found.  If not, it will give you the option to search via list name, module code, creator or year.

4. Click Embed list.  A message will appear to confirm the list has been added.

A success screen will appear when the reading list has been embedded

5. Close the window and return to Weblearn. The reading list should now be active and visible to students.

Add a section of a reading list

If you have created a module list with sections (e.g. week one, week two) you can link to just that section if you wish.

1. In the content area of your Weblearn module, click the plus button (+) where you would like to add your reading list section.
2. Click More tools.
The module content area of Blackboard, highlighting the plus button and its context menu

3. Click Reading list link.

The reading list link button

4. The reading list tool will load. Your list for that module may automatically be found.  If not, it will give you the option to search via list name, module code, creator or year.

5.  To add just a specific section, click Select section. It will then show you all the sections within that list. Select Embed section next to your chosen one. Repeat from step 1 to embed more sections. 

6. Close the window and return to Weblearn. If you don’t immediately see the reading list section, click refresh on your browser and it should appear. Check that it is visible to students.