For students about to undertake a degree, whether it be under- or post-graduate, the thought of how much reading there will be ahead of him in their chosen course can sometimes be daunting. Many students will ask themselves, 'What books should I be reading?', 'Should I be reading magazines, journals, and newspaper articles as well?', 'What about video clips, documentaries and online resources?', but the question that probably occupies them the most, 'Where should I start?'. In the 21st century, there are so many resources available and finding the right one can seem like an impossible mission.
Universities started to tackle this problem by introducing reading lists. Students could now see and access the content that had been specially selected for them by their lecturers as highly relevant, impactful and informative for their studies. Reading lists have become an integral part of how students manage their learning modules. But reading lists also have a positive impact for academics and library staff. A reading list provides lecturers an easy and efficient way to communicate with their students and to plan their module delivery throughout the year. For librarians, by having a good understanding of what content is required for courses and how much content will be needed to satisfactorily meet students' needs, they are able to efficiently manage stock. In short, reading lists have the potential to effectively serve the needs of the entire chain of educational delivery, from the library, to the lecturer, finally culminating with the student. Most universities now use Reading List Management Systems (RLMS') to serve their needs. For an insightful and detailed look at the history of reading list management, make sure to read Ken Chad's article "A Perspective on Resource List Management".
This isn't to say that reading lists haven't been without their criticism. Some have accused reading lists of having too heavy a focus on printed resources, leaving valuable digital resources to be somewhat put aside and neglected. Many argued that with digital technology being a part of everyday life for today's students, it was becoming less and less likely that they would spend time going to the library to find physical copies, when they would rather access digital copies online. In order for RLMS' to remain relevant, they needed to offer students access to more types of content. Fundamentally, reading list management systems need to become resource list management systems... and that's exactly what we intend to provide the market.
In the last year, CLA and Kortext acquired the rebus:list reading list system from PTFS Europe. We wanted to introduce our own resource list management system to the market to provide Higher Education Institutions with more choice in picking a high-quality product that is most compatible with their needs. We're currently working hard on redeveloping the system, building a more efficient, innovative and user-friendly platform that will offer improved workflows for librarians and academics, and better access to valuable learning resources of all types for students. We recently revealed that when our enhanced product relaunches to the market it will be as KeyLinks. You can discover more about our new product and its innovative features, read our development blogs and sign up for our monthly newsletter, and finally, get in touch with us to find out more by visiting our website - www.keylinks.org