Skip to main content
  • Subscribe by RSS
  • Ex Libris Knowledge Center

    Reading List Management Best Practice



    This page presents a typical example of managing a reading list as a course reserve operator/manager. In this example, the instructor has created the reading list in Leganto. Other librarians are assumed to be responsible for handling acquisitions of new materials and/or fulfillment tasks such as handling requests (move, booking, general hold, digitization, or other, as required).

    We recommend creating a maximum of 100 reading lists for Leganto to work optimally.


    The following picture illustrates the best practices workflow. For information on the areas of this workflow, see the rest of this document.


    Preparation: Set the Submit By Date for a Course

    To ensure that instructors complete their reading lists with enough time for you to fulfill the citations on them, set the Submit By date for each course on the Courses page. You can also configure Submit By dates in bulk using the course loader integration profile; see Configuring Course Loading.

    Use the filters or secondary search on the page to locate the courses for which you want to set Submit By dates.

    1. From Alma's home page, open the Courses page (Fulfillment > Course Reserves > Courses).

      Courses Page_New.png

      Courses Page
    2. Select Edit in the row actions list for a course. The Manage Course Information page appears for that course.

      Manage Course Information Page
    3. Enter the date that the reading lists should be submitted in the field Submit Lists By. Select Save.

    4. Repeat for each list.

    The Submit By dates appear to the relevant instructors in Leganto in the list of Upcoming Due Dates.

    View upcoming due dates.

    Submit Lists By in Leganto

    The instructor creates the reading list in Leganto. To submit the list to the library for processing, the instructor selects My list is ready.

    The my list is ready option.

    My list is ready

    You can see the date that a list was submitted in Alma (see below).

    Send Create List Reminder Emails

    You can create an email to remind instructors to create lists for courses. The email can be launched from the Courses list using the action, Leganto create list - reminder email.
    The Leganto Create List - Reminder Email.
    Courses List
    The due date used for the letter is the value saved in the Submit List By field in the course. If the field is empty, when running the letter, a pop-up window prompts you to enter a Due Date.
    The Leganto Create List - Reminder Email Pop-up.
    Email Pop-up window
    There is also a Leganto create list - reminder email option on the Course Bulk Update job. When choosing the option, you can determine the conditions for when to send a reminder, and define a default date. The date chosen will appear on the letter if the Submit List By field does not have a value. The drop-down list for the conditions includes the following options:
    • Unconditionally — Send the reminder for all courses in the set.
    • Exclude courses marked as 'No list expected' — Bulk-exclude emails to instructors whose courses intentionally do not include reading lists.
    • If course is not associated with a list — Send the reminder if the course does not have an associated list.
    • If associated list has no request for review — Send the reminder if the associated reading list does not have a value in the Request for Review field.  
    The Course Bulk Update job options.
    Course Bulk Update Job options
    The Create Resource List.
    Create Resource List letter

    Monitoring the Task List for Reading Lists that Require Your Attention

    When an instructor sends a reading list to the library to process, the reading list's status (and all of its citations statuses) changes from Being Prepared to Ready for Processing. Log in to Alma and check the task list for any reading lists that are ready to be worked on.

    Reading lists are "tasks" for Alma operators: tasks that must be completed by an operator. Like other tasks in Alma, reading lists are unassigned when they are first created. A manager can assign a reading list to a specific operator, or you can assign a reading list to yourself by beginning to work on it.

    On the Alma home page, select the task list icon (or expand the Tasks widget) to see tasks that may be relevant to you. You are looking for tasks of type Reading List, for example, Reading Lists - Unassigned or Reading Lists - Unassigned - Processing.

    For more information, see Managing Reading Lists and Tasks in Alma. (5:00 min)

    Home Page_Task List.png

    Alma Home Page with Task List

    The tasks are divided into the following types:

    • Unassigned - Complete - Reading lists that are 1) unassigned, and 2) already complete. These reading lists do not require attention.

    • Unassigned - Processing - Reading lists that 1) are unassigned, and 2) have a status of either Being Prepared (are still being worked on by the instructor) or Ready for Processing (were submitted by the instructor).

    • Unassigned - All reading lists that are unassigned, regardless of status.

    • Assigned to me - Ready for Processing - Reading lists that a) are assigned to you, and b) have a status of Ready for Processing.

    Selecting any reading list entry opens the Reading Lists Task List page with filters preset according to the task you selected. You can also open the Reading Lists Task List page (without preset filters) by navigating to Fulfillment > Course Reserves > Reading Lists.

    Reading Lists Task List.png

    Reading Lists Task List Page

    The actions you can do on the Reading Lists Task List page depend on whether you have the Course Reserves Operator or Course Reserves Manager role, but in either case you can select reading lists in the Unassigned and Assigned to Me tabs to work on. If you begin working on a task in the Unassigned tab and save any changes, the task is moved automatically to the Assigned to Me tab, where you will see it the next time you open the task list page.

    Use the filters and sorting features to find reading lists that are ready for processing. For example:

    • You can sort the lists by the date on which the list was submitted for review (Request for Review).

    • If you filter reading lists according to Last Modification Date, you can view all reading lists that were modified in the last week, for example. If the instructor resubmits this list, this date is updated.

    When you find the reading list on which you want to work, select Work On in the row actions list. The Edit Reading List page appears.

    When you start to work on a list, change the reading list status (any Status) to Being Processed. The list now appears to you when you select the Reading Lists - Assigned to me - Ready for Processing filter and no longer appears to other operators when they select the Unassigned - Processing filter.

    Editing Reading Lists

    When editing citations, you can select the link following Reading List to access the Edit Reading List page.

    Link to Edit Reading List Page
    Selecting Reading List displays the lists Edit Reading List page.
    In the Courses tab, you can also select the linked course Code.
    Linked Course Code
    Selecting the course Code link displays the course's Manage Course Information page. From here you can edit and save course information.
    On the Edit Reading List page, citations appear in the order specified in the parameter reading_list_citation_order. For more information, see Configuring Other Settings. Actions are available in several groups.

    Fulfilling Reading List Citations

    Fulfilling a reading list means ensuring that the course's students have access to all of the course materials.

    Your library can configure that certain citations are automatically marked as fulfilled (Complete) the moment that they are added to a reading list. For more information, see Configuring Default Statuses for Citations/Reading Lists.

    When the instructor submits the list for processing (which changes the reading list's status from Being Prepared to Ready for Processing), the statuses of all citations that were Being Prepared change to Ready for Processing. Citations that are already fulfilled have the status Complete, either because they were automatically marked as Complete (see the note, above) or because you have already marked them as Complete.

    Filtering Citations

    Use the filters on the Edit Reading List page or the Citations page (see Managing Citations) to find all citations of a certain type, in order to work on them as a group.

    For example:

    • Select Citation/Locate Status > Information Incomplete to view all citations that are missing information required for Alma to locate the item in the repository (for physical citations) or to create an OpenURL link (for electronic citations).


      Edit Reading List Page, Information Incomplete Option
    • Select Citation Status > Ready for Processing to view all citations that are ready for you to process.

    • Select Tags > Essential (if this tag is configured) to find all citations that are marked as essential, indicating that they have high priority.

    • Select Tags > Digitization (if this tag is configured) to find all physical citations for which the instructor requested that copies be made by photocopying (digitizing) the physical copy.


      Edit Reading List Page, Digitization Option

    Completing Citation Information

    If any citations are missing information, or have incomplete or incorrect information, select Edit to edit the citation, correct or complete the required information, and select Save,

    If the citation is not matched to an item/portfolio in your inventory, and you changed any important information, select Resource Locate to see if you can connect the citation to your inventory. For more information, see Managing a Citation's Attachment to an Inventory Item. If you successfully locate the inventory in your repository, the citation becomes attached to the inventory and inherits some information from the inventory entry.

    Fulfilling Citations

    Fulfilling citations depends on numerous factors and may require assistance from other Alma operators at your institution. If required, you can also ask instructor for more information (see Communicating with the Instructor).

    Some steps that you may need to perform include:

    Fulfilling Physical Citations

    For more information see Physical Fulfillment. (3:44 min)

    Fulfilling Physical Citations
    General Status General Approach Steps
    The library has enough copies for your students If required, move the copies to course reserves. Otherwise, no action is required. Verify the number of items and their locations by viewing the information in the physical holdings of the citation (expand the tab). You can also view item information by selecting the Items citation action.
    To initiate a move request you must have the Fulfillment Services Operator role or ask another librarian with this role for assistance.
    1. Select the checkbox in the citation row and select Place Request in the top actions list. The Create Request page appears.
    2. Create a temporary move request as described in Creating a Request.
    You may want to print out a slip containing location and other information about the resources to be moved: select the resources and select Print Slip in the top actions list.
    There are not enough copies for your students. Search for alternate editions and versions of your citation. You can use the persistent search box. Alternately, when configured by your library, you can easily locate and provide access to alternate editions of the citation or electronic versions of the citation on the Edit Reading List page:
    1. Select Other Formats and Editions in the row actions list for the citation. The Other Formats & Editions page appears.
    2. If there are any other results, select Add to List or Add to Citation, as described in Configuring the Display of Other Formats and Editions of Citations.
    Scan a physical copy (digitize) to create digital copies for all students.
    Your library can set rules to approve digitization requests automatically as well as how to handle copyright approval for these requests.
    You must have the Fulfillment Services Operator role or ask another librarian with this role for assistance.
    1. Select the checkbox in the citation row and select Place Request in the top actions list. The Create Request page appears (see above).
    2. Create a library physical digitization request as described in Creating a Request.
    Alma notifies you about the progress of your request, and sends you a link to the digitized material when the process is completed successfully.
    Initiate a purchase request for additional physical copies.
    Your library can set rules to have this happen automatically when a citation is created or edited.
    You can initiate a purchase request on the Purchase Request page (Acquisitions > Purchase Requests > Create Purchase Request; see Creating Purchase Requests). When enabled by Ex Libris, a Course Reserves Operator/Manager can initiate the request from the Edit Reading List page (select Purchase Request), in which case the Purchase Request page is prefilled with information from the citation.
    Alma notifies you about the progress of your request, and sends you a link to the inventory when the process is completed successfully.

    Fulfilling Electronic Citations

    For more information, see Reviewing Electronic Citations. (4:03 min)

    Fulfilling Electronic Citations
    General Status General Approach Steps
    Full text available and licensed No action required. For the various options you have to view the citation's resource and to ensure that you have access to the resource, see Viewing information about a citation.
    Full text not available Check the citation's Locate Status. Although the repository locate process is entirely different from the Alma link resolver process, both require the same essential information. If the Locate Status is Incomplete Information, the OpenURL request to the link resolver requires more information. The minimum information for an OpenURL request for electronic resource is a) ISSN, volume, issue, start page, and publication year, or b) DOI. Select Edit in the row action list for the citation, enter the missing information, and select Save.
    Alma's link resolver is run automatically, unless you specifically disabled it by selecting Disable Resolving while editing an article citation.
    License issues Initiate a purchase request. See above for physical citations.
    Other Look for alternate editions and versions. See above for physical citations.

    Fulfilling Other Citations, such as Uploaded Files

    Fulfilling Other Citations, such as Uploaded Files
    General Status General Approach Steps
    All Clear the copyright of the resource. Your library may configure an automatic approval process, or you may need to perform this manually. For more information, see Managing a Citation's Copyright Status.

    Changing the Citation / Reading List Status

    After ensuring that there are enough copies of the resource / that access to the resource is cleared and available, manually mark the citation's status to Complete: For one citation, select the Set Complete row action and save the reading list. For multiple citations:
    1. Select the citations.
    2. Select Change Status in the page actions.
    3. Select Complete.
    4. Select Change Status.
    5. Seelct Save to save the reading list.
    After marking all citations in a reading list as Complete, mark the reading list as Complete:
    1. In the page header, select Complete for the Status.
    2. Select Save.
    Either you or the instructor can then publish the list (make the list visible to students) so that students can view it in Leganto. To do this as the librarian:
    1. Select a publication status other than Draft or Archived for the Publication Status.
    2. Select Save. The instructor is notified about the change in Leganto.

    Communicating with the Instructor

    Reading lists that contain citations with unread notes added by the instructor (or another librarian) are listed as a task in the task list.
    Citation with New Note in Task List.png
    Citation with New Note Task
    To view the note, open the reading list, filter the list by the alert Citation has a New Note, edit the citation, and select the Notes tab.
    Example Citation Notes tab.png
    Notes Tab

    To mark the notes as read:

    1. Select Update Notes.
    2. Select Dismiss Notes.
    3. Select Save.
    To add a comment (for the instructor or another librarian):
    1. Select Add Note.
    2. Select Type Library or Instructor.
    3. Enter your Note.
    4. Select Add.

    The option to add note for the librarian or instructor.

    Add Note for Librarian/Instructor

    The instructor sees the comment in Leganto Library discussion.

    The Library Discussion pane.

    Library Discussion Thread in Leganto
    • Was this article helpful?