There are two aspects to implementing LORLS: the technical installation and configuration of the software and the non-technical setup and advocacy of the service. Documentation on how to install LORLS for the first time (including use of a virtual machine image), migrating data from a previous version, customization and integration is all covered in other documentation on this site. This page attempts to provide guidance to non-technical staff on how to setup LORLS (once installed) and some suggestions about advocacy.

Setting up LORLS

An initial out of the box installation of LORLS will have a single “structural unit”, this can be edited by a site administrator to easily change the name and other details of the institution. Changing the images used or style of how the system is displayed is also possible, although this requires a techie to customize the client interface.

You can then start adding schools/departments under the institution by simply clicking on the “Add New” button (top-left on the toolbar) and selecting the appropriate entry from the list that appears. You can nest schools/departments (e.g. a department under school) to best reflect the hierarchy of your institution. Under these schools/departments you can also have stages, for example: foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate. Beneath these are modules and finally the reading lists themselves. Modules are separate from the actual reading lists is so that a list can easily to shared among two or more modules, without it having to be duplicated.

Permission to edit these various structural units (schools/departments, stage, modules and lists) is all controlled by groups. These can be edited by clicking on the “Groups” icon on the toolbar (which in later versions of LORLS is hidden under the Admin icon). Groups are inherited from parent structural units so if you want to create additional groups, it’s important to add these first.

With permissions sorted you can now populate the reading lists. This could be done by academic or library staff and LORLS has options to manual create lists, or import them, from a variety of existing sources. The system also includes various reports allowing you to monitor activity on the system as well as record progress in populating it.

The best way of understanding all of this is simply by having a play on the system. More information on how to use LORLS at Loughborough, is available via our support blog and this may also be of use to other institutions. Likewise, when Dublin Business School implemented LORLS they produced a fantastic process implementation chart which you might find of use.

And now for the hard part…


Having a system is all well and good, but actually getting people to use it is a whole other thing! Advocacy was the topic for one of the earliest posting in our design diary and is a constant theme in literature on the subject and at reading list events (we know we’ve organised more than few). Rather than repeat what they have to say, we suggest you take some time to read some of the case studies and presentations available.

And finally

If you’re really having trouble sleeping, you might want to check out an article I wrote a few years ago about implementing a Resource or Reading List Management System.

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