Frequently Asked Questions

What is a reading list?

A reading list is a list of resources (books, journals, AV material, websites, etc.) compiled by an academic to support students in their studies. It may be available in print and/or electronic format and is typically organised alphabetically, chronologically, by subject or a combination of these. It may also include annotations from the academic (e.g. stating why a given resource should be read).

What’s a resource list?

In an academic context it’s the same as a reading list. Some institutions prefer the term resource list as reading list can imply that only text resources are available. We prefer to use the traditional term as it can get confusing when talking about resource lists outside academia.

What is a Resource/Reading List Management System (RLMS)?

A RLMS enables students to access their reading list online and easily access or check availability of recommended resources. It allows appropriate staff to create and maintain the resource/reading lists. It also provides the Library with details of the content of resource/reading lists so as to support its collection development. In essence a RLMS allows an institution to more efficiently and effectively manage its resource/reading lists.

Why is your system called LORLS?

When we first developed the system we didn’t actually give it a name but just referred to it was “the online reading list system”. Others outside the University started calling it “the Loughborough system” or erroneously “bookworm” (which was the name of the server it happened to be hosted on). When we decided to release the system as open source we had to come up with a name so we combined both the common names to form “Loughborough online reading list system” giving us the acronym LORLS.

What are LUMP and CLUMP?

When we redeveloped LORLS in 2007-10 we decided to split the front end interface from the back end processes. We called the back end LUMP (which stands for Loughborough Universal Metadata Platform – a little pretentious we know) and so the front end became a Client for LUMP or CLUMP for short.

Where can I find out more on LORLS?

We have written a few articles about LORLS  and you can see our thoughts about designing the system in our development diary.

Is LORLS free?

Yes in the sense that there’s no license cost. However, to install the system you will need access to a server and some technical resource (i.e. a techie). And of course implementing and operating the system will require human resource; from our experiences this is usually the most significant cost when implementing a RLMS.

What support do you provide?

There is no official support for LORLS beyond this website.

Are there other RLMS available?

Yes there are other open source and commercial RLMS available. We have compiled a short list of other systems but there is a more complete list available on the Higher Education Library Technology website.

What is “Meeting the Reading List Challenge”?

This is an annual event held at Loughborough University showcasing many of the systems and issues related to managing reading lists. You can find out more about the events by going to the Meeting the Reading List Challenge website.

What else do you guys do?

Our main role is developing middleware (the software equivalent of glue) solutions and maintaining the Library Systems at Loughborough University. You can read about some of the non-LORLs stuff we get up to on our team blog.

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