A Rapid Implementation of a Reserve Reading List Solution in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Matthew Black University of Calgary
  • Susan Powelson University of Calgary




In the spring of 2020, as post-secondary institutions and libraries were adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, Libraries and Cultural Resources at the University of Calgary rapidly implemented Ex Libris’ reading list solution Leganto to support the necessary move to online teaching and learning. This article describes the rapid implementation process and changes to our reserve reading list service and policies, reviews the status of the implementation to date and presents key takeaways which will be helpful for other libraries considering implementing an online reading list management system or other systems on a rapid timeline. Overall, rapid implementation allowed us to meet our immediate need to support online teaching and learning; however, long term successful adoption of this tool will require additional configuration, engagement, and support.


“Canada’s Best Medical Doctoral Universities: Rankings 2020,” Maclean’s, October 3, 2019, https://www.macleans.ca/education/university-rankings-2020-canadas-top-medical-doctoral-schools/.

Ex Libris, “Course Materials Affordability: A Win for University of St. Thomas,” Library Journal (November 7, 2018), https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=course-materials-affordability-a-win-for-university-of-st-thomas.

“Faculty Wellness and Careers,” Course Hero (blog), December 1, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/blog/faculty-wellness-research/.

Gary Brewerton and Jon Knight, “From Local Project to Open Source: A Brief History of the Loughborough Online Reading List System (LORLS),” Vine 33, no. 4 (2003): 189–95, https://doi.org/10.1108/03055720310510909.

Jennifer Murray and Daniel Feinberg, “Collaboration and Integration,” Information Technology and Libraries 39, no. 2 (November 2020), https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v39i2.11863.

“Leganto Course Resource List Management,” Ex Libris, March 18, 2021, https://exlibrisgroup.com/products/leganto-reading-list-management-system/.

Linda Sheedy, David Wells, and Amanda Bellenger, “Implementation of a Leganto Reading List Service at Curtin University Library,” in Technology, Change and the Academic Library, ed. Jeremy Atkinson (Chandos Publishing, 2021), 55–61, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-822807-4.00005-1.

Marie O'Neill and Lara Musto, “Faculty Perceptions of Loughborough's Online Reading List System (LORLS) at Dublin Business School (DBS),” New Review of Academic Librarianship 23, no. 4 (2016): 368, https://doi.org/10.1080/13614533.2016.1272473.

Meredith Gorran Farkas, “Libraries in the Learning Management System,” in American Libraries Tips and Trends (Summer 2015), https://acrl.ala.org/IS/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/summer2015.pdf.

Olivia Walsby, “Implementing a Reading List Strategy at The University of Manchester—Determination, Collaboration and Innovation,” Insights the UKSG Journal 33 (2020), https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.494.

Richard Cross, “Implementing a Resource List Management System in an Academic Library,” Electronic Library 33, no. 2 (July 2015): 221, https://doi.org/10.1108/el-05-2013-0088.




How to Cite

Black, M., & Powelson, S. (2021). A Rapid Implementation of a Reserve Reading List Solution in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Information Technology and Libraries, 40(3). https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v40i3.13209