From ASK

Creating, maintaining and distributing reading lists from year to year can be a time-consuming task for librarians and academic staff alike. The desktop reading list tool has been designed to make it easy to search bibliographic and other academic repositories, then create and manage reading lists. The tool can be used to export reading lists in an interoperable format (MODS XML), which can be imported into the online reading list tool. The online reading list tool can then be used to transform and export the list into a PDF, HTML, RTF or Endnote file.




The tool allows you to:

  • Search bibliographic databases and other repository systems simultaneously
  • Select items found through your search and add them to your own reading list.
  • Include in the reading list online resources and other items that lie outside catalogues and repositories.
  • Annotate the items on your list: for example, to inform students which chapters they should read in a particular book.
  • Maintain multiple reading lists: for example, one for each course that you teach.
  • Edit your reading lists without being connected to the Internet (including adding new items "manually"), although you'll need to go online if you want to perform a search and add items from Web-based sources.
  • Export a reading list to the online Reading List tool for conversion to PDF, RTF or EndNote® format.
  • View the full text version of an online item (subject to access rights).

Getting Started

Please note that the desktop reading list software is BETA software. This means that it is still under development and updated versions will be released periodically. The software can be downloaded from sourceforge.

If you have any problems with the software, or would like new features added, please send us feedback.

Performing a search

  • The desktop reading list tool search facility works like most search tools on the internet. You just type an author or keyword search into the box above. The results then appear in the box below.
  • You can perform many search and each is saved as a new tab in the search window

Creating a reading list

  • Items that have been returned through the search can then be moved down to the reading list box.
  • Items can be moved from any of the search tabs
  • You can use the column headings to sort the metadata
  • You can use the filter box to find quickly any piece of text ("string") in the metadata
  • You can remove any of the column headings you don't feel relevant to your searching by right-clicking with the mouse and de-selecting that column heading

Managing reading lists


  • In the main search tab you can press the Save List button to move the list you have created through searching and browsing the items retrieved through search to the My Folders main tab (pictured above)
  • Here you can create folders to hold lists
  • Move items between lists
  • Describe the reading list itself
  • Export the list as a PDF or HTML document (by pressing the Reading List button at the bottom-right of the screen)
  • Export the list in the interoperable format (based on MODS XML)