Happy Birthday, Course Resource Lists

Happy Birthday, Course Resource Lists

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of Course Resource Lists

A wall of books stacked on top of each other with paper edges sticking out

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Photographer: Martin Vorel - https://martinvorel.com


This spring marked Course Resource List’s one-year anniversary at Gottesman Libraries. Course Resource Lists is the library's course reserves platform, and a home for various types of resources assigned in courses--library electronic and print materials, films, open access resources, and more. Lists allow for the easy retrieval of library resources, and communication with the library, from within Canvas, and are retained for rollover to subsequent semesters. Faculty users are able to create and edit their own lists with an integrated library resource search, or submit a list of citations to Gottesman Libraries for processing.


Alma Primo VE Implementation Timeline


Alma / Educat+ (Primo VE) Timeline:

  • December 2020-March 2021: Alma/Primo VE onboarding and training begins
  • March 15, 2021: Alma/Primo VE implementation begins
  • April 18-April 30, 2021: Gottesman Libraries delivers data test load to Ex Libris, including patron data, fines and fees data, circulation data, bibliographic, holding, and item data
  • April-August, 2021: Gottesman Libraries prepares configurations for loans, returns, user groups, staff permissions, requesting, resource discovery, and more, conducts various tests, and continues training
  • August 2-August 15, 2021: Gottesman Libraries provides data cutover load to Ex Libris 
  • August 17, 2021: Gottesman Libraries goes live with Educat+ and Alma

Course Resource Lists acted as the quiet catalyst for the new integrated library services platform. Instead of relying on a patchwork of different, outmoded software systems, the new course reserves system afforded us the opportunity for an entirely new and stronger library catalog and unified research discovery tool. The implementation of Alma and Primo VE brought us up to industry standard, and set the stage for encouraging greater faculty engagement and enhanced avenues to scholarship. The implementation of Alma, Educat+, and Course Resource Lists was managed by Jon Macmillan, Director, Program Management Office, TC Information Technology, in coordination with Kalliopi Mathios, Head of Technical Services and Metadata Librarian, Roshnara Kissoon, Reserves and Support Services Librarian; Jennifer Govan, Library Director and Senior Librarian; and Clare Berends-Eitel, Associate Director of Instruction Design, and Minh Le, Principal Instructional Designer, Digital Futures Institute.


Course Resource Lists Timeline



Course Resource Lists (Leganto) Implementation Timeline:

  • August-September 2021: Leganto onboarding begins
  • September 13 , 2021: Leganto implementation begins
  • September 20, 2021: Ex Libris delivers Leganto environment to Gottesman Libraries
  • November 1, 2021: TCIT establishes Banner integration for course data 
  • November 8, 2021: Faculty pilot group forms and begins testing Leganto features
  • November 30, 2021: Gottesman Libraries goes live with Course Resource Lists
  • December 2022: DFI and Gottesman Libraries finalize faculty support materials
  • Mid-January 2022: DFI enables Canvas LTI integration across all courses


Course Resource Lists replaced a proprietary software called DocDel, which debuted in 2002. DocDel functioned as the library’s document delivery system for interlibrary loan and purchased electronic books, while formalizing requests for new physical books. It also functioned as the Libraries’s course reserves module, and many faculty members enjoyed it as a citation manager. Designed by engineer Michael Rennick, DocDel was ahead of its time in 2002, providing functionality not yet available by commercial software vendors, and serving library staff and patrons for nearly twenty years. By 2020, however, DocDel posed several unresolvable challenges and was sunset while we implemented Leganto, an Ex Libris course reserves solution. Our research led us to believe that there were exciting opportunities to improve our popular course reserves service by integrating library resources within the learning management system, providing the benefits of DocDel within Canvas, and creating a one-stop shop for library reserve materials. Leganto also allows library staff to manage course reserves processes more efficiently from within the library system, Alma.


Branded for Teachers College as Course Resource Lists, Leganto enables the library to provide a multitude of resource types through a sophisticated service model tailored to online, on-campus, and hybrid learning environments. Faculty can request new acquisitions, digitized fair use excerpts, and place physical materials on reserve, among additional options — without leaving Canvas. Course Resource Lists offer faculty and instructional staff the real-time delivery of available electronic resources, and allow library staff to focus efforts on fulfilling requests requiring intervention, such as those requiring copyright permissions. With extensions like the CiteIt! Tool, faculty can add resources available on the open web or from library subscriptions, while integrations with Zotero and Mendeley allow faculty to add citations from personal citation managers while checking library availability. It is also possible to utilize Course Resource List resources throughout a Canvas course, and embed resources in course pages and modules


Course Resource Lists can support active learning with social reading tools, and Gottesman Libraries plan to offer advanced workshops on these features in the Summer 2023 terms.


To date, Course Resource Lists have grown in number and faculty use each semester:

Spring 2023

150 lists, for 123 instructors, containing 2,667 citations

Fall 2022

134 lists, for 101 instructors; 3,045 citations

Spring 2022

100 lists, for 88 instructors, 2,080 citations


We've received positive feedback from faculty and instructional staff using Course Resource Lists, finding it convenient, easy to use, and a helpful way to leverage library resources for their classes.


  • As a new faculty member, I'm excited to help my students connect more easily to the course materials. I didn't realize it was so easy to add to the list. -Dr. Jennifer Chang

  • The system is excellent. The students can access the readings right there in Canvas... the search function works beautifully and that's what I told my students to use to find the readings. -Dr. Carmen Martínez-Roldán

  • From my experience professors [and students] absolutely love it. -Noah Means-Simonsen

To get started with Course Resource Lists, please visit the links below:



  Costello, Laura. Evaluating Demand-Driven Acquisitions. Cambridge, MA: Chandos Publishing, 2017. Print.

  Natriello, Gary. Digital-Age Innovation in Higher Education : a Do-It-Yourself Approach. New York, New York ;: Routledge, 2021. Print.

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