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LibNet staff news



Library website redesign: please send us your feedback

By Robert Drinkall, on 27 July 2021

A project is currently underway to redesign the public Library website, with a particular focus on the homepage and the pages immediately below it (‘layer 2’).

To date, the Web Steering Group has agreed upon a revised homepage with new corresponding layer 2 pages, notably defining new section headings / information groupings which move away from the Students, Staff, NHS and Visitors categories we have at the moment. This approach has since been applied to a sandbox instance of the public website, and we’ve reached out to UCL students for their feedback, which we’re in the process of analysing.

We’d now like to ask you if you can please send us your comments about the redesigned site by completing our web redesign survey, which will be open until 6th August. Details about how to access the sandbox version of the site are included in the survey, and here are a few things to note alongside:

  • Small tweaks to layer 2 pages may still take place, but these will only be minor.
  • Content below the homepage and layer 2 pages has not been changed, and the breadcrumbs / menus will need to be altered before the new site is released.
  • Image selection is still being finalised.

Any feedback you provide will be appreciated, and thanks in advance.

UCL’s Sustainability Awards 2021

By Benjamin Meunier, on 15 July 2021

Library Services performed tremendously well for another year in the latest round of Green Impact, when results were presented at UCL’s Sustainability Awards Ceremony 2021. With 17 awards in total to UCL Library Services, the UCL Sustainability hosts observed that “we must have one of the greenest libraries in the UK”!

This year’s ceremony coincided with the Library Services Staff Conference, however organisers of both events kindly arranged for the programmes to allow a 15-minute slot for our Library Green Champions to receive awards as close as “in person” gets for virtual events. Unfortunately this meant a number of us missed the Provost’s introductory remarks at the Staff conference, but we look forwards to catching up with the recordings of this part of the conference!

During the presentation of the awards, Library colleagues could hear which awards they had received and turn on their cameras at the Sustainability Awards, to receive well-deserved praise and recognition. A number of UCL colleagues celebrated the Library’s achievements at the awards, and it was a joyful celebration, where I enjoyed seeing the faces of many colleagues, although not all Green Champions were able to attend.

The full list of awards for Library Services is below; well done to everyone who was involved in the Green Impact Awards, especially our Green Champions who coordinated submissions for each site. In addition to our Sites and central award for the department as a whole, Bernadette d’Almeida was also recognised individually through a “highly commended” UCL Sustainability staff award.

Change Possible: The Strategy for a Sustainable UCL 2019 – 2024 sets us all the challenge of “inspiring sustainability action on an international scale”. The Library’s strong engagement with Green Impact, over many years, will inspire other services to follow suit and I know that our achievements in this area have already been noticed at a national level. Our Library Sustainability Committee is looking to ways we can achieve even greater impact in future years by working more closely together across sites. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch: you can find more information on LibNet.


  • Bartlett Library
  • Institute of Orthopaedics Library
  • SSEES Library


  • IOE Library
  • Main Library
  • Ophthalmology Library
  • Queen Square Library
  • Royal Free Medical Library
  • Science Team Library
  • Senate House Hub


  • Central Library Services
  • Cruciform Hub
  • Institute of Child Health Library
  • Institute of Archaeology Library
  • School of Pharmacy Library
  • Language and Speech Science Library
  • Wickford Zero Waste

You can find out more about the Awards, and view a recording of the ceremony and a booklet with an overview of the highly commended and award-winners (including Bernadette) on the Sustainable UCL pages.

Powered by Plants – Library Services trial for one-year

By Benjamin Meunier, on 12 July 2021

UCL’s Sustainability Director Richard Jackson attended the Library SMT meeting in June and participated in a discussion with SMT members on adopting vegetarian catering for Library Services events. The policy was introduced at UCL within the Psychology of Language Division (PALS) and has been adopted by a number of departments and divisions. UCL Library Services have now signed up to one year trial of Powered By Plants – catering will be 100% vegetarian or vegan by default.

This commitment is part of UCL Library Services’ activity to reduce our environmental impact, driven by our team of committed Green Champions, and to support wellbeing. It also supports UCL’s ambition to lead by example.

UCL provides detailed guidance on managing sustainable events. You can also find out more about sustainability initiatives from UCL’s catering provider.

Library Staff Conference Programme and joining instructions

By Jennifer L Brown, on 9 July 2021

On behalf of the Staff Conference Organising Committee, I am delighted to share with you the programme details and joining instructions for the Library Services Staff Conference on Wednesday 14th July at 1pm. The theme for this year’s conference is

 A Library of the Future: Learning from the Pandemic to Transform our Strategic Thinking. 



Conference commences – 1pm

Welcome and opening address  – 1.05 – 1.25pm

Lightning Talks part 1 – 1.30pm – 1.55pm

Tabitha Tuckett: UCL Special Collections Dante public events

Vicky Price: Outreach programme, New Curators project

  Keynote address – Professor Anna Cox – 2.05pm – 2.50pm

Comfort break 15 minutes  

Lightning talks part 2- 3.10pm- 3.55pm

Amad Uddin

Margaret Stone

Christina Egan 

Breakout sessions 4.00pm – 4.25pm


Room 1 – Technology of future working (Margaret Stone and Martin Moyle)

Room 2 – Future space: Physical and Virtual (Ben Meunier and Anna Di Iorio)

Room 3 – User Experience: Engagement & Services (Peter Dennison and June Hedges)

Room 4 – Open Science (Kirsty Wallis and Paul Ayris)

Room 5 – Future of staff training and development (Michelle Wake and Kate Cheney)


Chocolate Meditation– Andrew Watson, Tabitha Tuckett and Harriet Hale– 4.25pm – 4.45pm  

Closing address by Ben Meunier : 4-50pm – 5pm

Library Social Group (LSG)

Social Activity 5.30pm onwards

As part of the conference we have created a “one-stop shop” webpage with all the information you need to participate in the conference; the programme timetable, joining instructions and weblinks, FAQs and of course a variety of resources created by talented staff within Library Services.  

The main part of the conference will be hosted on Zoom Webinar, with breakout sessions being hosted on Microsoft Teams and the chocolate meditation session on Zoom large meeting. All links for the conference and sessions will be released on Tuesday 13th July on to the webpage.  

To access the webpage, click here

Further resources will be made “live” on the day of the conference.  

Important pre–conference information regarding UCL Zoom account

In order to access the sessions that will be hosted via zoom please set up your UCL Zoom account prior to the 14th July (if you have not already done so previously). If your UCL zoom account is not set up you will be unable to access the event because it will not be available via the non UCL zoom route.


Details of how to set up your UCL zoom account can be found here.

The conference and all sessions will be recorded and available on the conference page to watch at a later date.  

We look forward to you joining us.


The Library Staff Conference Organising Committee 2021



Flexitime Focus Groups: Call for Participants

By Bethan Smith, on 7 July 2021

As we approach the next academic year, and implement new ways and patterns of working, we would like to take the opportunity to examine our current systems for managing flexible working patterns across Library Services.

The current flexitime system has been in suspension since March 2020. Running a local system brings with it limitations and overheads; as we implement new modes of working in the upcoming academic year, it is worth taking the time to examine how we might administer the benefit of flexible working within Library Services going forward, and consider whether we need to reinstate the current MyFlexi system.

With this in mind, Martin Moyle and June Hedges would like to meet colleagues to hear their views on how we might manage flexible working patterns in the near future.

We have arranged five focus groups, which will take place over the next three weeks.

Please note that there is no question of withdrawing the benefit of flexible working patterns from Library Services – conversations in these groups will instead focus on considering the way we administer these:

Friday 9th July, 11:30 – 12:30

Tuesday 13th July 11:00 – 12:00

Thursday 15th July 15:00 – 16:00

Tuesday 27th July 11:00 – 12:00

Thursday 29th July 10:00 – 11:00

Focus groups will take place virtually on MS Teams. Participants will be sent a Teams link prior to the start of the session.

To ensure a constructive conversation, we are aiming for up to 10 colleagues to act as participants per focus group. We aim to ensure an even spread of participants across teams, grades, and work patterns at each meeting to ensure a representative discussion is held.

If you are interested in attending one of the focus groups, please email bethan.smith@ucl.ac.uk with your first and second preference for your slot.

Library staff conference 

By simon.bralee.15, on 2 July 2021

Wednesday 14 July, 13:00 – 17:00

Followed by Library Social Group event

The Conference Committee have been working hard, planning this year’s conference, with the theme ‘A Library for the Future’.

  • Meet the new provost Michael Spence;
  • Listen to lightning talks from colleagues;
  • Help shape the future of Library Services in breakout sessions based on the Library strategy, and more!

There will also be a chocolate based session, so make sure you have your favourite bar in stock. (You can use other snacks).

Teams are also encouraged to get together in the morning and hold their own local activities.

We will share the full programme soon. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Aanchal Bhatt or Jennifer Brown (committee co-chairs).

Facilities & Projects Update

By Collette E M Lawrence, on 25 June 2021

Facilities & Projects Team Blog – Our team information can be found at the following link Facilities & Project Team

Project update for the Fire Alarm upgrade installations throughout DMS Watson, Petrie Museum and Energy Centre.

Monday 28th June 2021 – First floor will be fully open and contactors will be completing works in sections. They will be commencing work on the Mezzanine areas, up and down and in G15 Teaching Cluster. This whole area will be closed to staff and students. They will be sheeting and taping the areas off tight to the desks so the one way system can continue.

This work will take a couple of weeks to complete. Arrangements have been made so that work in all staff occupied services and areas as well as the entrance area, will be completed on Saturday mornings before opening and Sundays, so services are not too disrupted.

We will continue to provide further updates as the project progresses. Please speak to your building manager if you have any concerns or queries and they can feed back to the team.

HEA Fellowship award – congratulations

By Angela Young, on 11 June 2021

Many congratulations to Heather Chesters (Deputy Librarian at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) who has received the award of Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy via the UCL Arena Open programme. Heather already had the Associate Fellowship award, and the Fellow status is well-deserved recognition of her experience, dedication and commitment to delivering excellence in teaching our students.

What is HEA Fellowship?

HEA fellowship is a nationally recognised award which gives you formal recognition for your commitment to professionalism in supporting learning and teaching in higher education? The UCL Arena Open programme, which is free to UCL staff, provides a route to Higher Education Academy (HEA) / AdvanceHE fellowship and is open to all staff at UCL who teach or support students’ learning, regardless of role or job title, so it’s relevant to all sorts of roles within Library Services. There is tailored support and guidance available for Professional Services staff, particularly for staff with a role that does not include teaching.

HEA Fellowship – what’s in it for me?

The awards demonstrate your dedication and commitment to your continuing professional development in relation to teaching or supporting student learning, and can be great evidence for your CV or when applying for jobs. In addition to gaining you post-nominals, the process of applying for fellowship means you reflect on your teaching and learning support work and develop your skills, identify areas for your future development and enhance your support of students so contributing to the user experience. There are various categories of fellowship depending on your role and experience, including Associate Fellow, Fellow and Senior Fellow.

Our experiences over the past year in particular have meant we have all developed new skills and contributed to new ways of providing teaching and support for learning to our students, and have provided opportunity for reflection with lots of examples for you to draw on as evidence to support a fellowship application.

Find out more on the UCL Arena Open website, or contact Angela Young, who arranges support events and individual support for colleagues within Library Services.

SCONUL 20/21

By Sandra I Enwesi, on 7 June 2021

The SCONUL (The Society of College, National and University Libraries) return is an annual insight which provides a detailed picture of the workings of UCL Library Services , allowing us to take stock, plan and benchmark our performance against our peers. In total there are 34 sets of measurements which are reflective of the different areas of the library.

I have collected the stats for the past 9 years and we ( UCL Library Services) have never missed the submission deadline and the timely submission as well as the success of the annual return has been possible because of the collaborative spirit of UCL Library Services staff ,even in the thick of the lockdown last year with many many staff working from home , basking in the joys of home schooling (phew!) , literally taking the phrase “hanging in there” to a whole new level , we still delivered the annual return on time with Zero queries and for this I am very grateful and proud.

This year’s return 20/21 will soon be open and as always I will be collecting promptly, if you provided any stats in the last return but will not be doing so this year please let me know in an email  s.enwesi@ucl.ac.uk and advise who has taken over.

Aggregate figures for the academic year (1 August to 31 July) are generally required. Thank you 

Library Committee, June 2021

By Paul Ayris, on 6 June 2021

Report to Library Committee, June 2021

2 June saw the final meeting of Library Committee for 2020/21. I was asked to chair the meeting, in the absence of Professor David Price. The Committee was very supportive indeed of the work of Library colleagues during the dreadful challenges caused by the pandemic. I promised that I would pass on these congratulations and good wishes to colleagues, which I am happy to do here.

Going forward, Library Committee will have a new reporting line following re-organisation of the remits of all the Vice-Provosts. Details remain to be confirmed, but it is likely that Library Committee will henceforth report to RIGE, a committee to be chaired by Professor David Price which oversees all RIGE (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement) activities. The RIGE committee will itself report to the new University Management Committee, which will replace UCL SMT from 1 August.

At the meeting of Library Committee on 2 June, I presented my termly PVP Report. This is available at the link shared here. The Report attempts to present a high-level view of the role of the Library for the last three months.

Stay well and optimistic, as society works to emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic.

Paul Ayris