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HE Libraries in South Africa

By Simon P Bralee, on 15 November 2019

You are invited to a talk presented by senior librarians from South Africa on:

The higher education landscape in South Africa, Wits University and the Wits Library

on Monday 18th November, 14:00 – 16:00 in Room 106, DMS Watson building (Science Library).

Read the rest of this entry »

Enabling Innovation Working Group: Call for Volunteers

By Bethan J Smith, on 15 November 2019

Earlier this year Martin Moyle, Director of Services, posted about the potential for innovation and service delivery at UCL Library Services. We are excited to now formally announce the launch of the Enabling Innovation Working Group – and to call for volunteers to join it.

We know from experience that Library Services staff have fantastic ideas on new ways to improve our services; what is less clear is how best to collect those ideas and process them, how to enable funding for them and how to ensure that we are able to fully implement them.

The Enabling Innovation Working Group will work together to look at ways of facilitating new ideas and projects, while trying to remove any blockers that prevent them from happening. We will think of ways to help enable small-scale innovation projects in line with KPA4 as part of the Library Strategy 2019-22.

The group will be more focused on the ‘how’ than the ‘what’ – on examining the ways that we can create an exciting, forward-thinking working environment where we are able to test new ideas and fund them. The main output of our meetings will eventually take the form of a report to the SMT, containing recommendations on how best to proceed.

We are keen to gather a representative cross-section of Library Services staff across grades, departments and libraries to make sure that we gain a wide range of ideas and perspectives on how best to enable innovation. We are looking for 6-10 working group members and are in need of volunteers!

How to Join

If you are interested in joining, please consult with your line manager in the first instance and then email bethan.smith@ucl.ac.uk. In terms of commitment, this group will involve two or three in-person meetings. There may also be small amounts of homework and research involved, so please do consider this before applying. Please do not hesitate to email if you have any questions before volunteering.

The first group meeting is currently scheduled for 3pm on Wednesday 11th December in Room 106 of the Science Library and will be chaired by Martin Moyle.

Please respond by Friday 29th November if you wish to join the group and we will get in touch shortly.

Bethan Smith
Service Improvement Coordinator

LibNet migration to Drupal

By Chris S Carrington, on 4 November 2019

On Tuesday 5th November, our LibNet Intranet site is being migrated from the current Content Management System, Silva, into the UCL’s new CMS, Drupal.

Throughout the day LibNet should be considered “at risk” and there may be periods of downtime for the site.

What’s changed?

Essentially, only the mechanics behind the site have changed and the pages will look very much like their current state. The migration is not a redesign.

However, the authentication in Drupal is different so you may notice changes in logging in to the site. For example, the home page does not require a login. Also, PDFs and Word documents have been moved into a new SharePoint area which requires a separate UCL login. All links have been updated where relevant.

The move to Drupal should also see better performance of the site and end the recent outages we’ve seen.

Reporting problems

Should you notice any problems on Tuesday there is no need to report them. We expect the site to run normally from Wednesday 6th November. From Wednesday if you experience any problems using the site, please report them to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Updating web pages

Assigning author rights to colleagues will be reviewed in due course. For the time being, if you require an update to your LibNet pages please email lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Launch of UCL’s new Sustainability Strategy

By Catherine L Sharp, on 30 October 2019

The launch of UCL’s new Sustainability Strategy last Thursday evening was appropriately held in the new Student Centre, a building that has been awarded the highest BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating, recognising its sustainable design and construction. The event began with the Provost celebrating UCL’s key commitment to divesting from fossil fuels by the end of 2019.

We were treated to some inspiring words from Professor Geraint Rees, Chair of UCL’s Sustainability Steering Group (also Dean of Life Sciences and UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (AI)), and Richard Jackson, UCL’s Sustainability Director. Prof Mark Miodownik gave a fascinating talk about the work that UCL academics are doing on sustainability, particularly his EPSRC-funded project Designing-out Plastic Waste, which brings together UCL academics in Chemistry, Engineering, and Behavioural Science to research, design and introduce solutions to the plastic waste problem. UCL has committed to achieving a plastic-free campus within the next five years.

The new strategy focuses on three signature campaigns:

Positive Climate
The goals of this campaign include net zero carbon buildings by 2024; a net zero carbon institution with UCL generating all its own renewable energy by 2030; exploring ways to help staff and students reduce the impact of their travel; and introducing 100% vegetarian catering for events and hospitality.

The Loop
This campaign focuses on tackling unsustainable consumption by supporting UCL’s local economy and specifying products with the highest environmental and wellbeing standards. By 2021, social environmental and modern slavery audits will be carried out on UCL’s largest suppliers, and sustainability ratings will be introduced on products both online and in canteens.

Wild Bloomsbury
This campaign aims to introduce nature-based solutions to Bloomsbury by working with Camden and UCL local partners. By 2024, UCL will create 10,000m2 extra biodiverse space – the equivalent of around one and a half football pitches. This will include green walls, brown roofs and pocket gardens to increase biodiversity and reduce the impacts of pollution in the heart of London. Other measures include developing an active travel strategy and launching live air pollution monitoring for the UCL campus.

Who to contact when there are phone problems

By Robert Drinkall, on 30 October 2019

In relation to yesterday’s problems with UCL’s phone system, I thought I’d just clarify who we should contact when there are phone issues.

ISD’s advice is that either the ISD Service Desk or is-telecoms@ucl.ac.uk can be contacted (messages sent to the is-telecoms@ucl.ac.uk address feed into the ISD ticketing system).

For information about the section of ISD which provides support for UCL’s telephone system, including for Library Services, please see the Telephony services website

Data Protection Roadshow 21-28 November 2019

By Benjamin G M Meunier, on 24 October 2019

The GDPR Programme Team in conjunction with the Data Protection Office are putting on a Data Protection Roadshow spanned over 2 weeks in November 2019.

If you would like to find out more about what GDPR means for all staff at UCL and want to better understand the practical application of the Data Protection legislation, this series of events is for you. The roadshow will cover UCL’s approach to discharging our legal responsibilities, what future projects are planned to improve Data Protection at UCL and how to adopt best practice in data management.

 

Follow this link to register your attendance: Data Protection Roadshow 21-28 November 2019

For Frequently Asked Questions about Data Protection and GDPR in Library Services, you can visit the new LibNet page.

Tackling Bullying & Harassment at UCL: “Where Do You Draw the Line?”

By Benjamin G M Meunier, on 23 October 2019

On the 3rd October, I participated in a “Where Do You Draw the Line?” workshop facilitated by the UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team. Where do you draw the line? is a harassment prevention approach collaboratively developed by UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Manchester and University of Oxford.

The workshop was jointly led by Kevin Coutinho from the EDI team and Martin Moyle, June Hedges and myself on behalf of Paul Ayris. It was very well-attended, and room 417 was completely full with managers from across Library Services, including many SMT members.

Colleagues who attended reported that it was helpful. One participant wrote:

“Firstly, I’d like to thank SMT for funding this session for Library Services Managers. I found it to be really helpful and I appreciated being able to participate alongside members of SMT and other managers in Library Services.”

This event was organised by Jennifer Brown, our Departmental Administrator, as part of our broader action plan for responding to findings from the Staff Survey.

Further work is needed to help eradicate bullying & harassment entirely from Library Services. There is no place for this type of behaviour at UCL, and the aim is for all staff to feel empowered and confident in challenging and reporting any instance where they encounter bullying or harassment. Given the success of this training event, and based on recommendations from colleagues attending, we will look to organise further events to ensure all staff receive this important training. The Library SMT will also consider a range of suggested next steps at the end of this month to follow up on this important matter.

For more information on how to respond if you witness bullying or harassment, please visit LibNet.

If you wish to report something or find additional support information for students and staff, please visit the Report+Support pages.

By challenging inappropriate behaviours we can all play a role in ensuring that UCL is a harassment free zone.

 

UKeiG CPD Group: Better social media for libraries: Twitter, blogs and Instagram

By Gillian Mackenzie, on 22 October 2019

Along with the LaSS library team, I help to maintain our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and social media is probably our main method for outreach at the moment. Also, I am part of the communications team for Astrea, the UCL network for women in Professional Services, and being a somewhat tentative user of social media myself, I felt it would really benefit my various work roles to learn more about using social media more effectively. So, I recently attended a course on Better social media for libraries at CILIP.

The course was practical and fun, and I came away with lots of ideas and things I want to try out. LaSS has a reasonably healthy following on Facebook, and we’ve recently run a successful series of ‘Meet the Team’ profiles, introducing the LaSS team to our library users. Our Twitter account is less established,  but as the course focused mainly on using Twitter, attending made me feel more confident about trying new things with the LaSS account. In particular, seeing examples of fun things that other libraries, museums and archives have successfully carried out on Twitter was quite inspiring (see Museum Wars, Orkney library using a Twitter thread to tell a story, and the viral ‘absolute unit’ post).

Over the course of the day, we also discussed social media strategies, analytics, and scheduling. The trainer proposed “1 in 4” guidelines for Twitter activity, structuring and varying Twitter activity as follows: a reply; 1 in 4 Tweets directly about the organisation; a link to something useful; and a ReTweet. The course highlighted the importance of developing a strategy of what you want to convey on social media, advised against just broadcasting (but rather interacting on social media), and also not simply Tweeting about the library every time.

Using analytics can help you to identify which posts were most popular with your audience, and what times they are most active, which can help you to plan your social media output more effectively. Creating a social media calendar was recommended, along with using free versions of software such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule posts.  Planning posts in advance means you don’t have to be constantly coming up with new ideas – you can do things in bulk, as a team, and schedule content to be published at an appropriate time.

The course emphasized that linking your social media marketing with other marketing helps both, so we need to make sure we are joining up all of our marketing at LaSS. For example, we have monthly ‘library hacks’ posters (featuring timely, handy hints about using the library) that we put up around LaSS, and we will start putting these up on social media too. We could link these together with a unique hashtag on Twitter too, to make them easier to find (e.g. University of York have used #UoYtips to tag all of their library tips on Twitter).

We also discussed the importance of using images on social media, and part of the course looked at creating images for this purpose. Canva was recommended to create images with the right dimensions for whichever social media network you use (i.e. they have free templates for Facebook and Twitter posts), as well as options to create a variety of other content, such as posters, logos and presentations (in other words, Canva can be a useful tool beyond simply creating images for social media).

It’s also useful to have an image to accompany a blog post, as it makes it more engaging for your readers (apparently). Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo while I attended the course, but I’ve included one I made earlier on Photofunia (a non-subscription, fun website where you can edit photos online for free in a matter of seconds resulting in high quality photo collages).

Image of LaSS Library and Lavender, our library cat, created using Photofunia

Towards the end of the course, we also briefly covered Instagram, which is something we’ve been considering getting at LaSS.  I know a few UCL Libraries are already using Instagram (e.g. IOA, SOP, Main, IOE, and Special Collections), and I am keen to have a go with LaSS too, even more so having attended this social media course. Instagram isn’t a news feed in the same way as Twitter, so it can be used as and when to show off collections, buildings and library staff! Also, Instagram Stories are perfect for covering one-off, on-the-day events we hold in and around the library.

The final 3 social media tips from the course were to be creative, be brave, and to be joined up. I think we’ve made a good start on doing this at LaSS (it’s pretty brave to post a ‘meet the team’ profile about yourself!), and I think we can definitely build on that in the future too.

HEA Fellowship: ‘Get on and write’

By Angela C Young, on 21 October 2019

What is ‘Get on and write’?

This series of sessions is for any UCL library staff working towards their HEA Fellowship, or anyone interested in doing so. Each session will give you some protected time where you can focus on getting some work done towards your application whilst also getting some support from peers. It’s an opportunity to bounce ideas off colleagues, discuss what you might include in your application and find out more about HEA  Fellowship. Angela Young, Head of Library Skills, will be there to provide support from the perspective of someone who has been through the process already. There will be samples of successful applications from Library Services colleagues for you to look at. Every session is open to any library staff interested in applying for fellowship or who are at any stage in the application process. Sessions are in Room 417 in the Science Library on the following dates:

  • Thu 7 Nov 2019, 10.30-12.30
  • Mon 2 Dec 2019, 10.00-12.00
  • Tues 14 Jan 2020, 10.00-12.00
  • Wed 12 Feb 2020, 11.00-13.00
  • Tues 17 March 2020, 14.00-16.00

Come to as many dates as you like, and if you cannot make a whole session then it’s fine to turn up for part of it.

What is HEA fellowship?

If you don’t know much about HEA fellowship, it’s 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) 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. In addition to gaining you post-nominals, the process of applying 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.

If you would like to attend any of the dates, please contact Angela Young to secure your place.

Incident/accident reporting at UCL.

By Noel Forrester, on 21 October 2019

Since January 2011, it is mandatory at UCL that all accidents, incidents and near misses are reported via the on-line tool RiskNET. Anyone can report the incident or accident including the individual involved, the individual’s line manager, a witness or First Aider.

The RiskNET on-line incident reporting system uses the following incident types.

Incident Type Description.

  • Work-related Injury Incident resulting in an injury to a member of staff or student (other than undergraduate) Student Injury Incident resulting in an injury to an undergraduate student.
  • Violence at Work Incidents which involve actual or threatened violence to staff or students on UCL premises or while on UCL ‘business’. Recreational/ Sporting Accident Incidents including injuries to people not taking part in ‘work’ including incidents in Residences.
  • Taken Ill at Work Includes reports of staff/students who suffer acute onset of illness at work. It does not cover staff who leave work due to minor illness such as colds. NB Staff absence due to illness must be reported using the sickness absence recording procedures (see HR website).
  • Road Traffic Accident Road traffic accident (RTAs) whilst travelling on UCL business or in UCL vehicles NB Does not include RTAs while travelling to and from work.
  • Damage or Loss Incidents resulting in damage to equipment or loss of resources including lost time NB This does not include theft which should be reported to Security.
  • Hazard Observation of an unsafe condition or activity that could result in injury or loss. Near Miss an incident that caused no injury or loss but which had the potential to cause harm.
  • Fire Incident An incident involving a real fire or activation of the fire alarm or use of a fire extinguisher or any injury resulting from a fire Pollution Incident Incidents involving actual or potential (i.e. near miss) pollution, contamination or damage to air, land, water, flora, fauna and aquatic species. This includes exceeding environmental permit or external reporting requirements and notifications from environmental regulatory bodies.

I would like to remind all staff of the importance to immediately report any accidents or incidents, especially near misses or hazard observations. All reports submitted are confidential and fully investigated by Safety Services and the Library Services Departmental Safety Officer to:

  • Ensure action is taken to prevent recurrence.
  • Meet statutory requirements.
  • Help monitor and improve health and safety performance.
  •  Provide information for responding to claims made against UCL.
  •  Enable UCL to respond quickly and accurately to external enquiries

If you have any doubt about reporting an incident or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. For more information on RiskNet and Health and Safety at UCL, see http./www.ucl.ac.uk/safety-services/risknet