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The Director’s View

By Paul Ayris, on 25 October 2016

Innovation in UCL Library Services

As I write this, I am in Santiago Chile for the forthcoming Workshop of the LEARN project on research data management.

CEPAL, Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz, Santiago, Chile

CEPAL, Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz, Santiago, Chile

I have been asked to give 3 lectures during my short stay and the first one was today in the UN compound at the Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz / Hernán Santa Cruz Library – CEPAL, Naciones Unidas / ECLAC, United Nations.

The topic of the talk was the ‘Library of the 21st century’ and all my examples were taken from UCL and the fantastic work which we are all doing to deliver the Library Strategy. I looked at 2 main issues – space management and research support.

As far as estate is concerned, I showed many pictures of the Cruciform Hub and plans for the new Student Centre in UCL. I described the philosophy which underpins these new spaces – digitally-enabled, 24-hr spaces which act as the heart of the Student Experience for all UCL’s students when they are on campus. I described the wealth of resources which are available in the UCL digital library, and how the ReadingLists@UCL service is transforming the way UCL supports teaching and learning.

The second half of the presentation was on research support.View from the UN Building, Santiago, Chile Here I talked about our work in Open Access, our advocacy and support to academics in UCL, and the development of UCL Press. The UN Library was particularly interested in the UCL Press model and the range of books which we are producing. I was able to present a paper copy of the book Social Media in Northern Chile to the UN Library in Santiago. The Library’s new work on Research Data Management will be the subject of my third talk of the week, at the LEARN Workshop.

One of the recurring themes of the meeting today in Chile was the role of UCL Library Services in advocacy and liason with academics, researchers and students. We looked in particular at the work of the Subject Liaison Librarians, the Open Access Team, the UCL Press Team and our Research Data Management Advocacy Officer. I stressed that we in UCL did not wait for the user to come to us, we proactively go out to meet them in the space that they themselves occupy.

The UN Library staff were full of praise for the UCL model of 21st century library and information services and we ended the day discussing how common challenges could be faced and opportunities maximised. I came away having learned a lot about the developments achieved and planned for the Biblioteca Hernán Santa Cruz, and feel privileged to have been a small part of their planning process.

Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services

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