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

GillianMackenzie22 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’

Angela CYoung21 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.

NoelForrester21 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


Microsoft Teams replacing Skype for Business on 8th October 2019

RobertDrinkall24 September 2019

On 8th October 2019, ISD is officially launching Microsoft Teams, which will replace Skype for Business. Please see below for ISD comms about the launch, including links to further information, and the opportunity to apply for a demonstration session, although numbers are limited.

For anyone wanting to take a look at Microsoft Teams ahead of launch, it is actually available now in parallel with Skype for Business. It can be accessed via the Windows 10 menu on desktop@UCL machines, or by logging into Outlook via your browser and choosing it from the ‘App launcher’ icon in the top-left corner.

Message from the UCC Project Team

The Teams launch is targeted to commence from the 8th October.

How will this impact me?

When you click on Skype for Business you will be redirected to Microsoft Teams for your instant messaging and online meetings. We recommend you take a look at the Teams replaces Skype for Business resource which outlines everything you need to know about the transition.

As part of the launch, we will be running some demonstration sessions showcasing some of the features and functionality of Microsoft Teams. We have a limited number of spaces for each session so sign up to secure your place.

Please also visit the UCC Project resource hub where you can find project updates and lots of useful links and resources. These will help you get started using Microsoft Teams on your Desktop@UCL device and non-Desktop@UCL devices including Linux and your mobile.

If you have any questions, please email the project team.

Getting Started – Get involved!

Angela CYoung6 September 2019

If you would like to experience the front line, to meet and welcome new students and show how friendly we library staff all are, then now is your chance! We are seeking volunteers from any role to help out for a short shift at our ‘Getting Started’ spaces in the Main and Science libraries during the induction period.

Transforming library inductions

Since the Library Services Induction Working Group was established just over a year ago, we’ve transformed inductions at Main and Science libraries, to address issues of congestion and disruption caused by traditional library tours. Last year we rebranded our induction activities as ‘Getting Started’ and introduced a new format, encouraging students to come to ‘Getting Started’ spaces in the libraries, at a time convenient to them.

Library staff in the spaces welcomed students and promoted:

  • Videos, screened in the libraries and available on the Getting Started webpages, providing a general introduction to Library Services and how to search Explore.
  • A ‘Getting Started self guided tour’ of the Main and Science libraries

What’s new for 2019/20: library inductions at Science, Main and Student Centre

This year no traditional library tours will take place in Main and Science libraries. Students will be directed to visit the ‘Getting Started’ spaces instead. An additional ‘Getting Started’ space is being made available in the Student Centre.

We have also created new online, interactive self guided tours of Main and Science libraries. Designed to be viewed on a mobile device, students can find out about services available and explore the subject collections of relevance to them.

Get involved

We will staff the ‘Getting Started’ spaces 10.00-16.00, Monday to Friday, from Wednesday 30 September to Wednesday 2 October. Library staff undertake 1 hour shifts in pairs and are briefed prior to participating on what to expect and the kind of things to say to welcome the students.

If you would like to help out with welcoming our new students this year (with permission from your line manager) then please email library.skills@ucl.ac.uk with the hour slot(s) when you are available.

UCL Ways of Working for Professional Services

GraziaManzotti3 September 2019

The UCL Ways of Working for Professional Services supports colleagues to be successful and happy at UCL through sharing expectations around how we work. The framework enables individuals, teams and leaders to set clear expectations, support development, have quality conversations and be their best in the workplace.

Ways of Working are relevant to all stages of the employee journey in professional services – from recruitment and on-boarding to appraisal and development and can be used in the following:

  1. In appraisals
  2. In job adverts
  3. Writing job description and person specification
  4. Shortlisting and preparing for interviews

The Library HR team has been successfully  using UCL Ways of Working in the above and can advise further.

For more information please see below.

Overview of UCL Ways of working 

UCL Ways of Working – full document 

Urgent: more Windows 7 vulnerabilities

RobertDrinkall30 August 2019

Microsoft has recently discovered more vulnerabilities which can be exploited in Windows 7, in addition to the ones I wrote about in a post on 20th May.

If you have a non-desktop@UCL windows 7 PC or laptop, please can you check you have at least one of the two Windows updates applied which address these new vulnerabilities, and please ensure that you have automatic updates turned on. Details about how to do this are as follows (please contact lib-itsupport@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions about this or you have any issues):

Checking you have the necessary Windows update

Click Start > Control Panel, then click System and Security

Click View installed updates under Windows Update

Screenshot showing Windows Update options

In the list of updates you’ll see next, please can you check that you have at least one of the following installed:

  • KB4512506
  • KB4512486

(Note: KB4512506 includes KB4512486, which is why only having one of the two is okay)

Making sure automatic updates is turned on

Click Start > Control Panel, then click System and Security

Click Turn automatic updating on or off  under Windows Update

Screenshot showing Windows Update options

Check your machine is set to Install updates automatically (recommended)

Screenshot of Windows Update automatic updates settings

MyOptions: a pilot manager view

GraziaManzotti20 August 2019

Dear Colleagues, I am briefly writing about my experience with myOption as a pilot manager. I have been using it now for over a year and it has been a very positive experience. I have been able to do the following:

  • Approve my staff leave, flexi-leave and any absence request very quickly
  • Approve missed clock-in or out
  • Check  how many day leave they had taken and had left
  • Check their flexi-balance
  • Correct few exceptions

At their end  my staff have been able to do the following:

  • Book leave very quickly on myOptions
  • Book flexi leave, medical appointments, carers leave and any absence very quickly
  • Submit missed clocks in  and out and have them approved straight away
  • Know very quickly about their  flexi balance and leave allowance

I have found the system  very straightforward and easy to use  and I would definitely recommend to other managers this new way of working  as it has certainly lots of advantages as I have been able for example to see straight away  my staff leave entitlement, flexi entitlement and I have been able to respond very quickly to their absence or other requests as it very quick on MyOpions.

There is a new version of MyOptions coming soon and I have been piloting it  too and it looks even better and more straightforward to use and the good news is that it can be used with any computer and any browser, It works on my MAC  on Safari and you won’t  need to login to remote desktop nor to Internet Explore and sort out the compatibility problems.

As I said I would  definitely recommend the new way of working and would be happy to answer questions and help out  any manager who needs advice on how to use it. Of course the HR them is available to help too. Please  feel free to email or phone me.








The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris20 August 2019

Medieval Mysteries from UCL Special Collections

Today’s meeting of the UCL Rare Books Club took a fresh and insightful look at UCL’s medieval scientific manuscripts. An outstanding scholar, Professor Charles Burnett from the Warburg Institute, gave a masterly personal commentary on many of the items on display.

Professor Burnett is here seen describing his favourite item on show, MS. Lat. 15, described in some detail in D.K. Coveney, Descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of University College (London, 1935). It consists of 33 leaves and 1+2 fly leaves. The MS. is a palimpsest, which means that the original text has been erased and over-written. The original text is still visible on some folios.

The contents are in handwriting thought to date from the 14th century and the text is accompanied by diagrams in red or red and black.  The MS. contains various texts, and the one most discussed by Professor Burnett was Johannis de Sacrobosco, Tractatus de Sphera. This main text constitutes one of the most famous fundamental tracts on astronomy and cosmography being circulated from the 13th to the 17th centuries. It is based on Ptolemy and discusses the terrestrial globe, the rising and setting of stars, and the orbs and movements of planets.  Johannis De Sacrobosco (otherwise John of Holywood, or Halifax), is thought to have been born in Yorkshire and he settled in Paris around 1220. He was a mathematician and astronomer. He wrote texts on arithmetic, astronomy and cosmography. He died either in 1244 or in 1256 (see the UK Archives Hub here). The manuscript was formerly in the Graves collection, no. 3496, bequeathed to the Library in 1870. John Thomas Graves (1806-1870) was a mathematician and Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London, whose collection included manuscripts dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries, relating mainly to mathematics.

My own personal favourite, being a church historian of the English church, was the Perspectiva Communis of John Peckham, formerly Archbishop of Canterbury 1279-92, being a treatise on optics. He was a prolific author of treatises on science and theology. This manuscript dates from the 15th or 16th centuries and is MS. Lat. 31, bound  (perhaps from the first) with two printed works, the Arithmetica of Jordanus Nemorarius, edited by Jacques le Fêvre (Johannes Higman and Wolfgang Hopyl, Paris, 1496), and the Geometria speculatiua of Bradwardine (Paris, 1495) (see AIM25 here). The manuscript also formed part of the library of John Thomas Graves, and was formerly Graves no. 3950.

The session today was well attended by UCL staff, students and external visitors. As Professor Burnett remarked, the medieval holdings of UCL Special Collections deserve a wide and appreciative audience.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Library Facilities and Projects Team Blog: Summer works update

Collette E MLawrence31 July 2019

There will be several projects being carried out during this summer, the details are below, if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Facilities and Projects team james.woodhouse@ucl.ac.uk, phil.watson@ucl.ac.uk or c.lawrence@ucl.ac.uk:

Senate House Hub : Work to refurbish the Senate House Hub will be starting on 12th August 2019. During this time Senate House Hub will be closed, the work will take about 4 weeks to complete and will be re-opening in early September 2019. When the space re-opens it will be a dedicated Post Graduate Research (PGR) and Centre for Doctorial Training (CDT) space. There will be new training room fitted, an increase of study spaces and additional comfortable study spaces.

Graduate Hub: Work will be starting on 12th August 2019 , the work will take about 4 weeks to complete, during this time this space will be closed for the duration of the works, and re-opening early September 2019. This is work is taking place to increase the number of study spaces, have more study focused furniture and a refurbished kitchen and main study rooms.

IOE Entrance:Work is taking place with effect from 12th August 2019, users of the Library will be redirected by additional signage and assistance from Library staff and Security. The project will install new turnstiles with accessible lanes in and out, a new single combined service desk with Library and ISD in one place, Smart Shelves return system and a new self-issue kiosk. This work is due to be completed by early September 2019.

Changing Places Accessibility Toilet – Science Library: work for this will be starting on the 12th August 2019. This will create the first nationally listed Changing Places Toilet at UCL.  The work will take about 7 weeks to complete.

Electrical Infrastructure on Central Campus: Noisy works will be associated with the drilling etc. with installation of cabling containment.  We are not expecting this to generate any vibration issues.

The works are the replacement of the two Transformers associated with the T2 Substation, located at the Ground floor level of Petrie Museum.  All works will be confined to within the substation rooms, but will generate noise during the working week, and will – on the weekend of Transformer delivery – impact the Malet Place road way usage.

Outline programme:

  • 22nd July – 2nd August – Cable / Containment and associated builders works:
  • 3rd/4th August – Transformer # 1 replacement (Load management)
  • 5th August – 6th September – Remaining preparation / modification works:
  • 7th/8th September – Transformer # 2 replacement
  • 9th – 13th September – Final snagging and making good.
  • 13th September – Work completed

Science Library Windows: There will be contractors surveying the windows at various times throughout the Science Library, this is in preparation for work to start in the summer of 2020 to replace them.