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Archive for the 'General' Category

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s view

PaulAyris11 December 2019

Library Services staff shine at UCL Professional Service Awards 2019

The UCL Professional Services December Awards took place on Tuesday 10th December at Elvin Hall in the UCL Institute of Education. Fiona Ryland, Chief Operating Officer, presented the awards at a well-attended ceremony complete with mince pies and prosecco as well as the UCL Jazz Society.

In her introductory remarks, the COO stressed that the One PS vision is for all colleagues in professional services to feel part of one community across UCL (including staff based in central Professional Services Divisions, Vice-Provosts’ Offices, Faculties and departments). As the quality of the nominated entries showed, UCL has some outstanding people working for the university. The key focus for improvement is not the people but the systems, policies and environment within which we operate.  Fiona also highlighted the Improvement Board as an example of how UCL is gathering input from all staff to identify key issues and make a difference to how things are done at UCL.

The awards were based on the UCL Ways of Working, with 7 awards presented on the day. Library Services staff were well-represented in the shortlisted entries. Out of over 170 entries from across all UCL Professional Services, there were 40 shortlisted nominations and 4 of these recognised exceptional work by Library Services staff. And as the winners were announced, it was a source of great pride that not one but two members of Library Services staff won awards!

Personal Excellence Award winner: Breege Whiten (joint winner with Caitlin Broadbent in Brain Sciences).

This award recognises a person who demonstrates integrity, outstanding service and commitment to UCL.

Breege is a librarian, who also volunteers for a number of key roles within Library Services, such as Departmental Equal Opportunity Liaison Officer (DEOLO), and Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Champion, on top of the day-to-day management of her library team.  She takes all of her roles very seriously, and actively lobbies to make Library Services fairer, more inclusive, more communicative and more reflective. She has also led on a number of the customer service initiatives, which helped in Library Services’ recent, successful application for CSE accreditation.

Community Spirit Award winner: Noel Caliste. This award recognises an individual who demonstrates an example of doing amazing things beyond the boundaries of UCL and makes a personal impact in the broader community.

Noel has organised the logistics, planning and operations of UCL’s attendance at London and Black Pride during July 2019. This attendance was the largest and most visible representation UCL has ever undertaken at both LGBTQ+ Pride events. Without this enormous effort to produce new and inclusive publicity materials (e.g. BAME LGBTQ+ staff specifically represented in logos), essential refreshments and hospitality, create important health and safety overviews and overseeing responsibility for a group of 60 staff, students and supporters on the day itself, UCL would not have been represented at this event.

As a volunteer, leading UCL’s largest and most active equality Staff Network, his efforts in this event planning, management and delivery have been included in UCL’s entry to the national benchmarking tool of LGBTQ+ employers (the Stonewall Employers Index). This voluntary work has been undertaken around his full-time role and its value stands UCL on a greater footing in LGBTQ+ equality awards and in being increasingly acknowledged as a fully inclusive employer.

I personally have conveyed my congratulations to all successful colleagues and I do so again. Special congratulations to Breege and Noel for their work which has been recognised through these awards.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Changes to HR Systems in the New Year

Faith NUdeze10 December 2019

Two key HR systems will be changing in January and February 2020.

 MyFlexi MyOptions will be upgraded on the 15th January 2020 and will be renamed MyFlexi. Changes include:

  • The new system will be more accessible and will work on any web browser.
  • Staff will be able to make leave requests, and managers will be able to approve these.

MyHR UCL’s new HR and Payroll system for all employees will be launched on the 5th February 2020. Changes include:

  • Your payslip will look different and will be available in MyHR instead of MyView.
  • Booking of UCL training courses and access to Learning record will now be accessed through MyHR.
  • In addition, you will be able to update your personal details (address, emergency contacts) and bank details on the MyHR self-service portal.

HO! HO! HO! from Archaeology Library

Paul JMajewski4 December 2019

Christmas has officially arrived here at the Archaeology Library. We have used our creative skills to decorate our Library space and made it look very Christmassy. We have also received a letter from far, far away in a form of a Christmas poem. As this is the most magical, festive and incredible time of the year and we would like to share this experience with all of you.

We would also like to use this opportunity and wish you ALL to have a cheerful, holly, jolly, and a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too!

Christmas joy…
Hoping to get my
Reading list finished
In time for the end of the term.
Stopping for a moment, I
Take in the
Merry lights on display
And hope the students and
Staff have had a great term!
– Lewis Rushton


Important: upgrading Windows 7 machines before UCL closes in December

RobertDrinkall4 December 2019

Microsoft support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020, so it’s crucial that every Windows machine in Library Services has been upgraded to Windows 10 by the time UCL closes on Friday 20th December.

All desktop@UCL machines should already be running Windows 10 (please contact lib-itsupport@ucl.ac.uk if yours isn’t), but there are some non-managed / non-desktop@UCL ‘native’ Windows 7 devices in the department which will need to be upgraded manually.

We believe we’ve contacted, either directly or indirectly, every owner of such a Windows 7 device that we have a record of, so if you have a machine which isn’t Windows 10, and you haven’t heard from us, please can you contact us ASAP at lib-itsupport@ucl.ac.uk

If you aren’t sure which version of Windows your device is running, a quick way to check is to look at the Start menu icon, as demonstrated by the images below.

Windows 10 Start menu icon

Windows 10 Start menu icon

Windows 7 Start menu icon

Windows 7 Start menu icon

South Western Railway travel disruption in December 2019

Benjamin G MMeunier29 November 2019

South Western Railway has advised that planned strike action is due between 2 December and 2 January so that they will be running an adjusted strike timetable.

In the event this industrial action goes ahead, UCL will make every attempt to keep activities running, with staff asked to try to come in to work if possible. If your commute is affected by this disruption and you are unable to get to work, you should advise your line manager as early as possible.  Consideration should be given to working flexibly, including working from home where possible, to minimise work disruption if possible. Managers are asked to consider sympathetically alternatives such as working from home or earlier or later arrival and departure times. Where such alternatives are not feasible, staff who will not be able to get to work should arrange to take a day’s annual leave or flexi-time.

For further information on the impact of the strike on rail services, please refer to the SWC webpage:


From the Pro-Vice-Provost

PaulAyris26 November 2019

Strategic Operating Plan 2020-23

November sees UCL begin its strategic operating planning for 2020-23.

This takes the form of a Strategic Operating Plan submitted by UCL Departments and Divisions to the Provost. The Provost, along with members of the UCL SMT, then meets the authors of the Plans individually to discuss the implications with them. The meeting with the Library took place on 13 November, with a follow-up meeting with the Planning Team on 25 November. The Library’s Plan can be seen here as the Strategic Operating Plan 2020-23.

What the Plan does is to look at the Library Strategy and to highlight what the Library can do in the academic year 2020-21, with a look to the 2 following years. From the Library, the meeting was attended by me, Ben Meunier (the co-ordinator of the Plan) and Andy Pow. It was a positive meeting with lots of praise for the immense contributions and success of the Library in delivering on its objectives.

Two points stand out in my memory. First, the undoubted success of the Student Centre, run by the Library on behalf of UCL. We project over 5 million visits to all UCL’s libraries in 2019/20 and this would make us (we believe) the most heavily-used university library in the UK. Second, we were able to present the great performance of the Library in the 5 user surveys in which we participate – notably the National Student Survey (NSS), where satisfaction with the Library has risen to 86% – well on the way to our target score of 90%.

The planning and financial outlook for all universities is tough, but we are reassured by the success of the Library’s offering to date and the praise with which it is being received by UCL’s senior managers. This is, in no small measure, due to the dedication and contribution of every single member of staff in UCL Library Services. Thank you.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

LibNet migration to Drupal

Chris SCarrington4 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

Catherine LSharp30 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

RobertDrinkall30 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

Benjamin G MMeunier24 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.