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Archive for the 'Staff, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion' Category

SMT Surgery dates

RozzEvans8 August 2019

Further to my previous blog post from July (and June Hedges’ lightning talk at the Library Staff Conference) we are delighted to announce that the first SMT Surgery will be taking place on Friday 16th August.  SMT members Rozz Evans (Head of Collection Strategy), Karen Jeger (Head of Collection Services) and Peter Dennison (Head of Customer Service) will be available between 10.00 and 12.00 in Room 770 at the Institute of Education.

Colleagues are able to book a slot by emailing lib-smt@ucl.ac.uk or are welcome to drop-in on the day (although you may have to wait a short while if SMT members are already speaking with colleagues).  You can come on you own or as part of a small group, and can specify that you would like to see a particular member of SMT  (from those available) if you prefer.

Apologies that this is rather short notice, but don’t worry if you can’t attend this one.  The pilot will be running until December and the following future dates have now been agreed:

11th September (2.00 – 4.00 pm)

4th  November (11.00 – 1.00 pm)

10th  December (5.00 – 7.00 pm)

These sessions will be advertised a minimum of two weeks in advance of the date via the LibNet blog and will include the location and names of SMT who will be present.

As this is a pilot, we are planning to refine the process as we go along so we will be seeking feedback from colleagues.

We look forward to seeing some of you soon!

WHEN conference

GillianMackenzie8 July 2019

I am a member of the Astrea committee, the UCL network for women in professional services and recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Women’s Higher Education Network (WHEN) conference at 1-19 Torrington Place.

WHEN is multi-institutional, and is for women working in academia and professional services. The title and theme of 2019 conference was ‘Who am I supposed to be?’, and many of the discussions and workshops looked at labels that we give ourselves or are given to us by others, and the impact these can have.

Members of Astrea at the WHEN conference


The joint keynote speech was delivered by Professor Kalwant Bhopal from the University of Birmingham, followed by Yasmine Bouidaf, who works at UCL and is also the founder and CEO of the company Serious Datum. Professor Bhopal gave a powerful, thoroughly researched account on the experiences of women of colour working in higher education, which included alarming statistics on the low numbers of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff working at higher levels across UK institutions.   This included the fact that only 8.4% of professors across the UK are BME, with a total of 85 who are black, and only 26 of which are women. She suggested a number of ways forward, including drawing on existing networks of support and creating new ones; ensuring an inclusive sisterhood, where differences were recognised but similarities were also identified; and highlighting that failure to acknowledge racism and white privilege result in a failure to act.

Yasmine Bouidaf talked about her research, looking into some of the micro-aggressions women experience in the workplace, including seemingly ‘small’ behaviours which they do not necessarily report, such as being talked over or ignored in meetings. She looked to address unconscious biases, beginning by collecting data from women through interviews and surveys, and analysing the results. She then used the findings to develop a virtual reality game as an intervention which allowed users to experience gender discrimination in the workplace in order to understand what problematic micro behaviours feel like.

The day also included Pecha Kucha talks on the theme – who am I supposed to be – and a panel discussion, where subjects covered included being your authentic self, situational judgement and being labelled by ourselves and others. In summary, the panel were asked to give a few words of advice for conference attendees to take away to improve the world we work in, which were as follows:

  • Call it out
  • Don’t second guess yourself
  • Adopt a tone which doesn’t isolate yourself
  • Unpick your stories and find your power
  • Use your difference as a super power
  • Insist on yourself, never imitate and do it with power

WHEN conference panel

Over lunchtime, I also made use of the career surgeries being offered by Perrett Laver, where we could access short-but-sweet, personal recruitment advice, and in the afternoon, I attended two workshops – Overcoming imposter syndrome with Dr Terri Simpkin, and Embracing your identity with Alice Chilver.  In the first workshop, I learned about the ways imposter phenomenon can affect me at times, and the session also highlighted how this could impact others I work with at UCL, particularly in my role as a line manager.

WHEN imposter phenomenon session with Dr Terri Simpkin

Embracing your identity was an extremely ambitious, illuminating workshop, which invited us to think about the high and low points of our careers, and map a timeline as a means to identify patterns which helped to reveal more about our personal priorities, interests and strengths.

The WHEN conference was an inspiring, motivating day, full of interesting discussions, advice and practical sessions, and gave me the opportunity to learn from others and network with colleagues across UCL and other HE institutions. You can find out more about WHEN here, and if you want to know about UCL Astrea events and news across UCL, you can sign up for the Astrea mailing list. We’d love to see you at an event soon!


Mental Health Week

GraziaManzotti19 June 2019

Dear Colleague,

I thought I would share what I did on Mental Health Week at the UCL GOS Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.  As the Institute DEOLO, the Chair of a focus group on EDI Awareness , and the DEOLO representative on the UCL GOS  ICH  EDI committee Steering Group I led on Mental Health week (6th-10th May) and with the head of UCL GOS ICH HR  we organised an event per day for 3 days.

For the first day we  organised a Mental Health talk and invited the Head of UCL Well-Being and it was a very interesting  talk on what is available at UCL for Mental Health, we then   organised two yoga sessions for lunchtime by a qualified yoga teacher and lastly a well-being breakfast.  I spoke to the refectory and we had 70 tickers for a full English with a vegetarian option. It was open to all UCL ICH  and GOSH staff  and it was very popular we sold all the 70 tickets  in less than a week. UCL GOS ICH paid for it. It was £6 per person but it was very successful as we were all sitting together talking to people we don’t normally talk to. We received excellent feedback for all the activities,  but  the Well Being breakfast was the most successful. The Institute has now agreed to repeat it once per term.


Steps to progress – diversity and the literary canon

Sarah MBurn5 June 2019

Steps to Progress, an installation project by English PhD candidate Harvey Wiltshire, has recently been installed in the Main Library entrance staircase.Main Library stairs

Back in February Harvey issued an open call to the UCL community to suggest texts which reflect the diversity of UCL and the communities in which we live and work. He received around 100 suggestions and then had the unenviable task of selecting the final titles to be included in the installation.

If you are inspired to read any (or all?) of the works I am pleased to say that all of the titles included in the installation are now available from UCL Libraries. Special thanks to Paul Amies and his colleagues for ensuring the new books reached the shelves in time for the opening.

Creating Connections East: spaces available for event on 10th June

Benjamin G MMeunier24 May 2019

Creating Connections East: UK 2070 Commission on Inequalities

Monday 10 June 2019 15:00 – 17:00

Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, E2 6HG

Creating Connections is a regular networking event bringing people together from UCL with representatives of community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations. For our next event, we’re teaming up with the UK2070 Commission, an independent inquiry into social and economic inequality in the UK. We warmly invite you to join us.


We’ve still got some spaces available – find out more and sign up at studentsunionucl.org/volunteering/about/creating-connections/creating-connections-east

And if you know anyone else at UCL who might be interested, please do feel free to pass on this invitation.

Topics will include:

Local talent & skills: Come and talk to people interested in: how to nurture local skills, ensuring local talent is part of the economic future, support for vocational training, how universities can support local job markets, how we can help people overcome barriers to entering the workforce.


New technology: Come and talk to people interested in: how new technology can create new jobs, how the Voluntary and Community sector can benefit from new technology, how schools can prepare young people for technological change, how data science can be utilised by communities, what opportunities are there in clean tech?


Local cultural and sporting sectors: Come and talk to people interested in: how to engage under-represented groups in the cultural and sporting activities; what role universities have in the cultural and sporting sectors; the role of culture and sport in economic development.


Supporting projects for the future: Come and talk to people interested in: What types of projects would transform east London for long term success? What services and activities should local decision-makers focus on? What would success look like in east London?


This is a short networking event for people interested in these issues – a starting point for finding like-minded people you might want to collaborate with. It’s intended for experts, beginners and everyone in between. It’s not a conference and there won’t be long plenary speeches or workshops!


Light refreshments will be provided.


Find out more and register at:


If you’ve any questions or comments about the event, contact John Braime at Students’ Union Volunteering Service (j.braime@ucl.ac.uk) , Briony Fleming in UCL’s Public Engagement Unit (b.fleming@ucl.ac.uk) or Lucy Natarajan from UCL / UK 2070 (lucy.natarajan@ucl.ac.uk)


Creating Connections East is organised by UCL’s Public Engagement Unit, Students’ Union UCL’s Volunteering Service and The UK2070 Commission

UCL Ways of Working

Benjamin G MMeunier9 May 2019

Last week, UCL launched the new behavioural framework for professional services staff, UCL Ways of Working.

The framework enables individuals, teams and leaders to set clear expectations, support development, have quality conversations and be their best in the workplace. The nine Ways of Working are clustered around three central themes:

The framework was built for and by colleagues working in professional services roles across UCL, from faculties, departments, institutes, other academic units, offices of Vice-Provosts (including Library Services ) and central services.

The UCL Ways of Working Wheel (see below) and Descriptors provide a simple overview of the central Ways of Working, outlining how we work consistently, successfully and happily as an integrated professional services community. Supporting indicators and steps to development are then detailed for each grade and these can be used to support appraisal conversations, induction and probation meetings, and in recruitment – writing adverts, job descriptions and preparing for interviews. Detailed guidance is available on how to use the UCL Ways of Working.

The UCL Ways of Working are closely aligned to our values:

“UCL Library Services is empowering our staff and our users. Our staff are skilled and knowledgeable experts.

We are community-minded, inclusive and innovative. Our approach to service is professional, responsive and friendly. We are proud of our service, and we are honest and transparent.

Our strategy presents our goals to be cutting-edge, visionary and eco-friendly.”

How are we addressing the issues raised in the last Staff Survey?

Benjamin G MMeunier7 May 2019

Following the 2017 Staff Survey, Library Services established a new group to coordinate a response and address the issues which were impacting on Library Services staff. This group is the Staff Survey Action Group. The Group devised a Staff Survey Action Plan, which was signed off by the Library Senior Management Team and is being implemented. You can view progress against the actions at the link above.

As one example of an initiative developed in response to the Staff Survey, ‘Welcome to Library Services’ sessions were introduced with Paul Ayris and some SMT members since November 2018. This allows new starters to meet SMT members, and get a sense of the libraries’ key priorities, and also an opportunity for SMT members to get to know new members of the Library. It will become part of the induction process for LS staff, in a similar way to the Provost’s Welcome. To help staff understand Library Services’ place in UCL, new charts have been made available on LibNet to illustrate the Library’s place in the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) and how the Library reports to UCL Council, the university’s governing body, via Library Committee.

Another need identified from the Staff Survey was to provide accessible formal procedures, implementation and monitoring within Library Services on bullying and harassment. This was done last December with guidance on how to respond if you witness bullying or harassment. This has since been complemented by the UCL Full Stop campaign, calling on our community to come together and say Full Stop to unacceptable behaviour.

Thirdly, as a final example, the Staff Survey highlighted Leadership and Staff Engagement as an area for improvement within Library Services. This has been a significant area where Library managers have taken action through the engagement of Library staff in developing our new strategy, through visits to Library sites and through training schemes to enable Library staff to thrive in the fast-changing environment we operate in. The Library SMT discussed how we might engage more effectively with colleagues at an Away Day in December. We have established a working group to look at making the work of SMT more transparent. We are also exploring ways for colleagues across the service to be able to share the challenges of working in Library Services and raise issues that concern them.  Further information will be forthcoming in the next few months.

All of this work would not have been possible without the members of the Staff Survey Action Group, including Library Services staff and representatives from UNISON. Members attend quarterly meetings and analysed the Staff Survey results last year and continue feed in contributions, in terms of what measures would help to improve the work environment. Members also liaise with Library colleagues on the work of the Staff Survey Action Plan.

There is still a way to go before the actions are all delivered, so that the issues which were identified in 2017 are effectively addressed. If you would like to get involved, there are currently 3 vacancies on the Staff Survey Action Group. If you are willing to devote half-a-day a term to help make UCL Library Services a better place to work, please speak to your line manager to obtain approval and contact me to join. Colleagues at all grades and from all sites across Library Services are welcome to get involved. Find out more about the Staff Survey Action Group on LibNet.

Develop your entrepreneurial skills – free training available to UCL staff

Benjamin G MMeunier15 April 2019

UCL Innovation & Enterprise is here to support the UCL community to develop their ideas and entrepreneurial thinking. That includes all Professional Services staff, as well as academics, students and alumni.

If you are interested in learning how to think in an entrepreneurial way, or have an idea you want to build into something real that impacts the outside world, please take advantage of this free programme of activities. 

Examples of Professional Services staff who have already had support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise include Alice Chilver, who has developed a national network for women in HE and Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate whose natural haircare business recently won $500K in a competition.

Here are some upcoming events that may be of interest.


Enterprise Bootcamp 12-14 June

Learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur. A free 3 day bootcamp to introduce you to how businesses operate. You will learn practical business orientated skills in a supportive environment details and apply here


Explore £5,000 – Explore your business idea – starts 14 May 6-8pm

Test the potential of your business idea in eight free interactive Tuesday evening sessions and get the chance to pitch for £5,000. Details and apply here


Launch £10,000 – Launch your business venture – starts 12 June

Get your business ready to go live in eight evenings of hands on workshops, gaming activities and one to one support, then pitch for £10,000. Details and apply here


First Monday – Networking next 3rd June

Everyone is welcome at our monthly networking evenings. Be inspired by successful entrepreneurs and form lasting connections with peers that could help you start or grow your business.  Details and register here



Making a difference: Library Services Review 2015-18

Benjamin G MMeunier26 February 2019

As we begin to look forward for the next 4 years in the new Library Strategy, we can also take stock of the achievements from the last strategy period and reflect on how Library Services is making a difference to UCL. As a retrospective piece looking at some of the achievements from 2015-18, we have published the Library Services Strategy Review 2015-18.

As Pro-Vice-Provost Paul Ayris states in the Foreword, we have collectively achieved the vast majority of ambitious objectives which were set five years ago to support the vision laid out in UCL 2034. This is down to the work of each member of staff across the service, combining expertise, collaboration, innovation and a large dose of perseverance to ensure that our service is as good as it can be for the benefit of our staff and students within UCL, in the NHS and other users. The Review features a number of colleagues and teams in case studies which provide a glimpse into the varied projects and initiatives which Library Services undertakes. These illustrate how our department is improving the User Experience, delivers best value for money and engages with the world beyond UCL. Inevitably, the achievements listed are not exhaustive and we will be re-introducing Annual Reports effective from 2019, on a similar model to this Review, to present the work of Library Services each year.

Some of the highlights from 2015-18 are listed on the ‘What we do’ webpage, which provides a link to the full text Strategy Review.

New Library Services Strategy launched online

Benjamin G MMeunier21 February 2019

The UCL Library Services Strategy 2019-22 is now available online and in print booklets:


Our 4-year strategy sets out the specific work the Library can undertake as an outstanding library service to support the long-term goals set out in UCL 2034. Within the Library Strategy, we define our values, based on the contributions of many colleagues from across the service. Thanks again to colleagues who contributed to shaping the strategy through the workshops and meetings at site libraries in the past 18 months. The Library Strategy is organised around six strands of activity, or Key Performance Areas (KPAs):

KPA leaders from the Library SMT oversee each of the KPAs, which contain the specific actions we have committed to delivering during the lifespan of this strategy. For more information, please visit the webpage. If you would like a print Strategy booklet for your team, these can be collected from Daniel Kordik (Main Library room 107, d.kordik[at]ucl.ac.uk). The Library SMT acts as the Library Strategy Steering Group.

We invite all members of Library Services to the Strategy launch event on 20th March and look forward to seeing many of you there!