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LCCOS staff news


News for colleagues within the LCCOS department.


Archive for the 'Sustainable estate' Category

Green Impact 2023: great results for LCCOS

By Michelle Wake, on 27 July 2023

This month’s UCL Sustainability Awards Ceremony saw the LCCOS Green Champions excel themselves. Our teams made submissions as part of UCL’s Green Impact, a UCL wide accreditation scheme devised by the education charity Students Organising for Sustainability UK. It’s a scheme that has won awards from UNESCO and the charity have now worked with nearly 2,000 institutions.

The excellence of our LCCOS teams was recognised with 10 Golds, 4 Silvers and 4 Bronzes:


  • Cruciform Hub
  • Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library
  • Institute of Archaeology Library
  • Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Language and Speech Science Library
  • Main Library
  • Royal Free Medical Library
  • School of Pharmacy Library
  • Science Library
  • Central LCCOS Services (overarching departmental submission)


  • Bartlett Library
  • Bloomsbury Theatre
  • Senate House Hub
  • Student Centre Library Team


  • Institute of Education Library
  • Institute of Orthopaedics Library
  • School of Slavonic and East European Studies Libraries
  • Wickford

Our close colleagues at the Queen Square Library, UCL Institute of Neurology, also succeeded in achieving a Gold Award.

This year’s Green Impact saw an increased recognition of the links with wellbeing and our teams highlighted this with the greening of office and customer spaces using plants and promoting and organising walks, amongst other initiatives.

Many congratulations to all our teams and to all of you, who have supported their efforts.

Find out more

For more information on the LCCOS Sustainability Committee and the Green Impact Champions please visit our committee webpage on the LCCOS Intranet and do contact the Committee Chair Michelle Wake (m.wake@ucl.ac.uk) or our Departmental Environment Officer Collette Lawrence (c.lawrence@ucl.ac.uk) if you are interested in forming a team, have suggestions or comments around sustainability.

Representing LCCOS at the recent M25 Conference

By simon.bralee.15, on 13 July 2023

Abi Heath , Library Manager, UCL School of Pharmacy, reflects on the recent conference organised by the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries.

This year’s M25 conference theme was Sustainability and Kindness and two of School of Phrmacy (SoP) Library staff presented on how we have embedded sustainability and wellbeing at SoP Library. Our talk looked at the initiatives we introduced as part of our Green Impact Award with a particular focus on our induction plant giveaway as well as looking at our wellbeing activities. Alongside the success of these initiatives, we talked about some of the challenges of these activities as well as what we would like to do in the future. Whilst people liked the idea of houseplants an archivist did raise the question of these attracting pests!

Other presentations looked at CILIP’s Green Libraries Partnership, estate initiatives from beehives to building fabric at London Met and Royal Veterinary College, the journey of sustainability at University of West London and staff CPD and green initiatives schemes at Royal Holloway.

It was interesting to see what our universities are doing to tackle the climate emergency and we left the conference with a range of ideas. It was also great to see that a lot of the initiatives are ones that SoP and other UCL libraries have already implemented.

Highlights and food for thought included:

  • Learning about CILIP’s Green Libraries Manifesto
  • Seeing how particular collections can highlight the impact of climate change – the National Library of Scotland used its historic maps to show the impact of costal erosion.
  • London Met initiative around recycling Halloween costumes and encouraging students to make their own costume instead.
  • Bean to Bean – using old coffee cups to grow plants in.
  • Including litter picking as part of campus walks.

The recordings of all presentations are available on the members area of the M25 website.

Facilities & Project Blog – School of Pharmacy Fixed Wire Testing

By Collette E M Lawrence, on 14 June 2023

Some of you may already be aware, as this has taken place on many of our LCCOS sites already, we are currently working with Estates colleagues to carry out essential fixed wire testing across the UCL community. These tests are to ensure that all distribution boards, data facilities, electrical circuits, power, and lighting are working correctly and meet legal requirements.

The School of Pharmacy Building will experience a full building shut down, on each riser, on the following times and dates:

  • Riser A, Friday 16th June 2023, between 09.00-12.00
  • Riser D, Wednesday 21st June 2023, between 09.00-12.00
  • Riser C, Friday 23rd June 2023, between 09.00-12.00

The library will be closed for this testing to take place, and only essential staff will be permitted on site, resulting in the library space being closed for the duration of the above times and dates.

We apologies for any inconvenience caused by these works and we appreciate your continued support and patience.

If you have any issues or queries regarding this, please contact the Library Facilities & Projects Team.

LCCOS teams win Nearby Nature Spring Competition

By simon.bralee.15, on 28 April 2023

The Main Library, Institute of Archaeology Library and IOE Library were all top ten winning teams in the Nearby Nature Spring Competition.

The Main Library team won first place after submitting a total of 48 locations.

The three teams now have access to £100 to spend on something to improve wellbeing and/or sustainability in their areas.

Carmen de Paz, from the Main Library, said

“I was very happy to participate and share my favourite nature spots in London. I have also started visiting the places suggested by other groups and I have joined some local walks.”

Nicholas Bieber, from the Institute of Archaeology Library, said:

“The Nearby Nature campaign was a great idea, I like to go for walks on my breaks, and the competition got me to explore places I might not otherwise have reached. The result is a really useful resource to find some wonderful spots to eat lunch and add to walks.”

The UCL Nearby Nature map now has over 400 locations which have been added by members of the UCL community. The app has been viewed over 11,000 times.

The Occupational Health and Wellbeing team are currently organising a series of walks led by UCL colleagues.

The portico in the back ground, in the foreground trees and above the pale blue skies

Portico: surrounded by nature.

LCCOS all-staff Sustainability event

By Benjamin Meunier, on 23 March 2023

Earlier in Term 2, a number of colleagues from across Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science gathered to explore sustainability in the department. I wanted to share the video from the event, which has been niftily organised into chapters by Meghan Flight in the LCCOS Comms (I hasten to add that the video has been available for some time, but I have been tardy in putting together this short write-up!).

The session opened with a presentation from Max Vidotto (Sustainable UCL Business Partner for LCCOS), followed by talks from Sarah Lawson (Queen Square Library) on sustainable action from a site library point of view, and Collette Lawrence (LCCOS Facilities & Projects) on the LCCOS Sustainability Reference Guide. I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting presentations and the engaged interactive parts of the meeting, which I compered as chair of the Sustainability Committee with support from Meghan and Rowena on the Q&A session. What came across in the event was that there is a significant interest in sustainability and a lot of creative ideas from colleagues on how we can make LCCOS even more environmentally responsible. I hope that this will be the first of a series of events, which might become an annual occurrence.

As I have written about previously (in 2022, 2021, 2020, – you get the idea!), I am very proud of our achievements in the sustainability arena over the years. We are one of the best performing departments in UCL and I would argue one of the most active academic library services in the UK when it comes to sustainability. It has been an absolute privilege coordinating some of the work, and mostly keeping abreast of the committed efforts of Green Champions across the department. Within LCCOS, colleagues in the museums and the Theatre are initiating Green Impact in new areas, and I am sure there will be more good practice developing over the coming months and years.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michelle Wake for agreeing to take the Chair of the LCCOS Sustainability Committee, with effect from my departure from UCL (tomorrow).

All the best in your endeavours to make LCCOS a beacon for sustainable libraries!

UCL East: Marshgate handover

By Benjamin Meunier, on 22 March 2023

After a rather wet start to the day, the skies brightened up over the Olympic Park last Friday afternoon, just in time for the handover ceremony where building contractors Mace handed over the keys to UCL East’s latest addition – Marshgate.

View of Marshgate building. The edge of the London Stadium is visible in the right-hand corner, dwarfed by the cube-shaped Marshgate.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the occasion, which was described officially in the UCL News, where the significance of the milestone is described. I am taking this opportunity to share my reflections on the building and amateurish photos of the library and learning spaces…

Firstly, it is monumental – as described in the press release – “the biggest structure on any of UCL’s campuses, measuring six times the size of the UCL Student Centre”. It is very much a statement, right next to the London Stadium, placing UCL at the heart of East Bank – the cultural district that is intended as the 2012 Olympics’ legacy.

But size isn’t everything, of course. I was wowed by the grandeur of the atrium space, which even unfurnished and empty of students and staff, had a warmth and sense of conviviality you would not expect from an exposed concrete building. The main foyer will host public art exhibitions, to welcome and provoke visitors to the campus.

View up into the atrium, looking towards glazed roof


Book swap

By simon.bralee.15, on 13 February 2023

In the second of our series of blog posts outlining easy ways to support our colleagues and customers with the cost of living crisis, Abi Heath from the School of Pharmacy Library has compiled tips from across LCCOS on creating effective book swaps.

Setting up a book swap is a great way to help promote wellbeing, sustainability and help people with the cost-of-living crisis.

The Reading Agency review in 2015 concluded that studies had found reading for pleasure had several benefits enhancing empathy, increasing understanding of the self and the ability to understand one’s own and others’ identities.

Several library sites are already offering book swaps, and these are very simple to set up:

1. Find a space for your book swap.

This could be a spare trolley that you can utilise or else consider setting one up on a window still or other suitable space using bookends.

2. You will need some books to get started.

To get donations consider:

  • Asking colleagues (keen readers may have read their Christmas books already or you may be able to take advantage of people doing a spring clean/ decluttering)
  • Put a call out to the department to see if any staff or student have books that they would like to donate.
  • Get in touch with one of the UCL libraries already offering a book swap to see if they can spare some titles to help get you started.

3. Promote 

Let your users know that you have a book swap and encourage them to come and help themselves or donate books. The Sustainability team have useful posters on their webpages (under criteria 012) that you can use.

Poster with text saying 'Book swap: Feel free to donate or pick up a book'

A book swap poster in the Science Library

You might also want to consider promoting via social media as well – School of Pharmacy have used Instagram stories to promote new books when they are donated.

Instagram story image of Margaret Atwood's book Oryx and Crake with text over the top 'SoP Library have some new books in our book swap'

You can use Instagram stories to promote new books in the book swap.

Some happy book swap customers might also post their swaps on social as well. Keep an eye out for these and reshare.

4. You may also want to tie in with other fundraising activities.

At Queen Square Library two Professors donated books to help raise additional funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK as part of wider fundraising.

5. Keep your books fresh.

Books can be sat on your shelf for a while – why not contact another site to see if they would like to ‘swap’ titles from their book swap.

A trolley is loaded with books, before a resplendent cheese plant (aka Monstera deliciosa)

The book swap in the Main Library

Thanks to Grazia Manzotti and Sarah Lawson for sharing tips and photos of their book swaps.

Facilities & Projects Team Blog – Main Library Toilet Work taking place

By Collette E M Lawrence, on 7 February 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Please be aware that essential works will be taking place which will affect the water supply to the 2nd Floor toilets, just outside the Main Library space.

These works form part of the Estates infrastructure project, which will improve the hot water and heating supply to not only the Main Library and other LCCOS spaces, but to the whole of the Wilkins Building.

For these essential works to take place, rooms 278 & 279, which are the toilets on the second floor, in non LCCOS managed space, just outside the Gallagher doors, leading to Physics, from the Main Library corridor, 236, will be closed from Thursday the 9th February until Friday the 17th February.

Once this work has been completed the project will move to the first-floor toilets, 125a, 125b & 125c, on the same side of the building, which are within LCCOS space, dates to be confirmed. This will ensure that works do not run concurrently on both sets of toilets, these dates to be confirmed, later this week.

We apologies for any inconvenience caused by these works and we appreciate your continued support and patience.

If you have any issues or queries regarding this, please contact the Library Facilities & Projects Team. Our team information can be found at the following link Facilities & Project Team

LCCOS Sustainability event – Tuesday 31/01

By Benjamin Meunier, on 20 January 2023

All LCCOS staff are invited to a 1-hour sustainability event at the end of January on MS Teams. You can download the meeting invitation (ical) at LCCOS all-staff Sustainability event.

Olympic Park, Stratford

The event will be to raise awareness amongst staff of Green Impact and the good work that has been done over the years. The event will take place on 31/01 from 14.00-14.55. Max Vidotto from Sustainable UCL will give a 10-min overview of Green Impact, and outline UCL’s recent successes in sustainability performance. Sarah Lawson, as a member of the LCCOS Sustainability Commmittee, will present on the Queen Square Library experience of Green Impact. Collette Lawrence, as Departmental Environment Officer, will present the departmental Sustainability Guide, available on LibNet. Participants will have opportunities to feed into LCCOS’s sustainability goals for our next strategy.

Geraint Rees, Vice-Provost (RIGE), said:

“UCL has set itself ambitious environmental commitments and there is work afoot across the university to reduce UCL’s environmental impacts. We have improved our position over the past 10 years, so that we are among the most sustainable HE institutions in the country, as illustrated by our place in the top 10 UK’s People & Planet University League 2023. One of the strengths of UCL’s approach is the participation of all staff in our endeavour to be more sustainable. The annual Green Impact scheme is one of the key ways that colleagues across the university can engage, and the track record of LCCOS members is impressive, with 18 awards obtained by the libraries in 2022. I encourage you to find out more about Green Impact at this event, and to consider how you might each play an individual part towards UCL leading the way in operating as a sustainable organisation and inspiring sustainability action on an international scale.”


Agenda for 31 January
Time Details
14.00-14.05 Welcome and Introduction
14.05-14.15 UCL’s Change Possible Strategy and Green Impact (Max Vidotto, Sustainable UCL Team)
14.15-14.20 A view from the Library: Queen Square Library (Sarah Lawson)
14.25-14.30 Presentation of the LCCOS Sustainability Guide, including “green hacks” (Collette Lawrence)
14.30-14.45 Discussion – what could LCCOS do to lead the way as a sustainable service provider in the university?
14.45-14.50 Q&A session
14.50-14.55 Concluding remarks

This event will be recorded and the video will be uploaded to LibNet for LCCOS staff.

Facilities & Projects Team Blog – IoE Master Plan 2023

By Collette E M Lawrence, on 19 January 2023

Below is important in formation with regards to Senate House Hub and IoE.

It has been agreed at very short notice to lend part of Senate House Hub to the IoE Masterplan team to use a staff decant space unit October 2023.

This plan was only suggested last Thursday and agreed on the same day with Senior Management approval.

The rooms being handed over 303, 304, 305, 307 & 308. These will house about 25-30 staff from the IoE who are due to be homeless. The Masterplan Team are hoping to start the moves on Saturday 21st January 2023. This may be held up by the ability for Access Systems to get locks fitted.

We have already requested that 308 student bookable meeting room be removed from the system. The remainder of the student space in the Senate House Hub, including bookable room 310 and 312, will be unaffected and remain open to UCL post-graduate research students and staff.

We will provide more details when we have them.

We thank you for your continued support and patience, but if you have any issues or queries regarding this, please contact a member of the team. Our team information can be found at the following link Facilities & Projects Team