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Archive for the 'Systems, Collections & Processes' Category

MyHR update

Jennifer L Brown25 October 2021

Carry forward annual leave hours adjustments

The central HR team have now completed the one off task of transferring annual leave carry forward onto MyHR for all requests that were submitted to Library HR by the 15th September.

Making manual carry forward annual leave adjustments using the MyHR Self-service function

If you missed the deadline or your carry forward annual leave hours are not showing on your record you may make adjustments via the self-service function on MyHR. Any adjustments made on the systems will require approval by your line manager.

Details of how to manually adjust your annual leave entitlement can be found via the UCL Knowledge Centre   under  ‘adjust your annual leave’ within the employee self service section on MyHR.

Processing Carry forward annual leave hours for subsequent years

For the next annual leave year and going forward any carry forward will be done automatically by MyHR (there will be no requirement to notify the Library HR team). The system will automatically apply the maximum carry forward limit.

Deadline for taking accrued carry forward annual leave hours

There will no longer be the requirement to take your carried-forward leave by January. This means staff can take their accrued annual leave hours throughout the leave year. The normal maximum carry forward allowance for each leave year will apply.

Annual leave entitlement queries

If you believe your annual leave entitlement is incorrect please contact HR Services  via hr-services@ucl.ac.uk

Work patterns

Staff can continue to use the self-service function on MyHR to change their work pattern with prior approval from their line manager where there is no change in their overall FTE. All submissions will need approval by the line manager via MyHR in order for the change to take effect.

Please note that you do not need to record whether you are working at home or in the office in MyHR and will only need to confirm the hours worked per day.

Instructions of how to amend your work pattern can be found via the UCL Knowledge Centre  under the employee service function entitled ‘Enter or Maintain your work pattern.’


Flexitime Focus Groups: Call for Participants

Bethan Smith7 July 2021

As we approach the next academic year, and implement new ways and patterns of working, we would like to take the opportunity to examine our current systems for managing flexible working patterns across Library Services.

The current flexitime system has been in suspension since March 2020. Running a local system brings with it limitations and overheads; as we implement new modes of working in the upcoming academic year, it is worth taking the time to examine how we might administer the benefit of flexible working within Library Services going forward, and consider whether we need to reinstate the current MyFlexi system.

With this in mind, Martin Moyle and June Hedges would like to meet colleagues to hear their views on how we might manage flexible working patterns in the near future.

We have arranged five focus groups, which will take place over the next three weeks.

Please note that there is no question of withdrawing the benefit of flexible working patterns from Library Services – conversations in these groups will instead focus on considering the way we administer these:

Friday 9th July, 11:30 – 12:30

Tuesday 13th July 11:00 – 12:00

Thursday 15th July 15:00 – 16:00

Tuesday 27th July 11:00 – 12:00

Thursday 29th July 10:00 – 11:00

Focus groups will take place virtually on MS Teams. Participants will be sent a Teams link prior to the start of the session.

To ensure a constructive conversation, we are aiming for up to 10 colleagues to act as participants per focus group. We aim to ensure an even spread of participants across teams, grades, and work patterns at each meeting to ensure a representative discussion is held.

If you are interested in attending one of the focus groups, please email bethan.smith@ucl.ac.uk with your first and second preference for your slot.

Service Catalogue for Library Services

Bethan Smith11 May 2021

The service catalogue has now been made live on LibNet.

This is an important tool, developed with various service owners and managers, which will enhance our understanding of how we work within Library Services. The catalogue will provide a point of truth regarding our services, capturing the range of services we provide, who provides them, and how they are provided.

Each service the library provides is listed in its own separate entry within the catalogue, with key information listed, including the description, components, owners and managers, users, stakeholders, benefits, costs and how users request the service.  Related services are also indicated, to collect a picture of the interconnectivity of services. Important information regarding each service will be updated continually, and enhanced as the catalogue is used in practice.

In addition, a contact table has been extracted to display all relevant email addresses at a glance – much like the current staff directory but based on services rather than individuals. Together, the contact table and catalogue will be an invaluable resource for new starters, and those who want to know more about areas of Library Services outside of their immediate department.

Taking the catalogue as a baseline, we are now working on developing complementary tools and frameworks, such as service standards and service dashboards. The service catalogue will also be used to shape the service information we provide to users, providing a useful frame of reference for website developments and customer service initiatives.

Please do make use of the catalogue to inform your interactions with services across the library, in both day-to-day and project work.  The catalogue and its associated deliverables will be updated as and when our workflows and service provisions change.

Comments are encouraged – please email bethan.smith@ucl.ac.uk with any suggestions, queries or comments you may have about the catalogue.

Soon to be launched UCL New Agency Temporary recruitment process

Faith Udeze12 February 2021

Soon to be launched UCL New Agency Temporary recruitment process

UCL is introducing a process to manage the recruitment of all Agency (contingency) workers through a single service provider supported by a network of approved Agencies on UCL’s preferred supplier list (PSL). The new system will manage every stage of the recruitment process including: advertising and sourcing candidates (either directly or through preferred supplier list); shortlisting CVs; carrying out compliance and Right to Work checks; purchase orders, on-boarding and managing relationships with and supporting temporary workers. UCL is aiming to launch this new service 22 March 2021

This new process will replace the current UCL recruitment process for temporary workers, managed via a new Beeline Vendor Management system (VMS). It includes some system user functionality for Library managers as timesheet approvals only. Access and training to the new VMS system will be provided before the go-live date

Unitemp will continue to provide in-house temporary recruitment for all student roles or Alumni direct bookings where Unitemps is the preferred approach

Further updates will be provided as soon is available. More information can be found via the link

Questions can be directed to Library HR (Faith Udeze)

Alma update and Digital Services support

Margaret Stone15 October 2020

This month there are two important updates from the Digital Services team.

Alma’s new layout

From 1 November 2020, you will see a new screen layout when you log in to Alma.  The aims, according to the suppliers, are to increase the working area in Alma, improve navigation, give more options to customize menus, and facilitate improved user workflows.

Please note that this is not the same as the planned changes to the Alma metadata editor, which will be coming next year.

If you would like to try out the new interface and get used to it before 1 November, you can switch it on in the user menu of Alma.  Go to your personal user menu (head and shoulders icon) in the top right of the Alma screen and click to open the drop-down menu.  Then click on “Enable new layout”.

More information is available on the Alma pages of the Ex Libris Knowledge Center or from this short Alma New Layout video.

Digital Services support update

Some 18 months after introducing the new ISD support team for many of our applications, we are retiring the digital-library-support email address.  In its place, we are re-emphasising the first-line support role of ‘Functional Leads’ for Alma and other services.  Beyond that, there is now a single support form which guides you to the correct support route for each service.  For more information, and to bookmark the link to the support form, visit our Digital Services Support pages on LibNet.

The reason for these changes is to make the support process more efficient and to ensure that library staff get the quickest response from the relevant support team.  For example, the new support form prompts the enquirer to indicate to which service the query relates.

For many digital services, such as Alma, there are designated Functional Leads in Library Services who are the experts and coordinators for the digital service. For these services, please first contact the relevant Functional Lead with your query or problem report. They can assist with resolving some issues directly, collating multiple reports and leading the liaison with ISD as necessary. For Alma, the Functional Leads are responsible for granting and updating access rights to Alma.  For this new process, please see the updated FAQ on the Alma page on LibNet.

The next tier of support is provided by the Library Applications Team in ISD. This is a dedicated team for our digital services, who can also bring in assistance from other support teams in ISD as necessary. When a support ticket is opened from the problem report form, either by the Functional Lead or by you directly, the Library Applications Team will respond to the ticket.  Please only contact the team through the support form or through the tickets which are generated.  You may occasionally come across their team email address, but it is only used for internal communications, not for raising new queries or issues.

Progress on problem reports and requests for service changes is monitored by Rob Drinkall and Margaret Stone on behalf of Library Services. This liaison includes escalating urgent matters and clarifying the priority of ongoing work.  Please do contact us if you have any queries about these support arrangements.

Reminder: Visit the new problem report form.

UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries not to re-open in current location

Anna Di Iorio17 July 2020

The UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in Gray’s Inn Road were due to close on Friday 21st August 2020, necessitated by the Hospital’s relocation within UCLH. Due to the current circumstances and the resultant early closure of the Hospital building, the libraries will not re-open in this location.

Arrangements are being made for the rehousing of the collections from both libraries. Important clinical and teaching material will be retained on open shelves at the Cruciform and Language & Speech Sciences Libraries respectively. The core course books required by UCL Ear Institute/Audiology students will be located at the Language & Speech Sciences Library. The rare book and archive collections owned by Action on Hearing Loss will be transferred to the stewardship of UCL Special Collections, and will remain available for consultation by members of UCL, UCLH and the wider public. Other material from the Libraries will be available for next-day delivery from the Library Services Store.

The UCL Cruciform Hub is now the centre for library provision for UCL Ear Institute staff and students, including information skills support delivered by the training team. The Cruciform Hub is also the home library for healthcare staff and students at the University College Hospital campus, providing a range of facilities and tailored clinical support services.

UCL Library Services is grateful to all those who have made use of the UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries over the years, and proud that we are continuing our long association with Action on Hearing Loss through UCL Special Collections. Further information will be provided as UCL’s plans to re-open its buildings and Libraries develop.

Procurement of LibAnswers Enquiry Management System

Bethan Smith10 June 2020

I am pleased to announce that Library Services has procured a service-wide licence for LibAnswers, an enquiry management system that will vastly improve our capabilities for handling customer enquiries. This is a fantastic piece of news, providing an important step in achieving a number of our goals in the Library Services Strategy.

A number of staff may already be familiar with the software, including colleagues at the IOE. For those not familiar, LibAnswers is an enquiry management system designed specifically for libraries, which will enable us to improve the service we provide when managing the enquiries we receive on a daily basis.

It will allow us to filter and refer queries to other teams more easily, provide an FAQ database to assist our customers with everyday queries, and statistically examine the types and volumes of enquiries we receive. In the long term, it will hopefully integrate with other Springshare products we have recently invested in, such as LibGuides.

This information, in particular the methodical collection of customer feedback, will play a vital role in helping us to help us to target service improvements in the future and to monitor and plan for our peak times.

As part of this new software launch, we are also aiming to make use of the LibChat chat service available within LibAnswers. We are hoping to have this in place relatively soon to allow customers to interact with us in real time – an important feature as we continue to work remotely as part of the gradual, phased return to campus.

The aim is to have a working platform in place for the new term, with additional elements rolled out in stages. The scope of this initial launch will be limited to a few selected services, including library@ucl. Other teams and site libraries will be added to the platform in a gradual, phased approach throughout 2020/2021.

This will be an ongoing process and if you are considered for involvement in the soft launch of the system you will receive notification from your line manager soon. You may also receive some automated emails in the coming weeks as we gradually set up colleagues on the system.

Progress on this project, both in terms of its technical setup and the wider implications for Library Services, will be overseen and managed by a dedicated project board. Comprehensive training, documents and testing slots will also be set up in order to ensure that staff are well prepared and feel confident working with the software before go-live.

This is an exciting opportunity for Library Services to make our customer service provision more extensive, comprehensive and proficient. We will provide further updates on this project as we configure our LibAnswers platform.

UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries closure

Anna Di Iorio27 January 2020

The UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries, currently based at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in Gray’s Inn Road, will be closing on Friday 21st August 2020, as the Hospital prepares to complete its relocation to Huntley Street. From September 2020, the UCL Cruciform Hub will lead on library provision for UCL Ear Institute staff and students, including information skills support delivered by the training team.

The Cruciform Hub is also the home library for healthcare staff and students at the University College Hospital campus, providing a range of facilities and tailored clinical support services.

Collections from the Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries will be relocated, to the Cruciform Hub and other UCL Library Services sites. More detailed plans are being confirmed and will be communicated in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please send any questions or comments to Anna Di Iorio at a.diiorio@ucl.ac.uk.

UCL 2034 Progress Report

Benjamin Meunier4 December 2019

UCL has published the Progress Report 2019, highlighting some of UCL’s key achievements and steps towards realising the vision set out in UCL 2034. Highlights in this year’s report start with a Library Services initiative, the UCL Open megajournal as an example of academic leadership. You can see the review on the 2034 website at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/2034/progress-report-2019

Here’s a summary:

Principal Themes 

  1. Academic Leadership
    UCL Open’s Megajournal – The Constitution Unit’s role in a think-tank for Northern Ireland – Forming closer ties with the European Space Agency
  2. Integration of Research and Education
    Posters in Parliament – UCL’s 1000th Arena Fellow – the Bloomsbury Theatre and Performance Lab
  3. Addressing Global Challenges
    Antiretroviral treatment preventing the transmission of HIV – Developing a legal tool to protect refugees’ rights – Helping an indigenous community restore parts of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
  4. Accessible and Publicly Engaged
    Public art at UCL – Growing community-university partnerships in East London – Building robots inspired by nature
  5. London’s Global University
    Working with Camden to drive innovation and social change – planning approval granted for new UK Dementia Institute – “Cosmic Coffee”
  6. Delivering Global Impact
    The RELIEF centre working to better integrate the forcibly displaced – Tackling chronic pain in children – Biogas project awarded Horizon 2020 funding

    Key Enablers

    1. Best Student Support – the Accommodation team’s Welcome programme
    2. Valuing our Staff – Welcome to UCL programme for onboarding new staff
    3. Financing our ambitions – an update from the It’s All Academic campaign
    4. Excellent systems – new UCL Staff Intranet
    5. Sustainable estate – Transforming the IOE
    6. Communicating and engaging – the #MadeatUCL campaign

Enabling Innovation Working Group: Call for Volunteers

Bethan Smith15 November 2019

Earlier this year Martin Moyle, Director of Services, posted about the potential for innovation and service delivery at UCL Library Services. We are excited to now formally announce the launch of the Enabling Innovation Working Group – and to call for volunteers to join it.

We know from experience that Library Services staff have fantastic ideas on new ways to improve our services; what is less clear is how best to collect those ideas and process them, how to enable funding for them and how to ensure that we are able to fully implement them.

The Enabling Innovation Working Group will work together to look at ways of facilitating new ideas and projects, while trying to remove any blockers that prevent them from happening. We will think of ways to help enable small-scale innovation projects in line with KPA4 as part of the Library Strategy 2019-22.

The group will be more focused on the ‘how’ than the ‘what’ – on examining the ways that we can create an exciting, forward-thinking working environment where we are able to test new ideas and fund them. The main output of our meetings will eventually take the form of a report to the SMT, containing recommendations on how best to proceed.

We are keen to gather a representative cross-section of Library Services staff across grades, departments and libraries to make sure that we gain a wide range of ideas and perspectives on how best to enable innovation. We are looking for 6-10 working group members and are in need of volunteers!

How to Join

If you are interested in joining, please consult with your line manager in the first instance and then email bethan.smith@ucl.ac.uk. In terms of commitment, this group will involve two or three in-person meetings. There may also be small amounts of homework and research involved, so please do consider this before applying. Please do not hesitate to email if you have any questions before volunteering.

The first group meeting is currently scheduled for 3pm on Wednesday 11th December in Room 106 of the Science Library and will be chaired by Martin Moyle.

Please respond by Friday 29th November if you wish to join the group and we will get in touch shortly.

Bethan Smith
Service Improvement Coordinator