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Archive for the 'Systems, Collections & Processes' Category

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

LibNet migration to Drupal

Chris Carrington4 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

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris20 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)

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris13 August 2019

R.D. Laing and UCL’s underground press material

13 August saw a public lecture from UCL Special Collections’ first Visiting Fellow, Professor Adrian Chapman. Professor Chapman is Professor at Florida State University and based in London. He has a PhD from UCL and two English degrees from the University of London. He has publications (academic articles and creative work) in the area of Literature and Psychology / Medical Humanities and a research interest in Rhetoric and Composition. His research is particularly centred on R. D. Laing (the radical Scottish psychiatrist) and his network. For the announcement of his appointment in Special Collections, see here.

Around 50 people, perhaps half of them from outside UCL, attended to hear Professor Chapman talk about the influence of R.D. Laing and his network on psychiatry, using as source material the matchless collections in UCL Special Collections from the underground press. Wikipedia says: ‘Ronald David Laing (7 October 1927 – 23 August 1989), usually cited as R. D. Laing, was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the experience of psychosis. Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of psychopathological phenomena were influenced by his study of existential philosophy and ran counter to the chemical and electroshock methods that had become psychiatric orthodoxy. Taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as symptoms of mental illness, Laing regarded schizophrenia as a theory not a fact. Though associated in the public mind with anti-psychiatry, he rejected the label. Politically, he was regarded as a thinker of the New Left. Laing was portrayed in the 2017 film Mad to Be Normal.’

During his talk in UCL, alas cut short in the last few minutes by a fire practice, Professor Chapman gave a number of examples of Laing’s influence, as displayed in the collections on view, accompanied by recorded music of the period. Take, as an example, musical illustration no. 12: The Doors, ‘Break on Through (To the Other Side)’. (The Doors, Elektra, 1967). Like Dylan, Jim Morrison was, and continues to be, an icon of the ’60s. The Doors took their name from The Doors of Perception, a book about mescaline and the expansion of consciousness by Aldous Huxley, whose nephew, Francis, was a great friend of Laing. Aldous Huxley found his title in a line from William Blake, the English Romantic poet, who wrote that  ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite’. According to a review in It 39, The Doors’ ‘Break on Through (To the Other Side)’ is ‘very natural, like breathing’. The need to break through convention and the ‘false self’ to a region where one can at last breathe freely – a liberated zone of playfulness, creativity and authenticity – was a desire shared by The Doors, the Laing network and the underground on both sides of the Atlantic (Programme Note from Professor Chapman).

Professor Chapman’s talk was received enthusiastically by his audience and marks a further step in the successful development of outreach and academic engagement activities by UCL Special Collections.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

 

Replacing Copac with new NBK Library Hub Discover

ucyltpm8 July 2019

Further to my blog post of 5 February, Copac and a number of related services from RLUK and Suncat will no longer exist from 31 July 2019. They are due to be replaced by a new range of Library Hub services from Jisc, based on data within the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK). Please take note if you use any of the following services:

  • Copac
  • Copac Collection Management (CCM) Tools
  • RLUK record downloading (z39.50)
  • Suncat

There are three “Library Hub” services, the most important one for discovery being Library Hub Discover, which takes over from Copac and SUNCAT and should have similar coverage. UCL’s holdings are now in this service, although I am undertaking a number of detailed tests and would appreciate any reports of missing or strange-looking records on Library Hub. Updates should now be weekly. You can restrict any search to UCL only, by putting “held-by:ucl” at the beginning of any search, e.g. this search for social media books by Daniel Miller. This should be useful for when Explore is unavailable. Real-time availability is not available on Library Hub Discover, but is planned.

The RLUK MARC record downloading service will be superseded by Library Hub Catalogue, a web and z39.50 service. I am currently looking at getting this set up on Alma and will send further information to relevant staff when this is ready.

The third service- Library Hub Compare– is not yet ready but is intended to replace CCM Tools and the SUNCAT Serials Comparison service. Further details will be provided when available.

Please note that all three Library Hub services are still being described by Jisc as “pilot” services but with the imminent retirement of Copac in particular it will be necessary to update practices and documentation.

More information

Jisc have provided a number of extra pages with information about Library Hub Discover, including a general About page, a more detailed FAQ, and lots of search tips in a Help page.

Feedback

Please let me know if you have any feedback, especially about how UCL’s data appears (or if it doesn’t). Jisc are also interested in getting feedback and you can fill in this questionnaire.