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Customer Service Excellence Accreditation

Peter Dennison8 May 2019

Over the past 18 months work has been going on behind the scenes in preparation for our application for the Customer Service Excellence Standard.  Customer Service Excellence (CSE) is designed to operate on three distinct levels:

1. As a driver of continuous improvement.
2. As a skills development tool.
3. As an independent validation of achievement.
CSE Standard: Cabinet Office, 2010

 

 

The Standard is awarded by the Cabinet Office and consists of 57 separate criteria which we have to demonstrate that we meet. This is done by the submission of documentary evidence to an Assessor who will review the evidence as part of the Accreditation process. The other part of the assessment will be a two-day visit by the Assessor on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 June. The visit will consist of a combination of meetings with Library staff, students, and other UCL departments who work with us as well as observation and presentations by staff.

A Pre-Assessment meeting was held with the Assessor on 13 March which was really helpful in identifying areas which required further work and additional documentation. Our formal submission was sent to the Assessor on 8 May and we will find out in the next couple of weeks which areas our Assessor will want to focus on when he visits.

I will be working with Kate Cheney to organise the two-day visit by the Assessor. The first day will focus on our larger sites and will include a visit to the Student Centre. The second day will focus on biomedical sites. We will be given an informal indication by the Assessor at the end of the second day as to how we have performed. Thank you to all colleagues who have contributed to the process so far and to those who will be meeting the Assessor during his visit.

Collette E M Lawrence24 April 2019

Building Team blog – Summer Projects 2019

If you have any queries regarding projects please contact Jay james.woodhouse@ucl.ac.uk

The Library has secured funding for four projects from the Central Estates Strategy Board (CESB) for this summer. These are:

Science Library – To create a new accessible toilet to be installed on the ground floor. This will include with a hoist and changing facilities. To be undertaken as soon as possible at the start of the summer, the project is likely to take fourteen weeks.

Graduate Hub, South Wing – Refurbish the main room and kitchenette. This area will become more study focused with individual study spaces, rather than sofas. The Kitchenette and Main room will be redecorated, new floor covering and all new furniture. In the computer room the chairs will be replaced. The duration of this project will be ten weeks.

Senate House Hub – This will repurpose the Senate House hub into a Post Graduate Research (PGR) only space. The front half of the space will be for PGR, while the rear area will be for funded Centre for Doctorial Training (CDT). Some of the existing furniture will be relocated within the space, with some new furniture and an additional card controlled door. The duration of this project will be ten weeks.

Institute of Education – The entrance will be refurbished with new turnstiles and a combined Library/ISD service desk, similar to the Science Library Learning Lab Help point installed last year. Smart Shelves will be installed, this is an alternative to an auto sorter. The duration of the project six weeks towards the end of the summer.

Library design and European collaboration

Benjamin Meunier10 April 2019

Earlier this year, I was honoured to be invited to join the LIBER Architecture Group (LAG), as the UK representative. I am replacing Karen Latimer, former Librarian of Queen’s University Belfast and an expert in library design and heritage architecture. The group furthers the exchange of experience between librarians and architects throughout Europe and attempts to raise the level of awareness of new projects and trends. This is done through biennial seminars, and via a database of Library Buildings in Europe documenting new buildings, renovations, refurbishments and extensions. The LIBER Architecture Group brings librarians together with building design professionals, and helps to focus concepts and planning processes and to share best practice in the sector. It operates as part of LIBER’s Strategic Direction on Research Infrastructure.

As the UK’s future relationship with the European Union continues to be under question, UCL is committed to maintaining close partnerships with European Higher Education and research organisations. The work we do in Library Services, in many areas across the service, involves work with European partners and I am pleased to be able to play a part in developing links with colleagues in the area of European library architecture.

On Monday, as part of the LIBER Architecture Group’s bi-annual meeting, I visited the National Library of Luxembourg, which is due to open in September 2019. The building is very nearly complete, and the move of collections is due in the coming weeks. It is a monumental building, and much of the construction sites I visited or saw in Luxembourg were on a large scale, reflecting the country’s ambitious plans to develop its knowledge economy.

The view inside the brand new National Library, opening in September

Façade of the National Library of Luxembourg

When it opens, the library will provide 470 study spaces, open to anyone over the age of 14. The library building was designed to meet best practice in sustainable construction, using geothermal energy and thermal mass to maintain stable environmental conditions. Storage space at the back of the building provides shelving for 300,000 items. Where collections are on open access, each shelf is fitted with an LED light strip, creating an almost theatrical feel but also practical way of ensuring that users can see clearly even when browsing the lowest shelves in a building where there is little ceiling lights (for environmental reasons and also to minimise the risk of fire).

Facilities within the library include a music room and family study room, where parents may undertake their research accompanied by young children. The library also has parking spaces for 2 “Bicherbus”, the national library bus, which travels across the country to support users in Luxembourg.

View of Luxembourg Learning Centre, at the centre of Luxembourg University’s new campus on the former steelworks

The Luxembourg Learning Centre is based within an old coal warehouse, at the foot of two huge steelwork chimneys. It is at the heart of the new Science City in Belval, about half an hour from the centre of Luxembourg City. During my visit, I learned that Luxembourg’s economy was severely affected by the loss of the steel industry in the 1970s and had to transform its economy into the financial hub it is today. However, the country is keen to diversify its economy and avoid relying entirely on the finance sector, so it is fast developing its science and innovation sector.

The Belval site is being redeveloped with EUR 1 billion already invested and a further EUR 900 million due to be injected by the government to transform this former industrial plant into a university campus associated with a wider cultural and entrepreneurial district. The industrial past is everywhere to be seen, with the plant and warehouse buildings now listed as monuments.

The Learning Centre is a high-tech library which supports around 7,000 students at the university. With 1,000 study spaces and built at a cost of around EUR 70 million, it is on a scale fit to support further growth of the university. Collections are in English, French and German, reflecting the multilingual nature of the country. Signposts on the campus are in French but all the signage in the library is in English, a decision the Library took to ensure that the majority of users could easily navigate the building. There is a welcome point and self-service RFID equipment, provided by Bibliotheca, at the entrance. The library operates with a relatively small team (24 staff in total), and their Customer Service team work closely with students on various UX projects. The library closes at night and is also closed at weekends, and they are looking at extending these hours in response to demand. For more information, including a video of the impressive building, you can visit the website of the Luxembourg Learning Centre.

The next LIBER Architecture Group seminar will be held in April 2020 and hosted at the Luxembourg Learning Centre. Further details will be circulated later this year.

Futuristic furniture and hi-tech equipment feature throughout the Learning Centre, such as these built-in tablets to provide access to national newspapers

The Learning Centre’s glass walls are wrapped around the original structure of the coal warehouse which fed the steelworks

Student Choice Awards – celebrating library staff

Rozz Evans10 April 2019

The UCL Student Choice Awards are a way for students to thank an amazing member of staff, and let them know that their hard work makes a difference. All UCL students are invited to nominate members of staff who have, in some way, made their experience at UCL a particularly good one. They are judged by students themselves and so are especially meaningful. There are several categories including Amazing Support Staff and it is very gratifying to see that four members of UCL Library Services staff were nominated in this category. Congratulations to Nazlin Bhimani, Peter Field, Vanessa Freedman and Debora Marletta. For more information about the awards see: http://studentsunionucl.org/make-change/make-your-voice-heard/student-choice-awards/student-choice-awards-2019-all-nominees

Estates strategy consultation forum opens to UCL community

Benjamin Meunier5 April 2019

An online consultation forum has been launched by UCL Estates for staff and students to share their ideas and thoughts on UCL’s current estate and their views on opportunities and investment priorities for its future development.

 The consultation will feed into a refreshed strategy for the university’s estate, which UCL Estates is preparing to align the next phase of UCL’s physical development with UCL 2034. The strategy will consider UCL’s buildings and physical estate, the impact of UCL East and other satellite locations and the opportunities for growth.

 Among the comments and discussions posted so far include the need to for the strategy to ensure UCL sites outside of its Bloomsbury campus feel part of the UCL family and a suggestion for innovative bike storage on campus.

Visit the forum and share your views.

NB: After entering your UCL email address you will be sent your individual access link, which you can bookmark. You will be automatically logged in for a period of 30 days after which you will need to revisit the original email link.

Making a difference: Library Services Review 2015-18

Benjamin Meunier26 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 Meunier21 February 2019

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

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/about-us/ucl-library-services-strategy-2019-22

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!

 

New bookable study spaces service launches on 7th January

Robert Drinkall7 January 2019

We’re pleased to announce that a new service, which enables UCL students to book study spaces in a number of library-managed locations, launches today, 7th January.

This service can be used by current UCL students (including those with multi-affiliations), and customer services staff are able to make and cancel bookings on behalf of UCL users where applicable. Login is via UCL userid and password.

For further details about the system, please see the Customer Services section of LibNet, and the new service’s help page.

UCL Sustainability Awards 2018: Library staff making a difference

Benjamin Meunier5 September 2018

The UCL Sustainability Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 03/09 in the Jeremy Bentham Room (Wilkins building). The event was hosted by Richard Jackson (Director, Sustainability in UCL Estates) and Professor Geraint Rees (Chair of the UCL Sustainability Committee and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences). Professor Rees presented awards to the teams which participated in the Green Impact scheme in 2018.

The awards are split between ‘office’ and ‘labs’, and special awards can be granted for projects. Awards rank from Bronze to Platinum, with an additional ‘Excellence’ category. The Awards were achieved as follows:
Gold – Completing the individual workbook as set out
Platinum – additional 20 points
Excellence- additional 40 points

Library Sites
Central Library Services (departmental award) Gold
Main Library Gold
Ophthalmology Library Platinum
Queen Square Library Platinum
Language and Speech Science Library Gold
Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library Gold
Royal Free Hospital Medical Library Gold
Cruciform Hub Platinum
Eastman Dental Institute Library Excellence
Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries Excellence
School of Pharmacy Library Platinum
Science Library Gold
Institute of Archaeology Library Platinum
Wickford Stores Platinum

In addition, the School of Pharmacy Medicinal Garden was granted a project award.

Each team received a Blue Planet 2 inspired Sustainability Awards trophy. Artist Joanna Atherton created these sculptures out of plastics found during beach cleans. Congratulations to all the staff who were involved in improving our sustainability this year, and particularly to colleagues across sites who contributed to the department’s 14 successful entries to the Green Impact scheme this year.


Library Services as a department achieved Gold for the first time.  Well done for a fantastic result!  The Library Sustainability Committee hopes to extend the awards to all library sites for Green Impact 2019, and we welcome any project ideas. If you want to get involved or find out more, please visit the Sustainability pages on LibNet: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/about/committees/sustainability

The Green Impact scheme is continuing to grow at UCL as more and more teams participate from across the university. As noted above, Library Services has performed very well, and for the first time the department as a whole was awarded a Gold award. Green Impact is also competitive, in a good-spirited way – UCL’s PALS Green Impact Team have consistently been the best-performing department at UCL. They shared the first prize in Green Impact in 2018, as joint winners with the Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement). Can Library Services do better next year? The answer depends on each of you. During the event yesterday, there was a lot of emphasis on how small steps, individual actions, might seem trivial in isolation. But when those small actions are multiplied by 350 Library Services staff, or 50,000 in UCL’s community of students and staff, collectively those actions make a big difference.

And finally, to try and reduce the 1 million single-use cups which are thrown away every year at UCL, since Monday 03/09, UCL outlets are pricing single-use cups separately. So save money by using a reusable cup! More information is available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/greenucl/what-we-do/sustainable-food/ditch-disposable

CESB Summer Projects Update

Collette E M Lawrence3 August 2018

Science Library Basement – Staff Lockers

Due to refurbishment taking place, staff lockers located in the basement will need to be emptied by Friday 10th August 2018. If you do not have access to the basement via the staff lift, a member of the buildings team will be at the ground floor staff lift at 10.00am  throughout next week to allow access. The contractors will be moving the lockers and relocating them to the short-loans area in the Science Library Café.

Science Library Entrance

As you may be aware, work has started on the refurbishment of the Science Library entrance, new security gates and security area are being installed. A new desk area and swing gates are being installed by the membership desk. On Thursday 9th August 2018 the current Service Desk will be relocated to make way for preparation works for the delivery and install of the new desk. On Thursday 9th August 2018 there will be no Membership or Enquires service available while the desk is being relocated.

LaSS Library

Refurbishment has started in the reception area and new window installation, with new power to desks in the reading room.

Archaeology Library

New sustainable lighting is being installed throughout the library and reading area, using energy efficient LED lamps throughout.

If you have any queries please contact Phil and Ricky, phil.watson@ucl.ac.uk, r.estwick@ucl.ac.uk