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Archive for the 'User experience' Category

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:


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 

Goodbye Silva, hello Drupal – new CMS for the library website

Chris Carrington30 July 2018

This summer the Library Services public website will be migrating to UCL’s new Content Management System called Drupal, as part of ISD’s project to replace the current system, Silva.

The next step of the migration will be to have a snapshot of the website taken and used to form a sandbox site for testing. In order to do this, there will be no Silva editing from 3pm on Friday 3rd August, effective for up to 2 weeks.

During this content freeze, the web team will still be able to access Silva so any urgent updates can still be made, e.g. news items, changes to service. Please send these to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Leading up to this, we kindly ask Silva authors to send any approval requests by Thursday 2nd August to ensure we can get the changes published before the content freeze.

We thank you in advance for your patience and further progress on the migration will be posted in due course.

Buildings Team Blog: Commencement of CESB Summer Projects 2018!

Collette E M Lawrence28 June 2018

Science Library – Post Relocation

With effect from Tuesday 3rd July 2018, the post sacks and pigeonholes, currently in the Security hut, will be relocated to 2nd floor staff kitchen area, to mirror the Main Library.

Science Library – Replacement Security Gates

With effect from Monday 9th July 2018 the main entrance to the Science Library will be closed for works to be carried out for the installation of the new gates and dismantling of the Security hut, and refurbishment of the whole space. Plenty of signage will be placed at the front of the Library and around the library redirecting users to enter and exit via the Darwin Walk into room G15 where Security will be based for the duration of the works and to enable access to the 1st floor via the back staircase.

We will send further updates and details as the projects progress. If you have, any queries please contact phil.watson@ucl.ac.uk and r.estwick@ucl.ac.uk

UCL Library Services “Highly Commended” in Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards

Benjamin Meunier22 June 2018

UCL Library Services gained recognition as an “Outstanding Library Team” in this year’s Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, where UCL was highly commended. For 2018, the 10th anniversary of these national awards, there was stiff competition from other institutions, with 8 libraries shortlisted in 2018, including the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The winners were the White Rose Libraries Consortium (Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield) for their collaborative work on a repository service (White Rose Research Online) and an online press. The consortium’s joint management of print holdings was also considered to be of national importance.


Senior managers, including the Provost and a number of Vice-Provosts, have shared their congratulations. Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research) said:

“Great recognition of the outstanding UCL library … Wonderful to know we have such a strong and respected division in UCL.”


There is cause for feelings of deja-vu – we were highly commended in 2016. This is UCL Library Services’ second accolade in 3 years from the THELMAs’ jury, recognising the quality and consistency of our service. Specific areas which were recognised in 2018 spanned work on the User Experience, Staffing, Equality and Diversity and Communication, Open Access and Public Engagement. Highlights included:

–  Increased the number of study places on campus by over 500 in the summer of 2017

–  Reached 65% of all taught courses on our ReadingLists@UCL service– the highest coverage rate amongst our research-intensive peers. We have grown our digital library to suit demand with Patron-Driven Acquisitions. Use of e-books increased by 45% in 2017!

–  Extended opening hours. We opened the Main Library throughout the Christmas period for the first time in 2017, and over 500 students were working in the library between Christmas and New Year

 – Our 11th annual Staff Conference explored the theme of Customer Service Excellence.

–  Exceeded 50 publications and 1 million downloads from UCL Press since its launch in summer 2015. That is an amazing achievement for a young Press, which is helping to re-define the meaning of academic publishing.


As noted in our submission to the awards, “UCL Library Services represents an outstanding community of professionals, dedicated to enhancing the user experience and developing new publishing models which open up the knowledge and wisdom of UCL research and teaching to a global audience”. This commendation is one which was earned through the collective strengths and hard work of colleagues throughout Library Services. So congratulations and we look forward to celebrating this achievement at the next Staff Conference in a few weeks’ time!

The Times Higher Education have provided the email signature below, which colleagues are welcome to append to signatures after their contact details:


Professional Services Conference 2018 – GOSH-ICH Library scoops award for Improving the User Experience

Benjamin Meunier6 June 2018

Yesterday’s UCL Professional Services Conference on the theme of ‘Working in Partnership’ was attended by around 600 staff from across UCL’s central Professional Services divisions, Offices of Vice-Provosts and many Faculties and departments.



The keynote speech was given by former England international rugby player Maggie Alphonsi MBE. Maggie was part of the World Cup-winning England team in 2014 and is arguably is one of the most well-known names in women’s team sports. Her candid and engaging talk spanned from childhood in South East London, to reaching outstanding sporting success for England and being part of the team named BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year in 2014. Maggie highlighted her motivations for success, and how she had set goals at different stages of her life. She spoke about taking away lessons from losing two World Cup finals to finally claim the trophy as a member of a highly-performing team. Maggie defined High Performance Teams for the audience, and presented different models on team performance, including Patrick Lencioni’s “5 dysfunctions of a team” and the Team Evolution Curve. Having a completely different perspective provided from outside HE was certainly thought-provoking and helped to think differently about team-working in a UCL context.

Each participant in the Professional Services Conference had been asked to complete a questionnaire on Belbin Team Roles (http://www.belbin.com/about/belbin-team-roles/) and colleagues were then grouped with colleagues whose preferred roles are different to their own. The lunchtime session was spent meeting colleagues from other parts of UCL, and working as teams to answer questions on how to improve UCL (for instance wellbeing, compliance with regulations or improving cross-UCL communication).


Award for GOSH-ICH Library refurbishment project

As the final part of the conference, the Provost and Vice-Provost (Operations) took to the stage to present 5 awards for Professional Services staff. The five categories were “Working in partnership across PS teams”, “Sharing good practice”, “Process review/system improvement”, “Improving efficiency” and “Improving service user satisfaction”.

It was brilliant to see the award for Improving service user satisfaction, which recognises improvements in the satisfaction levels of service users such as students, staff or visitors, go to the team involved in the refurbishment of the GOSH-ICH Library (as a highlight of PCs for Students). Congratulations to the colleagues involved from Library Services (Jay Woodhouse, Ricky Estwick, Phil Watson, Collette Lawrence, Grazia Manzotti and the ICH Library team), but also Estates, ISD (Tim Burles) and ICH IT.

The award recognises the impact which the refurbishment has had, with tremendously positive reactions from library staff and users (ranging from “It looks fantastic!” to “Wow” and “[…]” (awe-struck silence)). Grazia described the outcome as the result of the refurbishment as “amazing – we have had really good feedback, we even had even some people screaming when they came in as they couldn’t believe how nice it is”. Usage numbers for the library are substantially higher than in previous years. The library now attracts more students, as part of a Library-wide strategy to promote the wide range of libraries on offer in Bloomsbury.

In terms of evidence for the impact of the work undertaken last summer, there are early indicators showing much-improved user satisfaction. For instance, the Student Experience Survey in 2018 shows marked improvement from the previous year in the NSS-style question on IT provision (+9% to 77%). The New to UCL survey indicates similar improvements, as the number of complaints relating to study space dropped from 10 negative comments in the autumn of 2016 to 3 in 2017.

Overall, this project exemplified the creativity and resourcefulness of the professional services staff involved. It also illustrates their collective dedication to improve the student experience with limited resources. This project was more than the sum of its parts, thanks to colleagues such as Tim Burles and Jay Woodhouse working jointly to pool resources between ISD and the funding granted by the CESB to Library Services. The delivery of over 500 new study spaces in advance of the New Student Centre opening in early 2019 has been a major boost to current students’ experience, and has placed UCL in a much better position to deliver the “outstanding student experience” set out in UCL 2034.

More information, including the breakdown of other sites where the 500 PCs were rolled out is available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/news/2017/oct/15-increase-ucl-study-space-2016-17


The Provost presented the award to Grazia as representative of the project (pictured above). Following the event, Paul Ayris passed on his congratulations to all concerned. David Price, Vice-Provost (Research) also congratulated the project team on this great news.

The awards ceremony was followed by a Panel Q&A session where the Provost, Rex Knight, Helen Fisher (Faculty Manager at The Bartlett, currently on secondment in the UCL East Team), Collette Lux (Director of Communication & Marketing) and Fiona Ryland (Director of HR) took questions from staff. The questions covered gender equality among senior UCL staff, the costs and impact of the TOPS programme, mentoring for UCL staff and tips from the panelists on how to carve a successful career in Higher Education professional services. On the latter, the Provost’s advice was “pick up the phone, rather than email” and Helen Fisher recommended taking ownership of one’s own career, and Rex Knight suggested defining what success means to you and setting goals to achieve that, in an echo to the keynote from Maggie Alphonsi.


Hopefully participants who attended enjoyed the half-day conference, and I know that Library Services colleagues will continue participate in the Professional Services Conference and continue to be recognized for the excellent work which Library staff do day-in, day-out.

What UCL is doing to mitigate Brexit

Benjamin Meunier9 May 2018

UCL’s Senior Management Team discussed today how UCL is taking action to mitigate Brexit. There are four key areas:

1. UCL is committed to supporting our EU and overseas staff. UCL has the largest number of non-UK EU academic staff of any university in the UK (2,020 out of 7,415) and the highest number of non-UK EU domiciled students (4,470 out of 37,900 in 2016-17). The Provost has made a number of statements emphasizing that UCL values the contribution of EU staff, as part of a diverse and talented workforce drawn from the UK and the rest of the world (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-and-europe/ucl-statements).

2. UCL is working with EU programmes available to apply for until the end of 2020. The UK government and the EU have now confirmed that UK researchers can apply for Horizon 2020 funding until the end of 2020, extending across the full range of grants from early career researchers to European Research Council (ERC) consolidator awards. UK universities should be allowed in principle to participate in the Erasmus scheme until 2020.

3. UCL is shaping the Brexit debate. UCL has campaigned for a Brexit deal that will protect staff, students and UK research. Our academics, particularly in UCL’s internationally renowned Institute of Education and UCL Public Policy, are informing the policy debate. The Centre for Global Higher Education is currently undertaking a major research project on the impact of Brexit on universities.

4. UCL and EU members – beyond Brexit. UCL is continuing to develop and invest in new partnerships with key European institutions (bilateral relations) and those around the globe, expanding the message of UCL as London’s Global University. Applications for UCL undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses from EU students remain buoyant (up 15% for undergraduate courses).

More detailed information on what UCL is doing to mitigate Brexit is provided in the leaflet available here: UCL Brexit Mitigation Actions

You can find support and information at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-and-europe/. Alternatively, if you have any concerns about Brexit in relation to Library Services, feel free to ask your line manager or the Library senior management team.

Lockers for students – now available at the Cruciform Hub

Benjamin Meunier8 May 2018

We are pleased to announce that today, Tuesday 08/05, a new service has been launched in the Cruciform Hub. UCL lockers for students are now available at the touch of a UCL ID card, for short loan (1 day or over the weekend). The project has been a joint development by Library Services and ISD, working with Estates and approved suppliers iLockerz. The Cruciform Hub will act as a pilot site with 44 lockers. If successful, additional banks of lockers will be rolled out to replace existing lockers and potentially added where there is demand from Site Librarians and library users.

Ben Meunier (Director of Operations) said: “This is a service which UCL students have been requesting for some time, via surveys and ad hoc requests. We have a small number of banks of key-controlled lockers at some sites, however it has been challenging to manage. This new system is easy to use for students and it ensures that we can easily monitor whether lockers are being emptied as necessary.

I am very grateful to the project team in ISD and Library Services who have helped to bring this project to fruition, particularly Maria Fernandez as Project Manager and the Library team at the Cruciform Hub, who have worked hard to ensure that the system can work for our users.”

Details on the service can be found at the dedicated webpage: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/lockers. The pilot is restricted to UCL students but the service may be extended to other groups of library users in future, subject to demand.


Ben Meunier (Project Sponsor), Anna Di Iorio (Librarian, UCL Cruciform Hub and Site Libraries Manager) and Peter Dennison (Business Service Owner)