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LCCOS staff news


News for colleagues within the LCCOS department.


Reminder: Logging into Alma

By Tom Beauchamp, on 4 January 2023

ISD has advised that the Shibboleth authentication route to log into Alma will no longer be available from Thursday 5 January 2023, as it has been replaced by Microsoft Azure AD, as used when logging into Explore or accessing your UCL email account (see blog post Change to Logging Into Alma, 15 August 2022). This means that you will need to update any old Alma bookmarks to the new short URL.

Change to Logging Into Alma

By Tom Beauchamp, on 15 August 2022

As part of ISD’s strategy to switch many of UCL’s services to Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity management tool, how you sign into Alma is changing. If you use the short URL we have provided, e.g. via a bookmark, it will change automatically tomorrow morning (Tuesday 16 August 2022). Instead of entering your username and password into the current Shibboleth login screen, you will instead see one similar to when you log into your UCL email account, Explore, and other UCL IT services. If you have recently logged into another service using Azure, you may be logged automatically into Alma.

If you have not bookmarked the short URL, you will need to take action between now and Monday 3 October 2022. Please see the Alma page on LibNet for details.

If you have any questions regarding this change or encounter any problems, please use the Digital Services online form.

Teams Calling and telephony update

By Margaret Stone, on 11 May 2022

Library Services as a whole moved to telephone calls via Microsoft Teams Calling in October 2021.  Since then, most staff telephone handsets have only been available for outgoing internal calls, and these will eventually be removed.

We have been working with ISD to identify those handsets which need to be replaced with Teams handsets, and also identify which numbers (currently associated with handsets) need to be set up as ‘Call queues’ in Microsoft Teams.  This is being done on a site-by-site basis, ensuring that sufficient handsets are provided for emergency purposes.

As each site is scheduled, the ISD project team will work with the site manager to agree the replacement plan and the queues which need to be set up.

Any staff who need a headset for on-campus work should make a request to Library IT Support.

If you have any other queries as the process continues, please route these via site managers to Margaret Stone.

Learn about new digital tools available to UCL Staff

By simon.bralee.15, on 4 February 2021

ISD are hosting some Q&A sessions this week to provide support for staff at UCL in using new digital tools as part of their DigiInspire program.

Get the joining instructions for all these events at the DigiInspire Events and Webinars page.

DigiInspire is open to all staff at UCL. It’s full of great resources to help you make the most of new digital tools.  Check out their quick welcome video to learn more.

DigiInspire logo

DigiInspire: Learn, Innovate, Be inspired

Alma update and Digital Services support

By Margaret Stone, on 15 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.

Desktop IT support for Library Services staff

By Margaret Stone, on 24 May 2019

Image of all in one EAPThe support arrangements for library staff desktop IT equipment have changed slightly, as outlined in the Core Brief for May.  Please note that this is in addition to (and complementary to) recent changes in support for Alma and other digital library services.

In summary, the first points of contact are as follows:

  • for support for Desktop@UCL hardware and software, contact servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk as this forms part of their standard service
  • for support for non-Desktop@UCL hardware and software, contact Library IT support (the usual address, listed on LibNet)
  • for ordering, disposal, liaison and escalation with ISD, again contact Library IT support.

This information will be kept up to date on our IT for Staff pages on LibNet.

UPDATE: Aleph outages Jul/Aug

By Margaret Stone, on 5 June 2017

Further to the recent post on Aleph outages this summer, it has been necessary to change one of the dates.

Aleph will not be available at the following times:

  • Monday 31 July 0900 – Thursday 3 Aug 0900, although the work may finish earlier.
  • Monday 14 August 0900 – 1300 and at risk for the rest of that day.

Please see the earlier post for implications of the outages, but note that Aleph will be available on Monday 24 July after all.

Sorry for the inconvenience this will cause, as part of the UCL-wide datacentre migration project.  As ever, do bring any queries or concerns to the Digital Libraries Team, through section heads.

Aleph outages Jul/Aug 2017

By Margaret Stone, on 26 May 2017

As part of the ISD datacentre migration project, the live Aleph server will be migrated on Monday 31 July.  This means that Aleph will be unavailable for two periods:

  • Monday 24 July 0900-1300 for preparatory stages
  • Monday 31 July 0900 – Thursday 3 Aug 0900, although the work may finish earlier.

We have allowed a large window for the migration in order to complete standard checks and ensure thorough testing of all migrated functionality, allowing for any anomalies to be addressed.  The Digital Libraries Team has appreciated the work of colleagues on testing the server migrations so far, including the Aleph test server, as this work has contributed to a better understanding within the ISD project team and Ex Libris of the unique challenges of migrating these services into the new datacentre environment.

During the Aleph outage, services will be affected in the following ways.

  • Offline circulation within the Aleph client will still be available for loans and returns, but no other Aleph staff functionality
  • Self-service loans and returns will not be available.
  • Reading list pages will not display availability of items.
  • Explore will not display up to date availability information. Holdings and locations information will be available in the Details tab rather than the Locations tab.  Users will not be able to sign into Explore to access their account, place requests, book rooms or renew their items online.


  • Access to e-resources (ejournals/ebooks/databases/digital collections) will be retained.

If you have any queries about working around the outage periods, do raise them with the Digital Libraries Team via section heads, as this will help to co-ordinate any related work.  Public information will be made available nearer the time.

Changes to ISD ‘MyAccount’ password services

By Margaret Stone, on 28 September 2016

Desktop@UCL screenshot 1Over the next few weeks, substantial changes will be made to the arrangements for resetting forgotten or expired passwords for UCL computing accounts.

Firstly, the option to reset a password by obtaining a token from a departmental computer rep will be removed.  Instead, you will need to register your mobile phone number with the MyAccount service, so that it can be used for issuing a code directly to your phone in the event that you forget your password or it expires.  This has the benefit that forgotten/expired passwords can be reset at any time, even during UCL closure periods.  Regular password changing is unaffected.

I will notify you when the new service becomes available, and at that point you should register your number.  If you need to reset a forgotten/expired password in future and have not registered a phone number, you will need to visit the ISD Service Desk in person.

Secondly, you will be able to set a longer password (up to 30 characters) and the stronger your password, the longer you can keep it for.

Role accounts are included in these changes.  Owners can register a phone number against these in the same way.

For full information, see the MyAccount FAQs.

New printers for Library Services staff

By Margaret Stone, on 15 July 2016


New printers for staff are being installed across the Library sites starting today,
Monday 18 July
.  This is the staff arm of the print@UCL service which has been available to students for some time.  We will be adopting two main types of device: some multi-function devices (MFD) which provide printing, scanning and copying; and some new laser printers, for bespoke printing such as from Aleph at issue desks.

The new service is described by ISD as ‘a sustainable and highly available print service that allows UCL’s staff and students to print, copy, scan and fax quickly and easily‘ and aims ‘to improve quality of services through standardisation on newer, more efficient and secure technology, and contribute to a greener and more eco-friendly environment‘.

The timetable for installation is below.  Each site has nominated two or more ‘print reps’ who will be the liaison contacts for any technical issues and for managing printer toner.  The installation will be done by Xerox, ISD’s contractor, working with the Library IT support team.  Print reps will be kept informed of timings and arrangements.  In some cases, sites have opted not to receive new printers as they already use print@UCL via student MFDs.

What does this mean for me?

  • Xerox staff will provide ‘floor-walking’ assistance on the delivery day, to help you connect to the new printers.
  • Non-MFDs will be set up in a very similar fashion to current laser printers.
  • If your printer is being replaced by an MFD, you will first need to note its location, which may be different from your existing printer.  We have taken into account the forthcoming office moves.  There are slightly fewer devices in the new service, but if you print to the print@UCL queue you can retrieve your printing from any print@UCL device (staff or student) and the process is secure as the print is only released when you swipe your UCL ID card.
  • If you will be using an MFD, you need to ensure your UCL ID card is registered with the service by tapping it on the card reader of any MFD and following the instructions on the screen.  If you have previously done this on a student MFD, you will not need to register again.  More information is available on registering your card.
  • If you are using a managed UCL computer or desktop, you simply need to select the print-UCL queue when you print your document.  You can then retrieve your printing from any MFD, staff or student.
  • If you are using a non-managed computer, follow the instructions on setting up the print queue.

Other features of print@UCL

Reporting problems with print@UCL

Please report any problems when using the service to the ISD service desk, x25000, servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk
They will involve local print and paper reps as necessary.

Timetable for installation

Monday 18 July – Science
Tuesday 19 July – Main
Tuesday 19 July – Cruciform
Wednesday 20 July – Special Collections Reading Room
Thursday 28 July – IOE
Tuesday 2 August – Wickford
Tuesday 2 August – Ear Institute
Tuesday 2 August – LaSS
Tuesday 2 August – SSEES
Tuesday 2 August – Bartlett
Wednesday 3 August – Orthopaedics
Wednesday 3 August – Royal Free