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New support for library staff working towards HEA fellowship awards

Angela Young17 June 2020

HEA Fellowship awards provide a great opportunity for anyone who wants to demonstrate their commitment to professionalism in supporting learning and teaching in higher education. The UCL Arena Open programme, which is free to UCL staff, provides a route to Higher Education Academy (HEA) / AdvanceHE fellowship and is open to all staff at UCL who teach or support students’ learning, regardless of role or job title, so it’s relevant to all sorts of roles within Library Services. In addition to gaining you post-nominals, the process of applying means you reflect on your teaching and learning support work and develop your skills, identify areas for your future development and enhance your support of students so contributing to the user experience.

UCL Arena are launching a brand new course that is being delivered online this summer, specifically to support Professional Services staff, including Library Services staff. This is a great opportunity for anyone thinking of applying for Associate Fellowship or Fellowship. Details of the course are below.

Contributed by Angela Young.

Professional Services Staff – Pathway to Arena Fellowships

Course description:

Professional Services (PS) Staff make an important contribution to UCL’s mission, by providing training and support for learning. This course is a development pathway for PS Staff, leading (ideally) to the submission of an application for fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

The course will enable you to think creatively about supporting teaching, learning, and assessment in your role. It will guide you in developing a fellowship application in a structured way over four synchronous, interactive sessions and through a variety of tasks. You will also have the opportunity to meet colleagues from different parts of UCL and to discuss how your experience maps to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify ways in which your role and work experience supports high quality student learning and student outcomes
  • reflect on your professional practice and consider the ways it impacts on the learning of others
  • recognise the importance and value of your work and how it contributes to UCL’s operations and strategy
  • understand what a good UCL Arena fellowship application looks like
  • demonstrate how your experience and knowledge meet the relevant criteria of the UKPSF for the appropriate fellowship category

Dates/times of sessions:

  • Session 1: Thursday, 9 July 2020 (14.00 – 15.30)
  • Session 2: Tuesday, 21 July 2020 (14.00 – 15.30)
  • Session 3: Thursday, 6 August 2020 (10.00 – 11.30)
  • Session 4: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 (14.00 – 15.30) OR Wednesday, 16 September (11.00 – 12.30)

Who should apply:

This course is ideal for PS staff who have worked in higher education for at least two years and provide teaching and student support. It is most suitable for (but not restricted to) PS staff who work in programme/teaching administration, digital education, library services, teaching laboratories, and student wellbeing.

How to register:

Please complete this form by 5pm on Monday, 29 June, if you are interested in participating in this course:

We can only accept a maximum of 20 people for this course and will be confirming places on a “first come, first serve basis”. We will confirm your place on the course by 6 July 2020.

Please be aware that there will be a little bit of preparation to do before the first session and ‘homework’ to do between each session. We’ll be targeting Associate Fellow applications, but with scope for Fellow application development if participants have the appropriate experience.

UCL Library Services Summer School 2020 – bookings now open!

Angela Young18 May 2020

The UCL Library Services Staff Summer School is a series of training and development sessions, events and online activities aimed at library staff from across UCL Library Services, to support them in answering enquiries and in providing support, training and advocacy to library users and stakeholders.

For the first time this year, the entire programme will be delivered online, with a mixture of self-paced online learning and real-time, ‘live’ sessions.

The programme this year has a variety of sessions, running throughout June and July:

Self-directed online training:

  • Introduction to Open Science (1 June – 10 July, self-directed online training). An introduction to this key area of our library strategy. Each week a new real-world problem will be addressed.

Real-time, ‘live’ online training sessions:

  • Accessible Word and PowerPoint templates training (2 June, 10.30-11.30): Learn how to use Library Services templates developed to help you meet new accessibility regulations.
  • Health librarianship in a pandemic (10 June, 11.00-12.30): Discover what it’s like being a health librarian during the current COVID-19 crisis, with contributions from library staff at Public Health England and colleagues from our libraries which support NHS Trusts.
  • Launch of the Systematic Reviews and Advanced Literature Searching Network (23 June, 11.00-12.00). Are you involved in any aspect of supporting systematic reviews or advanced database searching? Or would you like to develop your professional skills in this area? Join this session to help shape how we support each other.
  • Social Media for Professional Development (29 June, 14.00-15.00). Find out more about social media tools and how they can be used for professional development.
  • Liaison Librarians Panel Session (30 June, 10.00-11.30). Gain an insight into what it is like to be a liaison librarian.
  • Live online training experience (7 July, 10.00-11.30): A chance for participants to take control and experience delivering live online training using Blackboard Collaborate.

Full details of the programme, including how to book, are available on the Library Services Summer School Moodle Course. If you do not already have access, please email libraryskills@ucl.ac.uk for an enrolment key. Sessions are open to all UCL Library Services staff, with the permission of your line manager.

Angela Young, Head of Library Skills

eXperience eXchange 2020 – bookings now open

Angela Young21 April 2020

Join experience exchange logoour first ever online eXperience eXchange on Wednesday 20 May 2020, 10.00-11.30am.

eXperience eXchange – what happens?

Library staff come together to share ideas and good practice about library skills training and liaison activities through short presentations or other activities. For the first time this year the eXperience eXchange will be taking place completely online, with no limit to the number of library staff who may attend.

How will it work?

As usual we invite colleagues from across Library Services to give short presentations (5-7 mins) to exchange their experiences, ideas or feedback from events relating to library skills training and liaison activities. The event will be delivered using Blackboard Collaborate. If you have not presented using Blackboard Collaborate before, this is the perfect opportunity to try it out with peers as your friendly and supportive audience.

If you’d rather not present, you can attend as an attendee only.

Is there a theme?

This year we invite contributions relating to any aspect of library skills training and liaison activities, but we particularly welcome contributions relating to the online or remote delivery of these services. Ideas for presentations include:

  • Something new you have tried to implement, or that you would like to try out in an online environment.
  • A report back from a training event or conference you have attended.
  • A review of an interesting article you have read.
  • How you have been working to develop your own teaching or liaison skills.
  • Using new technologies in training or liaison.

How do I join the event?

Full joining instructions will be provided. You will need:

  • A computer / mobile device with Internet access and sound (speakers or headphones).
  • If presenting you will also need a microphone (internal laptop / mobile device microphone or headset microphones are sufficient).

How do I sign up?

Simply complete the registration form and we will send you full joining instructions.

Early Career Professionals in academic libraries – SCONUL survey

Benjamin Meunier8 October 2019

Message from Ann Rossiter, Executive Director, SCONUL

SCONUL is undertaking research into the “pipeline for new talent”.  We want to collect evidence about the experience of Early Career Professionals working in SCONUL member libraries (at any level), in order to help us recruit the best people and support them in fulfilling their potential.  We are also interested in the perspectives of line managers and Heads of Service regarding the experience and potential of new library professionals.

Our research will give us a better understanding of:

  • the numbers involved and the types of role occupied by new professionals in SCONUL libraries;
  • the transition from Library and Information School (or equivalent) to professional practice;
  • what SCONUL libraries gain from employing new professionals; and
  • how managers can best support the professional development of their new recruits.

The project is part of SCONUL’s strategic priority to develop tools and materials to support members in workforce planning, and Evidence Base are undertaking this research on SCONUL’s behalf.

We would like to invite any new professionals, line managers and Heads of Service to contribute to this research by completing our survey, the link to which is below: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SCONUL2019

We would be extremely grateful if you could you answer the survey and distribute the link to this survey to your professional networks so that it reaches as many people who fits the criteria for our research and might be interested in providing a response.

For the purposes of this research, “new professionals” means people:

  • with a CILIP-accredited (or equivalent) library qualification awarded in 2014 or later; and
  • either working in, or having within the past 5 years worked in, the library (in the widest sense) of a SCONUL member.

A list of CILIP-accredited programmes is available at: https://www.cilip.org.uk/general/custom.asp?page=Qualifications; a list of SCONUL member libraries is available at: https://www.sconul.ac.uk/members-and-representatives.

Please note that our definition includes leavers (ie anyone qualified as above but who has left a SCONUL library post within the past 5 years).

The survey is open until 25th October 2019 and there is an opportunity to provide contact details if you are interested in assisting further with the research project by taking part in a follow-up interview.

Every care will be taken to maintain confidentiality and anonymity; all information received will be stored securely.

Thank you for your help in supporting this project.

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SCONUL2019

SMT Surgery 2

utnvrev2 September 2019

The second SMT Surgery will be taking place on Wednesday 11th September.  SMT members Rozz Evans (Head of Collection Strategy) and Karen Jeger (Head of Collection Services) will be available between 2.00 and 3.30 in Rooms 102 and 103 in the Roberts Building.

Please email lib-smt@ucl.ac.uk to book a particular time-slot.  Alternatively you can just turn up on the day (although you may have to wait a short while if SMT members are already speaking with colleagues). We can also arrange Skype but please let us know in advance so we can ensure we have the necessary set-up to.  You can come on your own or as part of a small group, and can specify that you would like to see a particular member of SMT (from those available) if you prefer.  In the first surgery, a colleague attended bringing a number of questions and issues on behalf of their team which was a very useful and productive conversation so that might be something worth considering.

This is a pilot and will be running until December, so if you are unable to attend on the 11th September, future agreed dates are:

4th  November (11.00 – 1.00 pm)

10th  December (5.00 – 7.00 pm)

We welcome feedback throughout the process from those who attend and those who don’t!  During the pilot, the surgeries are being run by a small group of SMT (myself, Karen Jeger, Peter Dennison, Andy Pow and June Hedges).  If it proves to be something that is useful and becomes an ongoing thing, on the full SMT will take turns to run the surgeries. In the meantime, if there are particular SMT members you would like to meet with, please let us know.  Notes from previous SMT meetings are available on LibNet too.

SMT Surgery dates

utnvrev8 August 2019

Further to my previous blog post from July (and June Hedges’ lightning talk at the Library Staff Conference) we are delighted to announce that the first SMT Surgery will be taking place on Friday 16th August.  SMT members Rozz Evans (Head of Collection Strategy), Karen Jeger (Head of Collection Services) and Peter Dennison (Head of Customer Service) will be available between 10.00 and 12.00 in Room 770 at the Institute of Education.

Colleagues are able to book a slot by emailing lib-smt@ucl.ac.uk or are welcome to drop-in on the day (although you may have to wait a short while if SMT members are already speaking with colleagues).  You can come on you own or as part of a small group, and can specify that you would like to see a particular member of SMT  (from those available) if you prefer.

Apologies that this is rather short notice, but don’t worry if you can’t attend this one.  The pilot will be running until December and the following future dates have now been agreed:

11th September (2.00 – 4.00 pm)

4th  November (11.00 – 1.00 pm)

10th  December (5.00 – 7.00 pm)

These sessions will be advertised a minimum of two weeks in advance of the date via the LibNet blog and will include the location and names of SMT who will be present.

As this is a pilot, we are planning to refine the process as we go along so we will be seeking feedback from colleagues.

We look forward to seeing some of you soon!

The Three Muskebeers win the LSG quiz

Gillian Mackenzie30 May 2019

A few weeks ago, the Library Social Group (LSG) hosted a pub quiz at the College Arms on Store Street, after a slightly extended (ahem, two-year-long) hiatus.

Five teams pitted their wits against each other, having their knowledge of cover versions, pop culture and close-up library objects tested to the limit. Quiz co-hosts Phil Leonard and Gillian Mackenzie guided teams through six rounds, who were competing for the £30+ cash prize, plus for the coveted LSG Quiz trophy!

The winning quiz team, The Three Muskebeers

All of the teams taking part performed respectably (a word used repeatedly on the night), but the ultimate champions were The Three Muskebeers (although, there were four of them in the team).

We got some really positive comments about the evening (not least that the quiz itself was a “well-oiled machine”), which we hope will encourage more quizzers and teams to join us next time:

“The Library Pub Quiz was the perfect opportunity to meet colleagues I don’t already know or hardly ever get to see, and then alternately suffer the embarrassment of my own ignorance or boast over my superior pop culture knowledge. In other words, a really great night!”

Thanks to all who came along, and see you again soon for another round.

 

 

 

Professional Services Conference – invitation to register and enter your team for a Professional Services Award

Benjamin Meunier4 May 2018

As announced in TheWeek@UCL, this year’s Professional Services Conference will be held on Tuesday 5 June at Logan Hall, UCL Institute of Education. The theme of the conference is ‘Working in Partnership’ and the organisers have planned an exciting, interactive programme. Registration is open so book your place now. Library Services staff are eligible to register, subject to line manager approval. Although we are part of the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research), you can register with a “Library Services” ticket (in the list): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ucl-professional-services-conference-2018-tickets-45721610568

Professional Services Awards

Nominations for the Professional Services Awards opens today (Friday 4 May) and closes at midday on Friday 18 May. ‘Working in partnership’ happens across all areas of Library Services, so please consider putting forwards your team(s) or initiatives which you have been involved in. Library Services has been successful in previous conferences, with awards granted to the Main and Science Library Daytime and Evening/Weekend teams in 2016 (https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/2016/02/04/library-services-teams-win-excellent-service-award/) and UCL Press in 2017 (https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/2017/02/16/ucl-press-wins-ucl-brand-ambassador-award/).

The Professional Services Conference is a real opportunity to showcase the work of Library Services in partnership with academic colleagues and other professional services teams, and how we contribute to making UCL one of the world’s best universities for study, research and sharing knowledge.

The categories for awards this year are:

  • Working in Partnership
  • Sharing good practice
  • Process review/system improvement
  • Improving efficiency
  • Improving service user satisfaction 

If you are interested in nominating your team for one of these awards, please email professionalservices@ucl.ac.uk and they will send you a nomination form and guidance notes. Details and templates for nominations will be available from the Professional Services webpage shortly, and nominations open from today until the deadline for submissions on Friday 18th May at 12 pm: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/professional-services/prof-services-awards

Library Craft Club Relaunched

Andrew Watson1 May 2018

Icelandic jumperAfter a temporary hiatus, the Library Craft Club which ran from 2007-2015 has been relaunched!  Meeting on a monthly basis this time, sessions will alternate between the first Tuesday and Thursday of each month so that those on part-time schedules have a chance to join in.

We meet in Room 417 in the Science Library between 12.30 and 1.30 pm. You don’t need to be competent at any craft. Simply drop in (with your lunch if you wish) any time during that hour to see what’s going on, catch up with your colleagues and allow yourself to be inspired.  There’s a box of materials you can dip into to get yourself started.

Knitting has always tended to take precedence, but over the years enthusiasts have brought along crochet, tapestry, origami, beading and even spinning (we have a drop spindle and fleece in the Craft Club box for those who fancy having a go).

So why not drop in? Email me if you’d like to be added to the mailing list. I can also add you to sessions on Outlook so they will appear in your calendar.  Forthcoming sessions:

  • Thursday 3rd May (introduction to crochet)Knitted leaf
  • Tuesday 5th June
  • Thursday 5th July
  • Tuesday 7th August
  • Thursday 6th September
  • Tuesday 2nd October
  • Thurdsay 1st November
  • Tuesday 4th December

Andrew Watson
a.m.watson@ucl.ac.uk

Photos: Icelandic jumper – Harriet Lilley
Knitted leaf – Andrew Watson

CSGUK: Inspired ideas from the sharp end: a knowledge sharing event – Morning presentations

Sharon A James10 April 2018

Part One: Sharon’s feedback on the morning

On Thursday 22 February I attended a Customer Services Group UK (CSGUK) knowledge sharing event aimed at front-line staff with another UCL Language & Speech Science Library Assistant, Jon Siah. At this event we had the opportunity to hear from other Library Assistants about the projects they had created and implemented. Before they provided us with lunch there was also a guided tour of the University of Bedfordshire’s spacious new library at its Luton campus but the day started at 10am in a relaxed way with drinks, pastries and a chance to chat to the other participants, some of whom had come from as far as Cornwall and Swansea.

Luton campus library’s cloud foyer

The first presentation was ‘Managing Student Demands and Delivering Student Demands in a Converged Service’ by Louise Bailey from the University of the Creative Arts who talked about how the Library and Student Services (which includes academic support, finance and careers advice) are converged. This Gateway service comprises a mixture of Desk staff who provide students with a variety of academic and personal information and advice. For example, they are able to book a tutorial in person, by phone or by email with two Learning Development Tutors from the Library who are embedded in students’ courses and available to help in areas such as reading, writing, language development, assignments and lesson plans.

However, at busy times such as the weeks before dissertation deadlines, it was found that these tutors were fully booked but some students did not show up and others missed a chance to receive assistance. Because of this, Library Assistants developed a live Google spreadsheet that updates instantly from a waiting list of students if there are any no-shows. Staff on the Gateway Desk manage student expectations and explain the need to be flexible and students on the waiting list provide their deadline date and agree to be on campus during the relevant week so that they are on hand to attend a session. It was found that students greatly valued this collaborative arrangement as they felt involved, more assisted by staff and the system, and that they were taking responsibility for their own learning.

Playing library Snakes & Ladders

The second presentation was ‘Innovative Ways of Promoting the Library to New University Staff: Making Library Services Memorable’ (Monika Koziel and Martina Xenia Baldi, City, University of London). The presenters explained that at City there is a procedure in place to introduce all new staff, including admin and academics, to the university. This Welcome to City event includes a World Café at which eight university departments give regular 10-minute introductory presentations. Last year, one of these presentations was a Snakes and Ladders game created by Library Assistant Monica that also included a booklet with further information about the questions on the board and provided links to library resources. Because City has design standards, certain rules were followed such as using the Library colours and changing the font so that it was more readable. Copyright issues meant that Monica created all the images herself. This game was very popular with participants who enjoyed it so much they returned in their lunchbreak to play it again. Monica is currently adapting the game for another university who want to use it and, after conducting a feedback group with colleagues, it is also being considered for use in student inductions. Overall, it was found to be a less tiring way for staff to facilitate inductions and a more fun and interesting method for users to learn about the library.

The I’m Taking a Break card with space for students to fill out the time they left

The last presentation of the morning was ‘#thatsbetter – The I’m Taking a Break Card Story’ led by John Mason and Tim Spring who explained that, because Birkbeck University runs most of its courses in the evening, the library is always busy from 4pm onwards. In the past, various schemes have been tried during exam time to stop students reserving spaces by leaving their possessions at unused desks for long periods but these were not always successful. In this recent project, as well as having staff roving the library, an I’m Taking a Break card was created saying that the student would be away for up to 30 minutes and with a space for them to write down what time they left.

The back of the card has tips for students

Due to the popularity of the project and student demand, several batches of this card needed to be printed because users coming into the library quickly got into the habit of picking them up from the entrance desk. As a result, the I’m Taking a Break card is now being considered for the next round of exams because the project produced better seat availability, fewer complaints to staff and positive feedback from students who felt more involved in monitoring themselves, others and the library space.

Each floor has a Library Info Point

Before lunch we set off on a guided library tour, starting from the Cloud training room on the sixth floor all the way down to the electronic stacks in the basement. We were all impressed with the amount of room, the great facilities the users have access to and the variety of spaces and study areas. Above all, the day was inspiring because seeing the projects these Library Assistants had devised demonstrated the hard work, skills and talent front-line staff bring to the running of university libraries. My colleague Jon continues this blog by reporting on the afternoon presentations and library tour so keep reading for more interesting info.

Part Two: Jon Siah’s feedback on the afternoon

Sharon and I were led on a tour of the impressive new library building, spiralling down through the concrete cavern until we were in the basement trying our hands at operating the electronic rolling stacks. If getting them to work was an intelligence test at which we failed miserably, then once we had finally figured out the controls, testing whether or not there was a safety mechanism by standing in between them as they slowly closed in was a test of bravery in which we redeemed ourselves. Although that said, acting out the garbage disposal scene from Star Wars, was perhaps not the best display of intelligence either. Importantly, no one was hurt, since as predicted, there is an ankle level buffer that detects humanoid forms. So we continued on the grand tour, making our way back up through each light and airy level and beginning to feel a little sleepy after the morning’s exertions. Fortunately, a state of the art place like this has a solution, which we found in the shape of the grand union between the dentist chair and a giant motorcycle helmet (see pic below).

Jon in the Bed Zzzone

So, after a few minutes in the Bed Zzzone, visor down and ambient music 4 playing through the speakers, one felt rejuvenated and ready for the next task of the day – lunch. It was a generous spread, but alas, there is no photographic evidence of this, since it was devoured before we thought of capturing the selection of quiches for posterity.

Laura Harvey and mannequin

On to the afternoon sessions, beginning with a talk addressing the elephant in the room, the newly dressed mannequin (modesty restored over lunch in full matron style), as an example of the types of costumes that Bedfordshire University has in its Teaching Practice Collection. Laura Harvey’s insightful talk started with the history of the institution, which began its life as Bedford Physical Education College, founded in 1903 by Mary Stansfield (who was encouraged to teach whilst a school pupil in Bloomsbury, of all places…), enrolling 12 young women to study the remedial and educational values of gymnastic exercise. Laura then went on to describe the development of the institution up until its present day status as a centre for teacher training. This involves having a large lending collection of materials and resources that budding young pedagogues need for their lessons, including topic boxes, story sacks and historical and multicultural costumes. The latter of which the team at Bedford do a great service of mending themselves by hand, whilst the collection itself is even kept in a mock-up classroom!

The next presentation was by Marina Burroughs from the University of East London, who talked about gaining the Higher Education Accreditation for her work as a Library Assistant. Knowing that the job involves a large teaching and learning component, she thought like many of us, that the work we do deserves proper recognition. Therefore, it was great to hear her talk about how she and her colleagues worked towards and gained the accreditation, since this is something that many of us at UCL have been thinking about doing or have begun applying for.

Jon uploads onto the cloud 

Rees Arnott-Davies and Iraj Sheni Mansouri rounded off the day with a discussion of the recent change to a Full Service Model for Evenings and Weekends at Birkbeck. Their team had identified a number of issues for a while, including the tendency of students to approach Shelvers (with those wielding metal trolleys often being the most visible) to ask for assistance; only for them to be directed towards the Issue Desk, then perhaps redirected to the Help Desk, and that this pinball system was probably not the best customer service. Therefore, they decided to do away with Grade 2! Thus promoting all Shelvers to Library Assistants and others to Supervisors and ensuring that every member of the team is trained to do all aspects of the role and share each responsibility. It is certainly an interesting and bold move, and nicely encapsulates the spirit of the day – “Ideas from the sharp end.” Showing how innovation led by those who actually interact with library users on a daily basis is not just possible, but judging by the positive feedback they have received from students, also highly successful.

If you would like to read up more about any of these presentations, you can find all the slides on the CSGUK website: https://www.customerservicesgroup.co.uk/ideasfromthesharpend1 

University of Bedfordshire, Luton campus library: https://www.beds.ac.uk/works/projects/lutonlibrary