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Flexitime Focus Groups: Call for Participants

Bethan Smith7 July 2021

As we approach the next academic year, and implement new ways and patterns of working, we would like to take the opportunity to examine our current systems for managing flexible working patterns across Library Services.

The current flexitime system has been in suspension since March 2020. Running a local system brings with it limitations and overheads; as we implement new modes of working in the upcoming academic year, it is worth taking the time to examine how we might administer the benefit of flexible working within Library Services going forward, and consider whether we need to reinstate the current MyFlexi system.

With this in mind, Martin Moyle and June Hedges would like to meet colleagues to hear their views on how we might manage flexible working patterns in the near future.

We have arranged five focus groups, which will take place over the next three weeks.

Please note that there is no question of withdrawing the benefit of flexible working patterns from Library Services – conversations in these groups will instead focus on considering the way we administer these:

Friday 9th July, 11:30 – 12:30

Tuesday 13th July 11:00 – 12:00

Thursday 15th July 15:00 – 16:00

Tuesday 27th July 11:00 – 12:00

Thursday 29th July 10:00 – 11:00

Focus groups will take place virtually on MS Teams. Participants will be sent a Teams link prior to the start of the session.

To ensure a constructive conversation, we are aiming for up to 10 colleagues to act as participants per focus group. We aim to ensure an even spread of participants across teams, grades, and work patterns at each meeting to ensure a representative discussion is held.

If you are interested in attending one of the focus groups, please email bethan.smith@ucl.ac.uk with your first and second preference for your slot.

UCL Library Services Staff Summer School – initial programme and some bookings now open

Angela Young26 May 2021

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.

This year the entire programme will be delivered online throughout June and July, with a mixture of self-directed online learning and live sessions. Here is a taster of what’s on offer, with more sessions to be announced soon:

  • Introduction to digital accessibility (Wednesday 9 June – Wednesday 21 July, self-directed online learning).
  • Creating videos: an introduction (Thursday 10th June, 10.00-12.00)
  • Blended learning by design (Monday 28th June, 10:00-11:00)
  • LibAnswers and LibChat: Developing our online enquiry service (Tuesday 13 July, 11:00-12:00)
  • eXperience eXchange and Feeback from FestivIL (Tuesday 20th July, 10:00-12:00)

Full details are available:

Sessions are open to all UCL Library Services staff, with the permission of your line manager.

Angela Young, Head of Library Skills

Nominate an exceptional colleague or team for a UCL Education Award

Angela Young11 February 2021

Do you know a colleague or team within Library Services that makes an outstanding contribution to the learning experience and success of our students? Then take a moment to nominate them for this year’s UCL Education Awards.

The UCL Education Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of staff and their contributions to our learning community, with a focus on the work of colleagues that is less visible to students, so work that has enabled excellent practice or facilitated innovation in teaching and learning. Nominations will be judged on evidence of impact and examples demonstrating excellence in various categories, including:

  • Academic support, with a focus on personal tutoring and/or research supervision
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Education success for all
  • Eliminating awarding gaps
  • Outstanding response to teaching and/or support during a pandemic
  • Staff-student partnership

How do nominations work?

Nominations are made within a department and then each UCL department may submit one individual and one team nomination for each category from the nominations they have received.

We are now inviting nominations from across Library Services, from which the Library Skills Steering Group will select the final nominations for Library Services.

To nominate a colleague or team, please download and complete the appropriate form (Word document) for an individual or team in Step 1 on the UCL Education Awards webpage and send by email to Angela Young. Please do NOT complete the ‘Step two’ forms on that page as these are for the final nominations from each department. The deadline for submission of nominations to Library Services is Wednesday 31st March to allow time for the Library Skills Steering Group to decide on final nominations and submit by 12th April.

Why nominate a colleague or team?

This is your chance to ensure your colleague or a library team gets the acknowledgement they deserve, so they can be rewarded and celebrate in their achievements whilst highlighting to the wider UCL community the impact that library staff have on the experience and success of our students.

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

Rozz Evans2 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

Rozz Evans8 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.