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LCCOS staff news



New menu for public library website

Robert Drinkall30 April 2019

You may have spotted recently that the public library website has a new left hand menu.

This is because ISD Digital Presence has redesigned the menu for its Drupal content management system. The library website uses Drupal, and so has adopted the new menu automatically.

The main difference between the old and new menus, and the reasons for the change, is explained here by Digital Presence:

The previous scheme of displaying parent pages, sibling pages (pages at the same level) and children pages (sub-pages) in one long list on the left menu created confusion and very poor usability. The menu view on mobile was especially problematic.

The new menu displays children pages at the top level with any related sub-pages underneath. On mobile, a breadcrumb trail now appears below the corporate masthead.

To see a visual illustration of how the new menu changes as you navigate through the opening hours pages (on a PC), please see the image below.

When the new menu was introduced, the Web Team had to make various adjustments to make it display correctly for our site. We think it’s configured in the right way now, but if you do spot anything around it which doesn’t look right, please let us know via lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Image showing new Drupal menu and sub menus for public library website

Example of new Drupal menu and sub menus on public library website



Why is the A-Z no longer available on the library website?

Robert Drinkall13 November 2018

Since the library website moved to Drupal last week, we’ve had some queries about why there’s no A-Z index any more.

To answer this question, we discussed the A-Z with ISD Digital Presence staff during the migration project, and they don’t consider using an A-Z to index the content of a site to be good practice because:

  • It’s limited (there is no space for teasers or explanation of link titles as with standard web content)
  • It’s not that intuitive especially for new users of the website – they need to first know the names of services/content areas in order to find them
  • It adds a layer of duplication to web content management processes and the duplication of navigation can cause confusing user journeys for website end-users
  • Not being intrinsically linked to the structure of the site means that broken links can be a common problem
  • It’s not something that Drupal could support at the moment and for the reasons outlined above we don’t have plans to do this

So, for these reasons, I’m afraid the A-Z is no longer available.

If there are particular pages you visit regularly, we recommend using browser bookmarks / favourites instead. Please do also feel free to highlight any areas of navigation you were using the A-Z for especially (via lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk), so we can take these into account during any future redesign process.



Update: goodbye Silva, hello Drupal – new CMS for the library website launching 7th November

Robert Drinkall2 November 2018

In early October, I published a blog post about the new Drupal version of the public library website going live the week of the 5th November. I can now confirm that the switch to Drupal will happen on Wednesday 7th November.

The new Drupal site has been created by running a script against the current website, which isn’t possible to do without some things not coming across quite right. Since the site was created, the Web Team has been working hard to check as many pages as possible before launch for errors, but because the library website is so large, you may find the occasional broken link or formatting issue we’ve missed, which needs correcting. If you do, please can you contact lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk with the details so we can see to the problem(s), for which thanks in advance.

In terms of training, we’re currently identifying some initial candidates for an ISD Drupal session, with the likelihood that further training will then be cascaded / taken in-house. This does mean that when the new site goes live next week, requests for content changes will initially need to be sent to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk, rather than content owners being able to edit their own material, until training has taken place.

Finally, thanks again for your patience with the extended content freeze.

Update: goodbye Silva, hello Drupal – new CMS for the library website

Robert Drinkall3 October 2018

At the end of July, we circulated a post about the library website moving from Silva to UCL’s new Content Management System, Drupal.

Unfortunately, for unforseen reasons, the launch of the new Drupal version of the site has had to be delayed, and is now scheduled for the week of 5th November 2018.

We apologise for this, and appreciate it means a much longer content freeze than orginally publicised. As per our previous post, the web team will be able to access Silva until the Drupal switchover, so any urgent updates can still be made, e.g. news items, opening hours, changes to service. Please send these to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Information about training on Drupal will follow.

Thanks again for your patience.

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health webpage changes URL

Grazia Manzotti14 August 2018

Dear Colleagues,

with the move to Drupal our  the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health webpage has changed URL, so if you are linking to us please update your links. This is our new page:


I have redesigned it and I am aware there are still problems with some linked PDFs as they disappeared with the move to drupal due to new ICH naming conventions and  problems few pages. I will sort them out as soon as possible, but I am also helping with the general ICH website and I have been asked to prioritise other pages first.

I just wanted to notify the URL change

Kind Regards






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.

Some web services unavailable, 08:00 Thursday 1st June

Chris Carrington30 May 2017

On Thursday 1st June ISD are performing maintenance on the UCL MySQL service, between 08:00 – 08:30.
MySQL is the online database that a number of our websites connect to.

During this period a number of services will not work:

Library public website

  • A-Z of the library web page
  • Current seating availability (this includes LCD screens that show current seat availability also)
  • Store request form

Where possible, alternative versions will be shown.


  • Staff directory

Internal library systems

  • Space availability admin: Colleagues will not be able to add headcounts to the system
  • Keys database: All functionality unavailable. E.g. no issuing/returning keys, searching for loan records.
  • Incident reporting database: All functionality unavailable. E.g. adding/deleting/amending an infringement, running reports, searching the database

Full details of the outage are on the ISD website.

If you have any questions please contact us at lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Explore: Citation Trail

uczcsvi18 July 2016

Later this week, we’ll be starting a month-long trial of some new functionality in Explore. The Citation Trail is intended to improve resource discovery for users by making it possible to look up an article’s citations/cited-by information without leaving Explore – probably a familiar process for anyone who has used Web of Science or Google Scholar.

How does it work?

On some article-level results, the two buttons highlighted below will appear:


Selecting the ‘Citations’ button will return a list of articles cited by the first article:


Selecting the ‘Cited by’ button will return a list of articles that cite the first article:


For a better idea of how it’ll look in action, see this short video from Ex Libris.

Things to note: 

  • The list of citations/citing articles may not be complete – this functionality is not intended to replace subject-specific, bibliographic databases and shouldn’t be relied upon for comprehensive literature searching. There will be a note about this at the top of the results screen, which we can re-word or emphasise as necessary
  • We may not have full-text access to all results returned by following the citation trail – please encourage users to check the full-text indicator highlighted in the screenshot above. For these results, clicking the ‘Services’ tab will redirect the user to an SFX page with links to ILL services and union catalogues
  • The citation buttons will only appear for some article-level, online content
  • The citation data itself comes from CrossRef – more information about how it is generated can be found here

We’ll be calling for feedback about this feature in mid-August, but if you have any thoughts/questions/suggestions before that or would like to pass along any user comments, please do so by emailing digital-library-support@ucl.ac.uk.

New web content management system coming Autumn 2016

Robert Drinkall21 April 2016

The Silva content management system (CMS) which underpins both our public website and our staff intranet is now at the end of its life. ISD has selected a new CMS and plans to start migrating departmental websites to it from Autumn 2016.

Additionally, as a stepping stone to moving the new CMS, ISD is recommending that departments first migrate their websites to the Indigo responsive design pattern library.

We’re currently talking to ISD about both Indigo and the new CMS and I’ll update you when I have further information.

Help with Silva – guides and FAQs for web page authors

Chris Carrington30 October 2015

The number of library colleagues that are responsible for maintaining a web page or pages on our library website continues to grow.

Training is given to all web authors to begin, but did you know there is also further help on our LibNet page to assist you?

We’ve just updated the help section with new guides and a list of FAQs. The guides include a number of topics from general good practice, adding tabs and accordions, working with tables and editing the revamped opening hours.

We hope you find the guides useful and if you need any further assistance please contact the web team (lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk).

Happy editing everyone!