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LCCOS staff news



Using Instagram to connect with library users

simon.bralee.157 July 2022

The Library’s Social Media Task and Finish Group would like to invite you to an online training workshop on Using Instagram to connect with library users, 14:30 – 16:00, Tuesday 26 July.

Please note the times have changed from those initially advertised. We’ve extended the session by 30 minutes following feedback.

The session will start from the basics and provide a solid overview of the platform. After this session you will know how to:

  • Set up or update your account,
  • Take stunning photos that wow your audiences
  • Ensure content is on brand in terms of visuals and tone of voice

As well as tricks and tips to ensure you have consistent content.

It is open to everyone in Library Services, particularly people responsible for library social media accounts. You do not need any previous knowledge or experience.

The session will be led by Simon Bralee with support from members of the Social Media Task and Finish Group.

 Book now. 

We plan to offer further training sessions on Sway later this summer.

Library Communications in Term 2 

simon.bralee.1525 February 2022

Updates about comms from across Library Services. 

Comms Calendar 

We are continuing to coordinate our ”locally-delivered, centrally-coordinated communications model” through the annual communications calendar.  

Please check it and get in touch if there is anything coming up in your sections this term.  

Big campaigns in Term 2 

Library Loves Valentines 

The Campaigns group have coordinated a library wide feedback campaign across all the different sites this term. There’s been some great photos of stalls shared on social media: 

We received 150 pieces of feedback, of which 62% was positive, 22% was negative and 16% was both. The negative feedback is valuable as it allows us to improve our services or respond to customers’ issues. We will collate and follow up on this feedback. 

LGBTQ+ History Month 

The Library Liberating the Collections Group sought book recommendations from across the UCL Community to create an article. Some sites, like the Main Library, created book displays. 

We’ve also commissioned a great article from a student journalist LGBTQ+ History Month: Be inspired by UCL library’s collection. 

We have had positive feedback from colleagues across UCL for this work to support EDI values. 

International Women’s Day 

We are seeking book recommendations from across UCL through a libwizard form which we will compile into an article. We’ve also commissioned an article from a Student Journalist. 

Teams from across Library Services also supported the Stand with Hope campaign (led by colleagues in RIGE). Professor David Price has complimented this collaborative work saying it “exemplifies the collaborative spirit embodied not only within RIGE […] but across the university and beyond.” 

Save your searches 

The Comms Team have worked with Bethan Smith to raise awareness of Explore updates and to ensure users make a record of their saved searches. Assets have been shared on social media, OneLan screens and on the library website. The impact of this campaign will be measured following the implementation of changes in March. 

If you missed it? 

Teams from across Library Services supported a week of activities on social media celebrating UCL Foundation Day, Library Lovers’ Day, Jeremy Bentham’s birthday and the Student Centre’s birthday. This work raises the profile of Library Services with our users and also with other comms colleagues across the university. 

The impetus to celebrate Foundation Day came from Library Services. We shared the World of UCL (published by UCL Press), a blog post from Special Collections and other images (including the Deed of Settlement)  

Colleagues from across the library shared photos from their sites with the UCL Social Media team to celebrate Library Lovers Day which garnered some great comments from students.


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A post shared by University College London (@ucl)

 Coming up in March and April 

  • UCL Sustainability Month 
  • Promoting Dissertation and Research Support  
  • Exams / Assessments Comms  


Updates from the sub-groups 

Three sub-groups will help coordinate comms activities across Library Services. 

Open Days Group 

  • Created a Prospective Students subpage on library website. Beginning to look at how other libraries support recruitment work. 

Campaigns Group 

  • Agreed approach and rationale for supporting communications campaigns. Supported Library Valentines campaign, LGTBQ+ History Month and International Women’s Day. 

Social Media group 

  • Identified a series of discrete projects which can improve library’s social media offering and empower staff across the team tasked with delivering comms. Workstreams include looking at metrics, writing a paper on TikTok and working with the UCL’s Chinese Social Media team. 


At a glance updates from Term 1 (2021-22) 

Most read ‘Library News’ articles 

  1. Library Services During Winter Break 
  2. Books to celebrate Black History Month  
  3. Elsevier Negotiations  

 UCL Libraries in numbers 

  • 88 Tweets sent  
  • 68890 Total impressions  
  • 783 Impressions per tweet 

Top Tweet 


If you have any questions about comms, please get in touch with Simon Bralee. 


Promoting THE Award shortlist

simon.bralee.156 October 2021

The Student Centre team have been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards under the “Outstanding Library Team” category. This is an amazing achievement and we want to celebrate it.

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The image is also available for download from the THE Awards website.

Sharing the news on social Media

The Library comms team will co-ordinate sharing the news through the library’s social media accounts. If you wish to tweet about the shortlisting in a personal capacity on your own accounts, please do use the hashtag #THEAwards.

About the awards

The winners will be announced at a celebration event in central London on 25 November 2021. These are the 17th annual THE Awards, perhaps better known as the “Oscars of higher education”.

This year they focus primarily on activity during the 2019-20 academic year, and so include a large number of submissions based on the initial response of all HE institutions to the unique and wide-ranging challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Using twitter for global engagement

Lesley Pitman25 September 2015

We all know that twitter is a powerful tool for communicating across boundaries of all kinds, but in SSEES Library we recently saw evidence that we really were reaching a worldwide audience. Use of the tool tweepsmap (http://tweepsmap.com/!UCLSSEESLibrary), which shows where in the world your followers are located, has shown consistently that 38% of the followers of the @UCLSSEESLibrary account are based outside the UK. Apart from academics, researchers and librarians from academic institutions across the world, they also include official organisations like the US Mission to the OSCE and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), media outlets, journalists (a few important enough to warrant the blue tick) and publishers, as well as the interested public – and of course a few of the more outlandish followers that all twitter accounts attract. Even within the UK the international focus continues, as we are followed by a number of the London embassies, and most recently by the Russian ambassador himself.

We have built up an audience like this by taking our twitter account very seriously, and we do a number of things to ensure that we continue to attract and retain followers of this kind by providing a real service to them. By far the most important factor is the content that we tweet. Our area specialists go out of their way to look out for links to useful sources on the web, particularly if they relate to current news stories. Where possible we tweet links to primary sources which add substance to the summaries and interpretations which appear in the media. This has been particularly important in relation to events in Ukraine, but translates readily to our work on the rest of the region. We also link to new academic resources and digital collections, where they are likely to be of interest and are generally accessible. We are careful to be balanced where matters are controversial, which many are. In this way we have effectively taken the principles of curating a research library and applied them to twitter.

Beyond the content we make an effort to let potential followers know we exist. We look for interesting accounts and follow or retweet them, and then they are likely to return the favour. In the case of the Russian ambassador we had retweeted the Russian Embassy, who had tweeted about the SSEES Centenary Film Festival (book your tickets now at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/centenary/centenary-events/seasonoffilm). Within seconds the ambassador himself was following us. Sometimes the power and speed of twitter takes our breath away.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about this kind of approach to twitter do get in touch. It is daunting at first, but enormously rewarding.