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LibNet staff news



Launch of SMT Surgeries

utnvrev11 July 2019

The Library’s Senior Management Team (SMT) has been considering feedback from colleagues concerning the perceived lack of visibility of the team and a desire for a greater understanding of what the SMT does. We are aware that it would be helpful for colleagues to engage directly with by meeting and talking with SMT colleagues in order to raise issues of concern or suggest ideas for improvement.

As a first step we have refreshed the SMT information on LibNet and added more information about individual responsibilities as well as including photos and contact details. Feedback on the revised information on LibNet is welcome.  We have made sure that the last three months of minutes from SMT’s monthly meetings are available and will continue to ensure these are up-to-date.  Notes from earlier meetings are available on request from Noel Caliste, who is Paul’s Executive Assistant (n.caliste@ucl.ac.uk).

SMT have also decided to set up a series of Surgeries, modelled on those offered by MPs to give individuals and small groups the opportunity to meet members of the SMT face-to-face and raise issues of concern.  At least two members of SMT will be present at each surgery. This will be a pilot, and we will be asking for feedback from colleagues throughout the pilot so that we can see if this is something that is useful, or whether there is a better way to improve two-way communication.

Where possible, Surgeries will be held in non-library spaces.  They are going to be held on different days and times of the week to enable as many colleagues as possible to attend.  They will be timed to occur in-between SMT meetings, and issues and feedback raised by staff at the Surgeries will be discussed at the next SMT so that staff can be assured that issues will be followed-up.

While the pilot Surgeries are all located in Bloomsbury, there will be the option to Skype or phone in.  If the pilot is successful, we will ensure that they are offered outside the Bloomsbury campus if there is demand.

The dates and times for the Surgeries will be publicised on LibNet as soon as they are available, along with information for booking.

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.




Student Choice Awards – celebrating library staff

utnvrev10 April 2019

The UCL Student Choice Awards are a way for students to thank an amazing member of staff, and let them know that their hard work makes a difference. All UCL students are invited to nominate members of staff who have, in some way, made their experience at UCL a particularly good one. They are judged by students themselves and so are especially meaningful. There are several categories including Amazing Support Staff and it is very gratifying to see that four members of UCL Library Services staff were nominated in this category. Congratulations to Nazlin Bhimani, Peter Field, Vanessa Freedman and Debora Marletta. For more information about the awards see: http://studentsunionucl.org/make-change/make-your-voice-heard/student-choice-awards/student-choice-awards-2019-all-nominees

Biomedical and Health Information Summer School 2017 – Bookings now open

Angela Young25 May 2017

Bookings are now being taken for the Biomedical and Health Information Summer School 2017, a series of training and professional development sessions which aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of UCL Library Services staff to better enable them to answer enquiries and support the needs of UCL and NHS library users. Although some sessions have a biomedical or health emphasis, some are generic in their nature and relevant to library staff from any discipline.

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

  • Literature searching: the essentials OR A flipped learning experience
  • Critical appraisal library staff journal club
  • Reference management software training and support forum
  • Systematic Review Support Forum
  • PubMed and OvidSP: training the trainer
  • Research Data Management for biomedical and health librarians

As in previous years there is an online component – Literature searching: the essentials OR A flipped learning experience. This combined online and face to face experience is perfect for novice literature searchers to learn the basics, but it’s also a chance for staff interested in flipped learning to experience it first hand. If you can’t make the face to face session, feel free to work through the online component only.

Full details of the programme are available on LibNet. Sessions are open to all UCL Library Services staff, however priority will be given to those based on biomedical sites. Please ensure you have the permission of your line manager to attend.

Please email info.skills@ucl.ac.uk to book a place or for further information. Please include your name, site/team, telephone number, email address, and the session(s) you wish to attend. Alternatively contact Angela Young (angela.young@ucl.ac.uk, 020 7794 0500 x33201) or Steven Bembridge (steven.bembridge@ucl.ac.uk, 020 7794 0500 x38238).

Best wishes,


London Underground and Southern Rail travel disruptions next week

Benjamin Meunier6 January 2017

SouthernAs mentioned in my December news message, Southern Rail has advised that planned industrial action will result in further significant disruption to its train services in January. Southern and Gatwick Express services will be affected on a number of dates:

  • Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th and Friday 13th January
  • Tuesday 24th, Wednesday 25th and Friday 27th January

Please refer to the Southern Rail website for specific information regarding these planned strikes.

Furthermore, the RMT trade union and Transport Salaried Staff’s Association have voted in favour of industrial action in relation to a dispute around ticket office closures and the need for more staff.  Discussions are due to continue on Friday 6th January and throughout the weekend however, TfL have warned that if agreement is not reached industrial action will go ahead as planned. This will result in 24-hour strike action taking place from Sunday 8th January from 1800 with the majority of central London Tube stations being closed during this time.  Services across the network will be severely disrupted particularly stations in Zone 1 which may not be open at all.  Commuting into UCL central buildings will be particularly affected.

In the event this industrial action goes ahead, UCL will make every attempt to keep activities running, with staff asked to try to come in to work if possible. If your commute is affected by this disruption and you are unable to get to work, you should advise your line manager as early as possible.  Consideration should be given to working flexibly, including working from home where possible, to minimise work disruption if possible. Managers are asked to consider sympathetically alternatives such as working from home or earlier or later arrival and departure times. Where such alternatives are not feasible, staff who will not be able to get to work should arrange to take a day’s annual leave or flexi-time.. 

Normal service by TfL is expected to resume on the morning of Tuesday 10th January. 

For further updates on potential action please go to the TfL website https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/tube-strike?cid=tube-strike

Staff Office Moves – Final Plan and Schedule

Jay Woodhouse18 October 2016

The Office Move plan has now been approved by the SMT following changes in response to feedback from two rounds of staff consultation. The aim is to put teams together where possible, provide suitable space for all staff and even out the occupancy of rooms. We are also taking this opportunity to create an extra meeting room in Science, two new meeting rooms in Main and an extra student study room in Senate House Hub.  The final relocation plan is below, this only impacts Main, Science and Senate House Hub. If your room is highlighted in grey then you will not be moving:

Office Plan

Team managers will be contacted about room design and an A3 floor plans of the room their team are moving into provided. The Buildings Team will assist with room layouts for each team. Below is the schedule for the Office Moves that runs from now until March 2017:

Schedule 2016 v2

Please send all queries and feedback to lib-buildings@ucl.ac.uk

Building Team Availability

Jay Woodhouse2 September 2016

Since the re-structure on the 1st April this year the Library Buildings Team have had a working pattern focused on liaising with Estates and contractors. This has meant the team starting early in the morning, at 07:30, to ensure that projects are kept on track and delivery and installation runs smoothly. This is a fairly standard practice within the Construction Industry.

However, this has caused problems with the Buildings Team being unavailable to meet and interact with other Library Staff as they would usually leave at 15:30. This has made organising meetings difficult with limited time in the afternoon to meet before the Buildings Team home time.

From Monday 12th September the Library Buildings Team will be operating to a new schedule with more availability in the afternoons. The new team availability will be 07:15 – 17:15 Monday to Friday. Please continue to contact lib-buildings@ucl.ac.uk as this will be monitored by the Team during the above times, but individual staff may not be available.

The Buildings Team can be available outside of the above times with prior arrangement.

Staff Office Moves – update

Jay Woodhouse2 September 2016

Following the circulation of the initial plan for Post-restructuring staff office moves we have received good feedback from staff and have been reviewing all comments and suggestions. We have highlighted three teams of staff who will have significant changes from the published plan. We have considered changes to be significant if the team was not moving in the original plan or if the team will move to a different building. We will be contacting the managers of the three teams on Monday 5th September to inform them of the proposed changes and these three teams will then have three weeks (ending on the 23rd September) to provide feedback.

We will review the new feedback and then publish a final Staff Office Move Plan. The plan will then be implemented between the end of September and December 2016. A proposed schedule will be circulated to managers at the start of October.

Apologies for the delay in this process. We wanted to ensure the plans would work, rather than rush to undertake staff moves and then find we had to move teams twice. Please bear with us, this is a very complicated move plan with 30 offices and more than 100 staff moving.

Training Opportunities Update

Michelle Wake7 January 2016

Dear Colleagues,

We still have some spaces on the “Bite Size” events arranged by the UCL Library Services Staff Training Committee, so please do take a look at the training opportunities below:

1. CPD Roadshow
Date: Tuesday 12th January 2016
Time: 3pm to 4pm
Facilitator: Michelle Wake (Chair UCL Library Services Training Committee and Chair of cpd25)

Description: Come along for an overview of the training opportunities within UCL and externally for all UCL Library staff, there’s sure to be opportunities to suit everyone.
Audience: All (especially for those unable to attend the session at the 2015 UCL Library Services Staff Conference)

Location: Science Library, Room 417
Maximum Number of Attendees: 30

2. Introduction to Copyright
Date: Monday 18th January 2016
Time: 10.30am to 11.30am
Facilitator: Chris Holland (UCL Library Services Copyright Support Officer)

Description: Everything you wanted to know about copyright but were afraid to ask. Chris Holland will take you through the basics of copyright with some interesting examples and the opportunity to ask questions.
Audience: All

Location: Science Library, Room 417
Maximum Number of Attendees: 30

3. UCL Press
Date: Thursday 21st January 2016
Time: 1pm to 2pm
Facilitator: Lara Speicher (Publishing Manager, UCL Press)

Description: UCL Press is the first fully Open Access University Press in the UK. Re-launched in 2015, UCL Press publishes scholarly monographs, edited collections, scholarly editions, textbooks and journals, all in Open Access form, freely available to download from the UCL Press website, UCL Discovery and other open access platforms. UCL Press welcomes new proposals from UCL academics in all subject areas, and is actively seeking new proposals. Lara will talk about the establishment of UCL Press, how the Press runs, its future developments and will highlight the benefits to UCL academic staff for choosing to publish with UCL Press.
Audience: All Library staff and UCL School of Pharmacy academics.

Location: UCL School of Pharmacy, Room M1
Maximum Number of Attendees: 30

4. UCL Arena Open
Date: Tuesday 26th January 2016
Time: 3pm to 4pm (with the option of attending to 4.30pm for those who have additional questions)
Facilitator: Dr Rosalind Duhs (Principal Teaching Fellow and Associate Director CALT and Director of UCL Arena)

Description: In a session specifically designed for UCL Library staff Rosalind will provide an introduction to this continuing professional development scheme, which is for those who teach, train or support students’ learning (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/arena/open). Accredited by the Higher Education Academy Arena Open gives you a chance to gain both a UCL Arena Fellowship and the corresponding HEA Fellowship, which is a nationally recognised award.
Audience: Staff who teach, train or support learning (e.g. facilitate learning about finding library resources, encouraging students, offering support).

Location: Science Library, Room 417
Maximum Number of Attendees: 30

5. Why Health and Safety should not be difficult
Date: Thursday 11th February 2016
Time: 9.30am to 10.30am
Facilitator: Jay Woodhouse (UCL Library Services Departmental Safety Officer and Security Manager)

Description: This session will review the basic concepts of risk assessment, what are risks and hazards and how do they relate to your day to day work. How to use a common sense approach to health and safety in the workplace, gearing it to the level of danger in your workplace and the work you do. Why are we writing war and peace to cover our health and safety and is there an easier way for use to do this. Review the HSE attitude towards the implementation of Health and Safety in England and their Myth Busters programme.
Audience: All

Location: Science Library, Room 417
Maximum Number of Attendees: 30

Please book by completing the Training Request Form at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/training.

More events to follow throughout the year!

Best wishes,


Staff Engagement Survey – coming soon!

ucylain5 November 2015

As you may be aware, UCL’s fifth staff engagement survey will be launched next week. From Monday 9 to Friday 27 November, you will be able to provide feedback on what matters to you as a UCL employee.

What will happen?
On Monday 9 November, you will receive a personal email from ORC International via this address (if employed as of 1 October) : UCLEmployeeSurvey2015@orcinternational.co.uk.
OCL International is an independent survey provider and are managing the survey process. The email will include an embedded link to complete the survey. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and you are given time to complete it whilst at work.

What if I don’t receive the email?
If you do not receive your survey email on Monday, please check your spam folder. If you inadvertently delete the email, you can contact the ORC helpline UCLEmployeeSurvey2015@orcinternational.com (this will be live during the survey period) for a further link to be sent. As each link is unique to you so please do not forward your link to others to access the survey. You will also be sent weekly reminders to complete the survey by 27 November.

Is my feedback confidential?
The survey is managed by our partners ORC International and is entirely anonymous. No one from UCL will be able to access any raw data from respondents. Visit the survey FAQs for more information on confidentiality.

What is the purpose of the survey?
UCL need your input to measure staff engagement with UCL strategy and vision; measure leadership and management and benchmark against the previous 2013 survey. It’s your opportunity to share your views that will develop into new projects and initiatives making UCL a great place to work. It is important that as many staff members complete the survey to ensure a representative picture is given.

When you complete the survey…
It feeds into league tables along with the incentive of £5 per completed survey to the student hardship fund. There is also a chance for you to enter a prize draw to win a tablet or reader of your choice up to the value of £500.

When will I hear the outcomes of the survey?
The target to distribute survey local results to staff is by 28 February 2016. Please visit the latest timetable.

Need more information? Have a look at the staff survey website.

Your participation in the staff engagement survey is greatly encouraged and appreciated.

staff survey