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The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris30 March 2021

Strategic Operating Plan 2021-24

Every year, all academic support and Professional Service Departments are required to submit Strategic Operating Plans to deliver on their Strategy commitments. They also identify new developments which they would like to introduce. Academic Departments do the same.

The planning cycle is for 3 years and the Library has just submitted its strategic plan for 2021-4, which you can read here as Library Services SOP 2021-24.

What we have tried to do is to identify the many positive new services which we have introduced over the last 12 months and to build them into the Library’s daily work going forward. We have also looked at the Library’s traditional service offering and attempted to strengthen it. Inevitably, UCL will receive more bids for funding than there is money available. However, as the 10th best university in the world (according to the 2021 QS rankings), UCL is committed to further improve the Student Experience going forward. We hope for successful funding outcomes in the coming months.

Paul Ayris

(Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Library Services & UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship)


Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris21 November 2018

UCL Library Services Strategic Operating Plan 2019-21

Every year, the Library is expected to issue a Strategic Operating Plan (SOP), drawing on the Library Strategy, which details what we will commit to deliver in the coming 3 years. The Strategic Operating Plan 2019-22 was duly submitted on Friday 16 November. Click on the link to read the whole document (43pp).

Every professional service, and every academic Faculty, has to submit a SOP each year. In this way, UCL can ensure that all the major activities undertaken across UCL are aligned with UCL 2034.  The Library SOP does not only acknowledge the importance of this institutional strategy. The new Library Strategy has also been very important in creating the framework for this strategic planning document. The new Library Strategy was approved by Library Committee earlier this term, following extensive consultation in the Library and across UCL, and will shortly be made available on the Library’s website.

There are 6 Key Performance Areas in the new Library Strategy and the SOP, and these are:

  • User Experience
  • Staffing, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Finance and Management Information
  • Systems, Collections, and Processes
  • Sustainable Estate
  • Communication, Outreach, and Open Science

There are 73 Actions identified in the Implementation Plans for the Library Strategy and these will be delivered and monitored by KPA leaders through the new Library Strategy Committee. So 2019 will be an exciting time as we implement a fresh wave of activity. But perhaps the most significant action identified in the SOP is the opening of the Student Centre in February 2019. Here is the picture that I took today (21 November). 1,000 digitally-enabled learning spaces will transform the learning experience of UCL students based in Bloomsbury. It will also enable us to re-think some of our existing learning spaces after the new Student Centre comes online. The new SOP rightly highlights the impact that this major new building will make on the Library and on the 3,000,000+ visits to library spaces that already happen each year, making UCL one of the most heavily used academic libraries in the UK.

Please feel free to share any comments on the SOP and the new Library Strategy, once published, so that these can be shared with the Library Strategy Committee and elsewhere.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Pro-Vice-Provost’s view

Paul Ayris18 December 2017

Strategic Operating Plan 2018-21

I read in the recent edition of the Staff Newsletter that I have been given the honorary role of Father Christmas for the next 300 years…

Well, I will do my best to please… And, starting as I mean to go on for the next 299 years, I share with you the Library’s Operating Plan (2018-21), which was presented to UCL Library Committee at our meeting on 6 December. The Strategic Operating Plan 2018-21 is a key document for the Library, updated every year, which explains what strategic activity the Library is undertaking, how that work links to the Library Strategy and to UCL’s Strategy for 2034.

In terms of what the Library is going to do in the coming 36 months, the best place to look is the Table of Objectives and Actions on pp. 14-15 of the Operating Plan. Here you will see 20 objectives linked to the 6 KPA headings of the Library Strategy. Those greyed out in the Table have already been delivered.

The Operating Plan was noted by Library Committee, but actually authorised at the annual meeting I have with our Provost and President to discuss the Plan. This meeting took place on 27 November. It’s a time when the Library is invited to present its plans for the coming 3 years and to answer any questions that senior members of UCL may have on what we say.

Happily, the Library passed its exam with flying colours. We were commended for coming in on budget each year, for the excellence of our service provision and the impact that the Open Access publishing of UCL Press is having on the dissemination of UCL research. We also agreed objectives in the coming 12 months, which are spelled out in the Plan.

It only remains for me to wish every member of UCL Library Services ‘Happy Holidays’ as we approach the Christmas break. I include in this posting two festive pictures from Dublin. Regarding the second, I would (Blue Peter fashion, for those who remember) say that it is not good practice to try this at home, or indeed anywhere else.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)