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Library Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Champions shortlisted for Professional Services Awards 2019

Benjamin G MMeunier25 June 2019

The UCL Professional Services Conference took place yesterday (24 June) to celebrate the contribution staff make to UCL, showcasing the work we do,  working across multiple departments and carrying out various roles. As part of the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research), Library Services makes a strong contribution to the work of professional services across UCL. Library Services was invited to participate in the conference and a number of colleagues attended the event.

A highlight of the conference was the ceremony for the UCL Ways of Working Awards. Over 200 nominations were submitted from across UCL central professional services, Vice-Provost Offices and Faculties. Library Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Champions were shortlisted for an award: ‘Ways of Working – Team Contribution to Achieving our Mission’. In this category, staff nominated colleagues who “are striving towards UCL’s future, demonstrating vision, a sense of ownership and innovation in their work”. The nomination was shortlisted in recognition of the team’s work on Customer Services Excellence workshops, as detailed below. In a very competitive field, the award ultimately went to Student Support and Wellbeing.  Although there were 5 Library Services entries submitted, this was the only shortlisted nomination. Congratulations to the Library CSE Champions: Noreen Beecher, Breege Whiten, Gillian Mackenzie, Vicky Robertson!

CSE Champions: Noreen Beecher, Breege Whiten, Gillian Mackenzie, Vicky Robertson

This team demonstrated excellent collaboration, communication and shared learning in the way that they work together.

In line with the Library Services Strategy 2019-22 and CSE accreditation bid, the Champions initiated, researched, devised, and carried out customer service excellence workshops for fifteen teams, seventy staff, and resulting in sixty-two hours of training. This work was voluntary and included running workshops in evenings and Saturdays to make training inclusive.

About the Customer Service Excellence workshops

Breege, Noreen, Vicky and Gillian volunteered to become Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Champions to change the culture of Library Services, and to help work towards the CSE accreditation as outlined in the Library Services strategy. They created a series of workshops for frontline teams, working collaboratively to research and devise workshops which were initially rolled out to a number of day time teams. After these proved successful they evaluated and re-wrote the workshop to deliver to Evening/Weekend (E/W) frontline teams.

The team moved away from traditional training to engage staff, and so chose to devise practical, discussion based workshops, which included a team presentation on customer service. The workshops included discussions of CSE experiences, and feedback for the Library handbook and Service Charter.

This process has resulted in fifteen teams, seventy staff, and sixty hours of training. The workshops have been inclusive for E/W teams, making training available within their shift patterns. The feedback and enthusiasm has been excellent, and we have started to see a culture change in how we carry out CSE within Library Services. The CSE Champions have also collated a significant amount of feedback, data and evidence for Library Services to use in the CSE accreditation process.

Creating a supportive Customer Service environment 

The work is linked to the Library strategy of achieving CSE accreditation. The CSE Champions have been committed to engaging staff with CSE, across multiple teams, sites and working patterns. The workshops have created a culture change within Library services, and also included transferable skills for staff, from presenting to collaborative project work. Teams have found the presentations enjoyable, as they have been encouraged to use their creativity.

The workshops have brought together the E/W team who wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to work together, enabling them to work collaboratively and build relationships. It has also inspired other Library Staff to provide training for teams which don’t usually work in day time roles. The team have been supportive to other CSE Champions and colleagues, helping others to facilitate, so that those less confident can take part. This training has not only benefitted Library Services, by providing trained staff and evidence for the CSE accreditation, it has also benefitted library users.

Achieving our mission

As voluntary CSE Champions, Vicky, Gillian, Breege and Noreen are clear about why this work is important. The Library Strategy focuses on “ensuring an excellent customer experience”, and the department as a whole has set the goal of achieving CSE accreditation. On an individual level CSE is imperative for the library user. Our CSE affects how our customers use the library, and also the feedback we get through student surveys. This project was immensely ambitious as the work was carried out on top of usual roles, and outside of the team’s own working hours. It involved communication and liaison, to help staff engage with the process. Logistically it was ambitious as it took work organising cover so staff could attend sessions. Throughout the process the four CSE Champions have remained united in their own vision of what they wanted to achieve, and continue to work on CSE with other managers. The team also understand that gaining the accreditation means that they will need to carry on updating their training, to keep staff skills current, to train new staff, and to help with re-validation.

The innovative practice of devising workshops in CSE has enabled us to review our practices for frontline teams. The CSE Champions recognised that there was a need to re-evaluate and open up the discussion, and by rolling out this training they have started teams and individuals on this process of self-reflection, in relation to service provision. Our long term aim is to help achieve CSE accreditation, and to make sure that customer service is consistently excellent. These workshops have ‘kick-started’ this process through staff engagement, discussion and feedback. The workshops have also created evidence which Library Services can use for the accreditation process. While the goal is to achieve accreditation, the long term success will be measured by student feedback.

As Champions, the team took responsibility for delivering CSE engagement and culture change, within the accreditation time frame. They have worked towards this by having a clear remit and framework for the workshops. Communication between the four Champions has been essential, and running workshops in the evenings and weekends has helped to make team members feel included.

The effectiveness has been achieved through dedication, integrity, commitment, support, and by going above and beyond, to ensure all have equal access and a voice in how we shape our customer service.

Peter Dennison, Head of Customer Service, said:

“Well done to Gillian, Vicky, Breege and Noreen! This work illustrates our Library Services values and will make a difference in the Library’s work towards formally securing CSE accreditation.”

Find out more about the UCL Ways of Working: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/human-resources/policies-advice/ways-working.

Wellbeing Champions update: UCL LaSS Library

Sharon AJames16 May 2019

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs that UCL Library Wellbeing Champions will be writing about the work, ideas and events that they have been involved in or created. This update highlights some of the initiatives Jon Siah and I have taken at the UCL Language and Speech Science Library since attending training in early 2018. This involved completing the one day Mental Health First Aid for HE course followed a few weeks later by a day of Health & Wellbeing Champion training. Since then, along with other Library Wellbeing Champions, we have also attended the UCL Wellbeing course Suicide: Spotting the Signs.

Therapy dog Indiana Bones qualifying as a Wellbeing Champion

As Wellbeing Champions we help UCL staff and students by using our listening skills and signposting relevant services or resources. We also regularly take part in Wellbeing meetings and events. For example, Jon and I helped facilitate two ‘Life, Work, Balance’ sessions at the Library Staff Conference in 2018 and I also created posters and distributed resources at the Marketplace Stall during the lunch period.

Jean and Yinka keeping cool at the 2018 Library Conference on Wellbeing

In the weeks beforehand I liaised with Library Finance to acquire funding for fans and then sourced and ordered them for the Marketplace Stall. These were distributed to conference attendees to help with their wellbeing over the course of a long and very hot day.

We also regularly update the LaSS Facebook and Twitter accounts with wellbeing information and have emailed Liblist with resources such as the Sleepio and Silvercloud apps. For LaSS staff, we held a fun Wellbeing Crafternoon at the end of last year using a craft pack ordered from Mind. At this Christmas-themed event, the team were able to relax and catch up with one another while creating handmade decorations for the library.

Photo from the Halloween Wellbeing walk

Another successful event was the Halloween Wellbeing walk arranged by Jon which started at Brunswick Square and ended at Gray’s Inn Walks with a large attendance of nearly 40 people from all over UCL.

Wellbeing Corner at LaSS 

Most recently we have developed a Wellbeing Corner in the LaSS reading room for library users. This features a noticeboard covered in information such as how to manage stress and exams and the contact details of the UCL Student Psychological and Counselling Services and Student Support and Wellbeing. In holders underneath we have placed helpful leaflets, a laminate with advice on how to cope with panic attacks, copies of a local walking map, and coloured pencils and home-made colouring books.

Wellbeing Corner also has a selection of newly purchased self-help books that include guidance on how to deal with anxiety, low self-esteem, OCD, eating disorders, depression and insomnia. We sourced these from a reading list originally created by Teaching & Learning Services for the School of Pharmacy’s Wellbeing section: http://readinglists.ucl.ac.uk/lists/B89CADDC-EEF1-9C7C-2991-E1BEA2F44BC0.html  As well as these books some additional ones were bought and we are hoping this new collection will be helpful for students and staff. Please feel free to come over and have a look at Wellbeing Corner and borrow the books.

At the moment LaSS Library is involved in the Wellbeing Steps Challenge despite our team being called (accurately in my case!) ‘On Our LaSS Legs’. If you’re taking part I hope you’re enjoying it and a big thank you to Laurie McNamee for doing the organising.

For those interested in reading more about the UCL Wellbeing Champion role please go to: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/human-resources/health-wellbeing/wellbeingucl/get-involved/become-wellbeing-champion

Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris21 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)

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris17 October 2018

Autumn Report to UCL Library Committee

Yesterday, Library Committee met for its first meeting of the 2018/19 academic session. As usual, I gave a Report on the Library’s performance against the Library Strategy. My full Report can be read here in the document PVP Report October 2018.

I recently visited the Science Museum here in London and I was struck by the exhibits on space exploration – particularly this model of the lunar module, a craft which enabled spectacular achievements when the USA implemented a lunar programme.

Yesterday, it was my privilege to report on the outstanding achievements of UCL Library Services too – in terms of its delivery of the 2015-18 Library Strategy. 95% of all the Actions identified in the 6 Implementation Plans have been delivered, or are on target to be delivered. It’s a tremendous result, applauded by members of Library Committee.

In my Report, I highlighted a number of achievements:

  • The Library being Highly Commended, for the second time in 3 years, in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMA) 2018;
  • the inscription of UCL’s Orwell archive onto the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register.

I also highlighted two challenges for the Library in the new Strategy period 2019-21:

  • How to increase the Library’s satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey (NSS) to 90% from the present 85% (q19).
  • How to engage with UCL researchers, to encourage them to make their research data FAIR and Open for sharing and re-use, ideally in the new research data repository that UCL is launching in the academic year 2018-19.

All members of Library staff should feel congratulated by the success of delivering the 2015-18 Library Strategy. We face challenges ahead in the new Strategy period, but we have already achieved a great deal – on which we can build going forwards.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris14 August 2018

Library Strategy 2015-18: how did we do?

The Library Strategy 2015-18 formally ends in August 2018. In it, we set ourselves 94 goals to be delivered by the end of the Strategy period. How did we perform against our objectives? Our aim was to complete 90% of the Actions during the Strategy period. Here is an analysis of what we actually achieved.

There were 6 Key Performance Areas (KPA):

  1. User experience
  2. Staff, equality and diversity
  3. Finance, management information & value for money
  4. Systems and processes
  5. Sustainable estate
  6. Communication, Open Access & outreach

The results were as follows:

KPA Done Green Amber Red Total
1 16 3 0 0 19
2 17 2 1 0 20
3 14 1 0 0 15
4 12 4 1 0 17
5 8 0 1 1 10
6 12 0 1 0 13
Total 79 10 4 1 94

Done = Action performed

Green = Action not completed in Strategy period, but fully expected to be completed in the coming months

Amber = Difficulties meant that the desired Action could not be fully completed

Red = Difficulties meant that Action was impossible to complete

Taking the Done and Green Actions together, this means that 95% of the Action lines in the Implementation Plans for the 6 KPAs have been delivered.

There are many, many fine achievements to record. Speaking personally, let me highlight just one which has been particularly successful.

Sustainable Estate Action 5:

Objective:

We will continue to seek opportunities to develop new learning spaces. Library will benchmark provision against international competition.

Result:

£1.4M additional funding agreed for learning space projects in summer 2018. In total, an additional 534 study spaces were opened during 2016-17 across UCL Library Services, mostly completed in summer 2017. Ratio of students:seat will be better than the Russell Group average after the New Student Centre opens in early 2019.

The Library, Houghton Hall, Norfolk

This is a tremendous outcome. The 2018 NSS results for UCL were recently published. Q19 is: The library resources (e.g. books, online services and learning spaces) have supported my learning well. The level of satisfaction expressed by UCL students was 85%, up 2% on last year’s score. One of the reasons for this is undoubtedly the increase in learning space provision which the Library can offer. And we hope that this improvement will continue into 2019, when the New Student Centre opens in February with 1,000 new digitally-enabled learning spaces.

There are many narratives like this that can be constructed to illustrate the tremendous work that all members of Library staff have done to deliver the 2015-18 Strategy.  I have enjoyed attending departmental and team meetings, along with colleagues, to discuss strategic directions. The feedback and suggestions we have received are excellent and we will take note of them as the new Strategy is developed in detail. I thank you for your contribution and look forward to working with you all in the new Strategy period, once the new Library Strategy is signed off by Library Committee in the autumn term.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris10 August 2018

New Senior Management Team

The current Library Strategy has now formally been completed and a report on the Library’s success in achieving its objectives in the 94 Action lines will be presented at the next meeting of Library Committee.

The Library Strategy is currently overseen by the Leadership Team. The role of the Senior Management Team (SMT) is  different – to oversee the operation of the Library on a daily basis and to lead on policy development. The fantastic work of both teams was highly commended as part of the Library’s entry in the THELMA Awards for 2018.

The new Library Strategy is currently in the final stages of being developed and will be signed off by Library Committee in the first meeting of the new academic session. Feedback has suggested that some colleagues find the distinction between the Leadership Team and the Senior Management Team difficult to understand. You said, and we listened. So, for the coming Strategy period, the two committees will be merged into one. The revised Membership and Terms of Reference can be seen in the new set of SMT Terms of Reference.

SMT will continue to meet regularly as it is the primary policy-making group in the Library. Its actions and decisions set the framework within which initiatives and projects are progressed throughout UCL Library Services. Within UCL Library Services, it has ultimate responsibility for all the Library’s services and infrastructure. However, for 3 meetings a year, the SMT will become the Library Strategy Committee. In this form, it will oversee the preparation, communication, delivery and maintenance of the new UCL Library Services Strategy, which will set the Library’s overall priorities for the duration of each Strategy period.

The change to the new committee structure takes place on 1 September 2018. Please do not hesitate to ask me, or any member of the new SMT, if you have any questions.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Building a shared vision for UCL Library Services

Benjamin G MMeunier12 April 2018

Developing the next Library Strategy

 

When is the new strategy launching? The Library Leadership Team is starting to develop the new Library Services strategy for the next academic session.

 How to get involved… What we all do on a day-to-day basis delivers the high-level strategy. Without you, there would not be a service.

As part of the consultation process, KPA Leaders are keen to attend staff and team meetings over the coming weeks. Ask your manager to contact m.leggett@ucl.ac.uk to schedule a meeting for your team. You can also complete the quick, online survey. We will publish more information as the KPA Leaders prepare the outline for the new strategy.

Why having a strategy is important We’re good at what we do but we want to be better. Having a strategy helps to be clear on our collective objectives and move forwards. Planning our strategy is also an opportunity to learn from our competitors and friends.

How the Library Strategy relates to UCL 2034 UCL Library Services’ strategy focuses on the specific work the Library can undertake to support the long-term goals set out in UCL 2034. This in turn supports the university to achieve its vision.

Read more about UCL 2034

Library Leadership Team (follow the link to see who we are)

Complete the survey

 

Pro-Vice-Provost’s view

PaulAyris9 March 2018

Library Committee, March 2018

On 5 March, Library Committee met for its second meeting of the year. There were three items of substantive business – a report from me on progress in implementing the Library Strategy, an analysis of the ongoing work that the Library is pursuing in terms of collection management, and possibilities for future development of learning space provision across UCL Library Services.

My report to Library Committee on strategy implementation is available as a pdf file: PVP Report.  The Report is arranged under the 6 Key Performance Areas of the Library Strategy. At the meeting, I highlighted two or three issues for further discussion – future provision for the needs of research postgraduate students (PGRs), attainment in the ReadingLists@UCL service, and an overview of the results of the 2017 Staff Survey, with a note that a Working Group of Library staff is writing an Action Plan to accompany the findings, which will be presented at the next meeting of Library Committee.

My Report shows that the Library has been successful in a number of activities across the whole range of the Library Strategy. The biggest single challenge, which is also something to celebrate, will be the opening of 1,000 digitally-enabled learning spaces by this time next year in the New Student Centre.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris17 February 2018

New Student Centre

Friday 16 February 2018 saw the topping out ceremony for the new Student Centre. This tremendous building development is a pivotal objective of the UCL 2034 strategy and of the Library Strategy, which are designed to enhance the Student Experience and to provide an environment fit for education, research and outreach in the 21st century.

The photograph to the left shows the current state of the interior of the building. Topping out marks the fact that the building has reached its full height in terms of construction. No fitting out has yet been undertaken in the interior of the building. That comes next.

A large group of UCL staff, including members from the Library, joined the construction teams to celebrate the topping out ceremony. There were a number of speeches to mark the occasion led by the Provost and President of UCL, Professor Michael Arthur. The Provost spoke of the importance of the UCL 2034 strategy to deliver a first class student and research experience. The delivery of the vision contained in UCL 2034 is of fundamental importance for the future health and vitality of the institution as one of the great research universities of the world.

The topping out ceremony itself took the form of the Provost inscribing a concrete block with his name and title, which will now be secured into the structure of the building.

The Student Centre, when fully open this time next year, will mark a transformation for the service which the Library can provide to UCL students. The building will be operated by the Library and contain 1000 digitally-enabled learning spaces. There will be no paper provision in the building. Library collections will remain in the existing UCL family of libraries. If borrowed by the student they can, of course, be brought to the new Student Centre for personal use. The type of learning spaces the Library will provide is being closely modelled on the learning spaces which we already provide in the Cruciform Hub and in the UCL Institute of Child Health. These are in fact the model we aspire to for all UCL’s libraries.

One of the most striking things, which I noticed when I joined the UCL group for the topping out ceremony, is that the views from the top of the building are stunning. Pictured here is the view of Wilkins’ Dome in UCL and UCLH across the road in Gower Street. And the Student Centre will offer a new thoroughfare through UCL, helping to unite the campus and to bring a greater sense of community to staff and students on the site.

The opening of the Student Centre marks a very important development for the Library. It will transform the Student Experience and the way students use libraries and learning spaces across UCL. This will give us the opportunity to continue to re-think our existing library spaces and how they are used.

The topping out ceremony marks the start of a year of communication in and from the Library as UCL fits out the interior of the building and we plan for the full operation of the Centre. Ben Meunier this week gave an interview to CILIP, and there will be other interviews and national Newsletter articles to announce the birth of what is a major development in academic libraries throughout the whole country. It augurs well for a bright future for UCL students working in a cutting-edge building.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost

UCL Library Services

Pro-Vice-Provost’s view

PaulAyris18 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)