UCL Library Services


UCL Library Services Annual Report 2012/13

Dr Paul Ayris


Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services

President of LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries)

2012-13 has seen some real gains for UCL academic staff and students as the Library has consolidated its work in implementing the Library Strategy. The Strategy has five Key Performance Areas, and work in each of these areas is described in the pages of this Annual Report. Let me highlight some of the real gains.

In terms of the Student Experience, an increasing number of courses have an online Reading List (with full-text readings) in Moodle. It is important that students can, where copyright permissions allow, have access to their core readings any time, any place, anywhere. The Report shows what has been achieved and what there is left to do. Also, UCL has invested in allowing the Library to undertake a multi-year programme to implement RFID (Radio Frequency ID) for self-issue and self-return of material borrowed from libraries across all UCL’s libraries. This will start in Summer 2014.

In Research Support, an emphasis has been the construction of an Open Access (OA) infrastructure to facilitate Gold OA payments for OA articles authored by UCL academics. UCL has probably the best infrastructure now of any university in Europe. The number of holdings in UCL’s digital library has also increased through enhanced investment. UCL has one of the best digital libraries in the whole of the UK. In the digitisation of original resources held in the Library’s collections, the Library has had a series of outstanding successes. This Annual Report shows developments in the Niarchos Digital Library for Greek language and culture, the Testimonials of Sir Moses Montefiore of the Anglo-Jewish community, the manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham, and a major contribution to the Wellcome Trust’s digital library Makers of Modern Genetics. All this work has been funded by external grants and benefactions.

In terms of Healthcare Support, the Library celebrated 10 years of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with its NHS partners, who provide funds to UCL to extend library and information services to NHS users from UCL Library Services and NHS sites.

In Space Management, the Library continues to be truly innovative in terms of the development of cutting-edge learning spaces. The Graduate Hub is a new facility run by the Library which is proving to be very popular with students, as are the extended opening hours of the JBR (Jeremy Bentham Room).

And, in Public Engagement and Outreach, the Library is developing a pervasive set of offerings in this area. Highlights of the year under review were the LASS Summer School, aimed at disadvantaged students from London Schools; and the Special Collections Dante Readings at the Warburg Institute with the UCL Department of Italian – using items from the superb Dante Collection, dating back to the fifteenth century, in UCL Library Services.

The Library has achieved successes in all these areas. However, there is no time to be complacent. UCL is a world class institution and its staff and students need and deserve world class services. The Library’s work in helping to deliver these is described in this Annual Report.

Paul Ayris

Director of UCL Library Services