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Self-service at UCL

Pile of books on self-issue terminal UCL Library Services will be expanding self-issue and return facilities to all of our libraries throughout 2014 and 2015. We currently use radio-frequency (RFID) tagging and self-service in the UCL Science, UCL Cruciform and Eastman Dental Institute Information Centre. From this summer, these facilities will be rolled out across all libraries in UCL. The introduction of this technology supports 24-hr and extended opening in the Library, allowing you to borrow material anytime the library is open. It also allows for a much faster and more efficient way of checking out and returning books, meaning you won’t have to wait in queues at the desk.

When will I be able to use self-service?

All works will take place over the summer vacation.

The first libraries to receive this new equipment will be the UCL Main Library, the UCL Bartlett Library, the UCL Institute of Archaeology Library and the UCL Language & Speech Science Library.

Self-service in these libraries will be ready to go by the start of the 2014/15 academic session.

For further details on when everything is going to happen in these libraries, please see their individual RFID sections below. These will keep you up to date on any work, building alteration or likely service disruptions.

RFID details by library

UCL Bartlett Library

The Bartlett Built Environment Library is moving to Central House in Upper Woburn Place this summer and will be operating a new self service Short Loan Collection upon opening, followed by self service option for the whole library in September.

UCL Institute of Archaeology Library

The Institute of Archaeology Library will commence work on tagging the stock and the introduction of RFID on Friday 1st August 2014.

Work will take 4 weeks in total and there will be disruption to the service and restricted access to certain sections of the library while this is taking place. Some reading rooms may be temporarily out of action while work is in progress. Alternative quiet reading space will be available on the 4th floor throughout August and readers are welcome to collect materials from the library and use them there. Please ask at the Issue Desk to make arrangements.

Visitors are advised to contact the Institute of Archaeology direct nearer the time to check availability of particular items they require to avoid a disappointing visit.

We will do all we can to ensure the smooth running of the service. No major disruptions to services or closures are anticipated as part of this work.

Please check the web site regularly for updates.

UCL Language & Speech Science Library

UCL Language & Speech Science Library will be installing self-service technology this summer, which is due to take place throughout the last two weeks of July 2014. We hope to keep disruption to a minimum, but please check this page and our Facebook page for further announcements.

Find us on Facebook: ’UCL Language and Speech Science Library’.

UCL Main Library

As self-service is being introduced in the Main Library, we’ll also be refurbishing some areas of the library to create a new environment for staff and students to interact, where we offer you support in using all aspects of Library Services, both in print and online.

The new services being introduced in the library are:

  • 3 self-issue terminals for borrowing library books and other library material
  • An automated returns machine, similar to the one in the UCL Science Library
  • A discrete collection of high demand material which can be borrowed for short periods of time, making this collection available all the time the library is open

What the project involves:

In order to make the books available via self-service, teams of staff will be working in the collections from Monday 16th June until the end of July.

During the summer we’ll be closing off some rooms in the library to refurbish them and make them ready for installation of the new self-service equipment.

Some services like the Multi-Functional Devices and the Cluster PC’s will be moved to a different area of the library.

Disruption to services and study rooms:

Staff will be working around the library over the summer to process every book, which means there will be some slight noise in some of the reading rooms, and some study spaces will be inaccessible for a short time. Rooms and study spaces will only be unavailable for short periods of time.

We will endeavour to inform you as far in advance as possible of disruption and of changes to accessibility to different services.

Week beginning 28th July: work is currently being carried out in:

Hebrew and Jewish Studies - the reading room is closed for study but books are accessible. Please ask at the Issue Desk if you need any help finding material.

Scandinavian and German - some of the reading spaces are accessible but you may prefer to work somewhere else as there will be some slight disruption. All the collections are accessible and again, please ask at the Issue Desk if you need any help.

Towards the end of this week, there will be some teams working in the Donaldson reading room which is home to the Law collection, meaning some study spaces will be occupied. From the week beginning 4th August, there will be further disruption and the room may be closed for study for some periods. All collections remain accessible.

Contact us:

If you have any questions about the project, please get in touch with Rachel Nelligan

Self-service FAQs

Can I return books to the machines which are overdue or are requested?

Yes. (With the exception of Inter Library Loans and reference material).

Can I return books from other libraries to the machines?

No. Please return books to the library from which you borrowed them. Short Loan items (3 hours and two-days) must be returned to either the Short Loan collection machines in those libraries which have them, or to the service desk.

Can I renew books at the self-service machines?

Yes. As long as you do not owe in excess of £20 or have an overdue recalled book.

Can I pay my fines at a self-service machine?

Payment will need to be taken by a member of staff in person or by telephone.

Is there a desk I can return books to?

There will still be service points in all libraries and there will be staff to help with using self-service. Some materials at some sites will still be issued and returned across Service Desks, e.g. Stores materials and Inter Library Loans.

If I am not sure how to use the machine what do I do?

A member of staff will be happy to show you how to use the Self Service and Returns machines.

Why do I need a PIN?

This is a security measure, to maintain the integrity of your library account.

Will I get a receipt when I borrow and return books?

Yes, there will be the option to receive a receipt. We recommend you keep these for your own records.

If a machine is not working what do I do?

There will be library staff nearby who can help.

Is self-service available 24-hours?

Self-service will be available at all times when a Library is open. 24hr opening currently operates in the Main, Science, Cruciform and SSEES libraries.

Full list of library opening hours.

Contact us

For more information on RFID and self-service in the library, or if you would like to comment, please email us at library@ucl.ac.uk

Look out for updates on this web page, or follow UCL Main Library, the UCL Bartlett Library, the UCL Institute of Archaeology Library and the UCL Language & Speech Science Library on Twitter and Facebook.

Look out for the RFID posters in these libraries, which will indicate potential service disruption.

Last modified 08 July 2014

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