Library Services


UCL Library Services Annual Report 2007/08

Dr Paul Ayris


Dr Paul Ayris, Director of Library Services

2007-08 has been a challenging but successful time for UCL Library Services, with some notable achievements - the highlights of which I am happy to give here.

UCL Library Services has been recognised with the Investors in People award for its work in honing and improving its staff development programme and business practices.

The Investors in People Standard began in 1990 as a government-backed business improvement framework, with a special focus on employee relations. It is now used by over 30,000 organisations in the UK, across many sectors.

A number of other universities have achieved the award, as whole institutions or departmentally, although UCL Library Services is the first UCL department to achieve it. As Head of Department, I am delighted for all members of UCL library staff who participated in gaining this award. It is a tribute to their dedication, professionalism and the quality of the contribution they make to the success of UCL.

A factor in the achievement of the award was a diverse and comprehensive staff development programme involving extensive use of local training offered by UCL's various training providers. Also relevant were the processes for matching services to user needs, such as communication through UCL's committee structure, user surveys and the Library's key performance indicators just being introduced.

3 major library refurbishments have contributed to the increased provision which UCL Library Services is making towards the student experience - the South Junction of the UCL Main Library, the UCL Language and Speech Science Library and the Royal Free Hospital Medical Library, UCL Library Services. The emphasis of these developments is on the creation of learning spaces for students in what were formerly very traditional library spaces.

The Joint Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Library became a part of UCL Library Services on 1 April 2008.

In response to demand, the UCL Main and Science libraries opened for 24 hours in the pre-exam period from late March to late May 2008. This proved especially popular with UCL undergraduates, who accounted for some 78% of total entries to the libraries in the period.

The single most significant acquisition over the last year has been the Elsevier backfiles, purchased with a generous contribution from UCL's Capital Investment Framework funding. UCL users now have e-access to articles back to volume 1, issue 1 of over 1,500 Elsevier titles in science, technology and medicine, including The Lancet from 1823.

The Card Catalogue Online went live in June 2008.

The Library's continuing commitment to Widening Participation saw contributions on various fronts. Some 100 tours were provided for school students during the year. The Library was fully involved with UCL Open Days and Parents and Family Day, running tours and answering queries for visitors.

UCL Library Services had another successful year in raising project funding for development projects, with £357,441 coming to UCL for this purpose - mainly from external funding sources.

As Director of UCL Library Services, I am delighted to present this Annual Report to the UCL and external communities which the Library serves. Do not hesitate to contact us at library@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions or comments.