Case Study: The British Library

In: Case StudyDate: Dec 13, 2023By: Claire Lickman

“Working with Happy has been very collaborative,” explains Suze Musson. “My interactions with both trainers and colleagues in the office has always been very positive, and that’s made a big difference, especially during the more difficult times over the past 18 months or so.”

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Training during challenging conditions, throughout the pandemic

We have worked with the British Library for many years, with our contract renewed annually. We created a learning directory for them with a range of IT skills programmes listed created especially for their needs, which the L&D team share on their intranet to gauge interest. The IT skills project was initially to ensure that all staff were at the same level across the organisation, mostly with Excel skills. But, with the pandemic and lockdown, this extended to training in MS Teams and all courses were converted to Live Online Learning.

“Last year’s contract renewal coincided with lockdown. We worked with Rachael, John and Sal to develop our programme and transition to online learning – everything had been classroom based so we had to move everything online. It was a really good transition and Happy were on it straight away.

“Because we were able to put the IT programme online more quickly than some of our other courses, it meant we were able to offer those courses immediately rather than waiting a long time for things to happen. This really helped our staff to adjust to working from home. There were some people who were still working, and some people who were having to take on different roles such as development as their normal roles couldn’t be done remotely, so it was giving them that opportunity for them to be able to do that."

Flexible and adaptable training, to fit learners changing needs

“Happy also developed their offering throughout lockdown as people got more used to what they were doing. They weren’t rigid with what they were offering, either – if we requested changes or new courses, these were put together for us. There was a lot of give in what was delivered.

“It’s been a very collaborative way of working - that’s something I’ve been really appreciative of over the last 18 months or so during COVID. Even for this year’s renewal of the contract, we worked with Sal and some of the other trainers to think of how we can make our online programme work. We wanted to have something more structured as over lockdown it was developed very much ‘as needed’.

“Everyone at Happy is very personable and easy to work with, not just from the admin side but also the trainers. People are very accommodating for different people and needs, especially technology-wise as that’s something a lot of people really struggle with for various reasons. But there’s been a lot of support from Happy with that, which has been a great benefit!”

For example, at the start of lockdown there were some teething problems with getting people used to learning online. There were some issues with accessing GoToTraining and getting this set up correctly, especially as some learners were using their own devices rather than those issued by the Library (including a mix of both PC and Mac users). However, Suze says that Happy dealt with these issues well. “The trainers were really patient and did their best to help people get into the sessions and helped us to work around it.”

Learners now feel more confident with their software

Our trainers and our interactive training style have been really well received with British Library staff. “We always get really positive comments about the trainers themselves, that they’ve really helped them to understanding different aspects of what they’re doing. We also get recommendations from other things that they could do as well, as part of the courses, so people are saying ‘that’s great, how can we do more of that’ – that’s been a real positive.

“Some of the feedback that I’ve seen from delegates has been around feeling more confident with certain applications. Especially during lockdown when we’ve been asking people to use technology so much, it’s been a really useful tool to be able to give people more support.”


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