Getting up to speed

We’ve been lucky enough to see some sunshine this week and it’s been great to see so many students and staff enjoying the landscaped areas outside Main Library and Alan Gilbert Learning Commons. The new library deck chairs certainly seem to be a hit with everyone.

With one week to go before my official start, I’ve been spending time with Vanessa McHugh getting up to speed on the Main Library Redevelopment project in preparation for her to hand over the baton. Vanessa has done a superb job in managing the project in the interim period, whilst balancing her main job as Bibliographic Operations Manager.

The project team have been looking at the finer details of the project in order to form a clearer picture of what the work will deliver. Considering that a large part of the project focuses on aspects of the building that are hidden (ventilation, heating, lighting etc), it’s amazing to imagine what a visual transformation will be achieved. Clearer ideas for potential consultations have also been formulated and I can’t wait for people to start feeding their ideas into the project.

Some interesting things I have learnt this week include how the University Library operates and the size and reach of the Library team (including all the different aspects of work they are involved with). Vanessa and I also enjoyed clarifying the huge amount of acronyms and abbreviations that I’ve come across.

With a number of significant meetings planned for next week looking at current plans and designs, phasing on-going development work, as well as how we communicate all this, it is clear that the project is fully on track.

This weekend sees the Levenshulme Food and Drink festival start on Friday 12th June (, the Manchester Day Parade on Sunday 14th June ( and The Heatons festival also on Sunday 14th June ( so there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the sunshine.

Until next week,

Mike Kelly

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