Gearing up for Welcome Week

It has been great to experience a late bloom of fine, dry weather this week. The survey works in the Main Library are winding down as we gear up for Welcome Week. For all of our new and returning students, we can’t wait to welcome you to The University of Manchester and to your Library. There’s lots of useful information on the Library’s Welcome page about what you’ll need to know for your first week of the academic year.

Birmingham New Street Station
Birmingham New Street Station

Following on from a recent walk through Birmingham New Street Station, I arranged a meeting with members of the Main Library Redevelopment Design Team and Darren Stephens (Network Engineer, IT Services) to look at options for how we can run power and data cables through the building. The Blue block is a huge space and although it is generally very functional, it wasn’t designed for how it is used now, particularly with the volume of cables that supply all the phones, PCs, display screens etc. We discussed a range of ideas and walked through the building to understand the space better.

Jan Wilkinson (University Librarian and Director of the John Rylands Library) and Sandra Bracegirdle (Head of Collection Management) visited the Thesis Room (Joule Library) to view the sample staff furniture room which Adam Cooper (Library Communications officer), has worked hard to organise. They were very pleased with what they saw and we will soon open up the space for Library staff to visit and share their thoughts. You can read a blog post from Haley Barnett (Research Services Librarian) on a preview session she attended in which she was asked to ‘test drive’  some of the furniture designs.

At a Library Design Meeting this week a range of Library staff met with the appointed contractor for the project. We talked about the status of the Library and how it is used by our students, staff, researchers and other visitors. We outlined some of our main concerns in regards to the construction phases of the Redevelopment, of which further meetings will help us to get to the best possible position. We also spent time with them on Friday touring Main Library and discussing different aspects of our service such as the academic cycle and usage habits of our students.

We were brought up to speed with the progress of the Redevelopment communications plan. With such a large project there is a wide range of information that must be disseminated in a variety of formats to several distinct audiences. The Strategic Marketing and Communications team are doing fantastic work in developing tools and methods to deliver messages now and also to prepare for communicating information that will emerge as the project progresses.

Manchester Business School East
Manchester Business School East

On Tuesday evening, Simon Bains (Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian) and I visited Manchester Business School to meet a group of MBA students. The group will be working with us as part of their course until December 2015, concentrating on specific aspects of phasing and decant. It was great to meet such an enthusiastic group of people with a wide range of professional backgrounds and we can’t wait for them to begin working with us.

The Study at the Manchester Museum opens on Friday, 11 September and from the pictures taken during the Manchester Evening News’ behind the scenes visit, it certainly looks well worth a visit.

Until next week,

Mike Kelly, Library Space Project Manager

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