Meet the Steering Group (Part 3)

The Estates Masterplan Steering Group is made up of representatives from across the Library who combine their collective expertise and experience to provide governance for Library projects relating to, or feeding into, Estates Masterplan projects.

We asked two more members of the Group and University Librarian and Director of the John Rylands Library Jan Wilkinson to share their thoughts on the Main Library Redevelopment.

Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian & Director of The John Rylands Library

JAN WILKINSON – UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN AND DIRECTOR OF THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY

Q: Which part of the Redevelopment are you most excited about?

A: Improved ambience as a result of better light, feel and generally improved physical environment. I am very sensitive to the space around me and almost didn’t take the job when I walked into this building back in 2008! I look forward to better navigation of the building for our customers – how hopeless we must look to people who can’t find the things they need. Also to open up the inner courtyard for everyone to enjoy (subject to the weather!).

Q: How will the Redevelopment affect your day-to-day working within the Library?

A: Most radical will be our move to greater open-plan working. It will be so much easier to communicate with one another than now, when so many of us are tucked away in offices, and I hope this will support our new culture where a greater degree of trust across all parts of the Library will be key. This isn’t just for the Main Library, although clearly the Main Library Redevelopment provides this wonderful opportunity.

Q: Which part of the Redevelopment do you think will be of most benefit to the Library’s visitors?

A: I think almost all of it! This is why we are doing it.

Sandra Bracegirdle, Head of Collection Management, Collection Management

SANDRA BRACEGIRDLE – HEAD OF COLLECTION MANAGEMENT, COLLECTION MANAGEMENT

Q: Which part of the Redevelopment are you most excited about?

A: There’s so much it’s hard to pick! I’m excited about transforming the space for both staff and customers to make the Library a much more attractive place to work and study. Some stand-out changes will be the improvements to heating, lighting and ventilation, bringing more natural light into the building and creating new kinds of work spaces.

Q: How will the Redevelopment affect your day-to-day working within the Library?

A: I’ll be moving from Joule Library back to the Main Library so it will be a significant change for me. However, unlike my previous Main Library office, I’m looking forward to natural light and much better planned working spaces.

Q: Which part of the Redevelopment do you think will be of most benefit to the Library’s visitors?

A: The huge improvement to way-finding in the Library will have a big impact. We are planning to open up sight lines and make navigation much easier both within the building and also across the courtyard area once The Muriel Stott Centre is removed.

Katy Woolfenden, Head of Teaching Learning & Students, Customer Services

KATY WOOLFENDEN – HEAD OF TEACHING, LEARNING AND STUDENTS, CUSTOMER SERVICES

Q: Which part of the Redevelopment are you most excited about?

A: It’s so hard to pick just one! The project has opened up all sorts of possibilities for us, however I am particularly excited about the way the redevelopment will change the user experience of the Library. The Library space will feel generally much more inviting and will offer much more flexibility to cater for a wider variety of research and study styles. It will also be wonderful to offer our customers a more comfortable environment in which they will be far happier to spend what are sometimes very long periods of time! I am hoping the look and feel of the new Library will generate a stimulating atmosphere of quiet energy that will help to inspire our learners and researchers to achieve even greater success.

Q: How will the Redevelopment affect your day-to-day working’s within the Library?

A: The prospect of redevelopment has provided a catalyst for culture change in the Library. We are all thinking about how we can work differently and more effectively to ensure we provide the best possible service to our customers.  We are taking the opportunity to redesign staff spaces to allow us to work more flexibly and collaboratively across teams as well as more intelligently by embracing the space and time saving advantages that a more digital working environment can provide. I expect to be working with far less paper on a day to day basis and be far more savvy about using technology to enhance my working day by the time the Redevelopment is complete. At the same time I also expect to be able to interact far more easily and naturally with members of my team on a day to day basis, which I am really looking forward to.

Q: Which part of the Redevelopment do you think will be of most benefit to the Library’s visitors?

A: Customer opinion is probably the single most significant indicator of our success as a service so it’s vital that the Redevelopment demonstrates our commitment to putting them first. That will mean something different for everyone; so for me it’s not about one part of the Redevelopment but rather getting the balance of the whole package right, so that there is something to impress everyone in the final design.

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