As a member of the network University’s BME staff network I had the pleasure of attending their Race Equality in Higher Education event on Monday. Presentations were given by a range of staff and guests, including Patrick Johnson (Head of Equality and Diversity); Dr Dawn Edge (Academic Lead for Equality & Diversity); and also our newly elected Chancellor Lemn Sissay MBE. It was fantastic to hear Lemn’s thoughts on his role within the University and his passion towards this was evident for all to see. I asked Lemn: “what’s been the most heart-warming experience you’ve had so far during your five days in the post at the University?” His answer was receiving an informal invitation to share lunch with the University Islamic Society and hearing a group of our students shout “Yo, Chancellor, nice one!” whilst walking down Oxford Road. If you’re able to attend any events where Lemn will be present, I strongly advise you to do so. He is a fantastic representative for the University, a true advocate for the city of Manchester and a very positive and motivational person.
Adam Cooper (Internal Communications Officer) and I met with the Main Library Redevelopment Champions this week and updated them on the progress of the Redevelopment and how it ties in with other Library projects. A number of visits to other university libraries have been organised with the first being a trip to Laidlaw Library at the University of Leeds on Friday, 30 October. We also plan to visit Lancaster University’s library, which is currently about 80% of the way through their own refurbishment. It will be interesting to understand how they approached managing the construction work whilst keeping parts of their library open with all major services still operating.
As part of the ongoing work to look at the finer details of the Redevelopment plans and proposals, we held a Library Design meeting on Thursday to focus on staff areas and storage. We have spent considerable time collecting specific information around the Library’s needs in terms of storage (from staff requirements to work needs) and understanding how we can make our future work spaces the best they can possibly be. Although we are constrained with existing space, we believe that we are getting close to a plan that will accommodate most requirements and ultimately benefit all.
Students, staff and other visitors to Main Library will have seen the café consultation we have been running in Main Library between Wednesday and Friday this week. Organised by Adam Cooper and Food on Campus, we’ve been offering Library users the chance to sample a range of coffee and food menus in order to help shape the final offer that will be delivered at the redeveloped café space in the Main Library. We have seen approximately 600 people and have received some fantastic feedback on what they would like to see in the new café. This is the first of a number of consultations we’re planning to run and the feedback we receive will help to shape our future Library. Information about the subsequent consultation events will be publicised in due course so watch this space!
Thanks for reading,
Mike Kelly (Library Space Project Manager).