What’s in store…

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 has started well for you.

Due to the Library closure over the holiday period, there haven’t been any significant developments with the Main Library Redevelopment. However the first working week of 2016 has started very well, with work carrying on as it left off.

On Wednesday afternoon I met with Richard Tong (Sales Manager, Bruynzeel Storage Systems) at our newly acquired storage facility. Bruynzeel will be installing a very large shelving system for stock storage, a system that will be around 16km in linear capacity. Vanessa McHugh (Bibliographic Operations Manager) will be liaising closely with the Bruynzeel team to ensure that the logistics and timescales of the shelving installation works seamlessly alongside our use of the facility.

Chris Ibbott (Capital Projects Manager), Colin O’Neil (Senior Faculty Operations Officer) and I met to discuss the planning required for the fit out of the new storage facility and two of our temporary staff decant locations. We looked at power and data requirements, remedial repair works and timescales for completion. Much of this work will be developed and delivered by our colleagues in Estates and the Professional Services Unit.

At the beginning of this week I completed the Q4 2015 Quarterly Checkpoint Report, which provides a broad overview of the project during October and December 2015, covering areas such as progress, items completed, quality management activities, lessons learnt and tolerance. The use of PRINCE2 methodology in my management of projects provides a clear structure for reporting, and in addition to Quarterly Checkpoint Reports I also produce a weekly Highlight Report which provides a continuous update of progress and provides more detail. I find that one of the most useful aspects of both reports are the lessons learnt, both negative and positive.

Karen Veitch (IT Support Manager) and I have begun a detailed piece of work to map out every staff workstation that will be provided through the Redevelopment. It is critical that we identify the locations of every PC, monitor, telephone and other piece of equipment to ensure provision across our staff workspaces supports our requirements and is also factored into schedules for budget preparation and maintenance.

Sandra Bracegirdle (Head of Collection Management), Fiona Doran (Customers Services Assistant) and I met to confirm the agenda for the forthcoming Phasing Group meeting. The members of the Phasing Group have done a huge amount of work to capture the requirements of all Library services that may be affected or require relocation once each construction phase begins. We plan to have further discussions with our colleagues in the Library to identify any other potential issues and how we might remedy these whilst looking at preparing a critical path for service decants and relocations.

In local news this week the controversial Ordshall Chord railway link between Piccadilly and Victoria train stations is now underway which, if you catch the East Didsbury or Manchester Airport tram from Deansgate, you will be able to see on your right as you leave the city . There is some debate centred around the route of the line, which passes many listed buildings, including Liverpool Road Station – the world’s first inter-city passenger train line (one of the Manchester’s many ‘firsts’ alongside the TUC, votes for women, the atomic theory and the stored-program computer). The continuing redevelopment of our city through improvements such to transport links, business growth and international activity certainly justifies the term ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and it’s incredible to think that The University of Manchester can play such a significant role in the changing landscape of the region.

As you probably know by now, I am very proud of Manchester and everything our great city has to offer. It is fantastic to know that we are the European City of Science 2016 (a first for the UK!) and the range of events and activities taking place are definitely something to look forward to. ‘Manchester Theatres’ is currently running at Central Library – a colourful exhibition revealing Manchester’s theatrical landscape. You can also still park for FREE in Manchester city centre as the town hall extends their New Year offer so don’t let the rain stop you from heading out and having a great weekend.

Until next time,

Mike Kelly (Library Space Project Manager).

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