Back in October I promised to share with you a blog post about the new Eddie Davies Library and Finance Zone in the newly redeveloped Alliance Manchester Business School.
Although it’s taken a couple of months to get this post published, I think it’s worth the wait. The reason for this delay is because we spent a lot of time between October and January ensuring the closure of the Precinct Library and temporary location for the Finance Zone went as smoothly as possible. And, although we probably wish it wasn’t the case, unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day!
The closure of the two former sites was just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the work needed to move into the new building. We moved a full site’s worth of books and journals, along with staff effects, computers and other equipment.
Before we started planning the move to the new library we spent at least a year and a half making sure that the design for the new spaces reflected our vision.
It was important that the library was cutting edge and provided a new type of help zone (with self-service options, a triage area and consultation points). The library had to be completely accessible, without any gates or turnstiles. We wanted the space to feel as open and inclusive as possible whilst being an integral part of the rest of the building. We took on board lessons from previous projects and made sure that the study spaces we offered were as good as they could be – a lot of focus was put on the furniture layout and style. We opted to provide a lot of individual workstations. Group study rooms were in close proximity and the uniformity of these individual study’s spaces would likely provide a consistent, quiet and focussed atmosphere.
We spent time looking at the detail and functionality of the Finance Zone. This was important because the Finance Zone is not just a unique selling point of the library space and Business School, it is critical to giving both students and staff a world leading experience. The space has a lobby, casual spaces, consultation booths, touchdown points and two main labs (with a retractable wall).
The library is exploring many new ways of working and so the staff space had to reflect this ambition. With an agile workspace, small meeting room, kitchenette and admin area, the workspace is both agile and completely useful in all senses. There is also room to allow us to adapt and develop the space in the future.
I worked with a group of staff, managers and specialist colleagues from across the Library and University to help this project run as smoothly as possible. We wanted the project to be effective, swift and dynamic. We used SharePoint to manage all project documentation and to provide an area to monitor and track actions, issues, risks and decisions. The site also hosted live documents and other resources that were in constant use by the team. This model is now being used for other initiatives.
I was privileged to sit on the Project Committee and represent the Library, on behalf of Katy Woolfenden (Head of Teaching and Learning, The University of Manchester Library). This gave me a unique insight to the immensity of the project I learnt about the robustness of the capital project process used to drive this huge redevelopment and the incredible expertise and experience of the senior leaders and stakeholders that formed the committee.
With a building of this size, scale, complexity and age the redevelopment was never going to be an easy task. However the resilience, determination and vision of the entire team has resulted in a amazing redevelopment. This fantastic new facility for the Alliance Manchester Business School will not only support its ambitions for the next few decades but will further embed the Business School’s reputation as a global leader in its field.
The Eddie Davies Library and Finance Zone has been open for just over 1 month. We have received a lot of positive feedback from students, staff and other visitors and can see that our vision and ambitions have resulted in a library space that pushes the boundaries of learning, research and development.
Thanks for reading,
Library Space Development Manager
The University of Manchester Library
The following pictures of the Library and Finance Zone were taken in late December 2018. Although the Library is now open, I wanted to share photos that captured the hard work of the staff who made sure that the space and was up and running on the first day the building opened. Well done to everybody involved with this great job.
#yournewambs #ambs #eddiedavieslibrary #businessschool #universityofmanchester #libraryspaces #facilitiesmanagement #workplace #financezone #bloomberg