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The Rylands

The University of Manchester Library Awards, known as ‘The Rylands’ was presented as part of the Library’s Annual Conference event in June 2022.

Nearly 100 nominations were received across thirteen categories. A short summary of each nomination is detailed below along with the winners.

Award categories, nominees and winners

1. Customer Service Award: for an individual or group that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to frontline customer service delivery or customer service development


Nominee Nominated for
Charlie Goss Constantly working hard and never failing to pitch in
Rebecca Winstanley (winner) Always delivering a spotless service and a smile for visitors, staff and researchers
Customer Services Team Keeping the University going during a pandemic, when almost all other University buildings and services were closed
Frances Murphy Taking on extra projects and workload to benefit the team and the progression of the Library
Lindsay Turrell Hitting the ground running when she joined the team and using her people skills to always ensure standards are being met
Finn Jackson Being absolutely incredible! Working extremely hard and always being the first one to offer to help and take on challenges
Customer Services Team Being one of the few teams working on campus during the pandemic to make sure our students still had access to resources and study spaces
Rebecca Winstanley (winner) Leading the Visitor Services Team and ensuring that even with long periods of low staffing levels the consistency of the service they deliver has never faltered
Customer Services and Digital Support Services Teams Dealing with the unprecedented level of queries that students raised when Two-factor authentication (aka 'Duo') went live in March 2022
Building Care Team Working tirelessly to ensure that the Rylands has been able to re-open safely, first to staff and then to visitors
Sally Finkill and Rebecca Winstanley Doing an incredible job of getting to grips with the Rylands shop during challenging times with very limited prior experience
Rylands Services and EPER Teams Offering an exemplary service to our public visitors following months of closure due to the pandemic, with limited staffing
Customer Services Team Navigating ever-changing ways of working when reopening after lockdown, often at very short notice
Mehvish Ali Always providing a welcome smile at the Customer Services desk and working really hard to provide great customer service
Customer Services and Stock Operations Teams Sustained excellent service throughout the many phases of the pandemic
Mark Laws Always going above and beyond for anyone who works with him or any student/staff member in need
Visitor Services Team Going above and beyond everyday not only for visitors but for staff too as they support every team within the Library and wider services
Stephanie Dyson Being the epitome of what a hardworking, dedicated colleague is! Constantly going above and beyond her duties
Customer Services Team Excellent teamwork during the pandemic, for their commitment and hard work keeping services up and running during a very difficult time
Lorraine Coughlan Being the backbone of the Reader Services Team, a fount of knowledge and always approachable to help with awkward retrievals 
Visitor Services Team Delivering an outstanding service during the restructure and the pandemic
Teaching, Learning and Students Programme Management Group (TLS PM): Carlene Barton, Charlotte Evans, Matthew Hallsworth, Tom Hesford, Sarah Kneen, Kathryn Miller, Kerry Scott, Ruqaiyah Naqshbandi, Anna Theis.  Demonstrating high levels of organisation and understanding of customer needs to offer a hybrid return to campus
Lianne Smith and Annie Dickinson (and AIUET staff) Hitting the ground running to reopen the RACE Centre and deliver a library archive service in a matter of weeks

2. Strategic Initiative Award: for an individual or group that has shown initiative in furthering a strategic activity or project


Nominee Nominated for
Lucinda May Engaging proactively with the redesigned Staff Management Forum and for truly embracing the ethos of a member led network
Office for Open Research Team  (winner) Establishing the Office for Open Research (including a website which brings together open research support and guidance in a single interactive and engaging way), successfully creating a roadmap of activities and building an open research network across Professional Services
Scott Taylor, Des Coyle and Steve Carlton Outstanding work on the REF project
Sally Finkill Overseeing the re-opening of the Rylands, the introduction of new policies and always making time on both a professional and personal level for each member of the team
Peter Wadsworth Conscientious and detailed guidance to help create a new structure to deliver Imagine2030
Nilani Ganeshwaran Successfully applying for and obtaining a fellowship with the Software Sustainability Institute by proposing a plan to work with N8 to advance the Library Carpentry training programme with a focus on embedding skills into permanent practice
Exhibitions and Public Engagement with Research Team, Curatorial Practices colleagues and Digital Support Services Team Pioneering a new approach to online seminars allowing participants to view collection objects live and participate in discussions with researchers and curators. to engage with Research
Mark Elson Making a major contribution to establishing Manchester Digital Scholarship as a project by working with senior colleagues in the Library to understand what was needed and then coordinating activity

3. Creative Approach Award: for an individual or group that has demonstrated unusual levels of creativity or innovation in their role or on a project



Nominated for

Collection Development and Management Team

Greening inter-site collections transport with an electric cargo bike

Nilani Ganeshwaran and Lucinda May

Implementing the Research and Digital Horizon's (RDH) Directorate's monthly Monday mini masterclass

Kristian Scott and Lindsay Wilson

Bringing the Library's first Imagine2030 annual report to digital life

Julianne Simpson

Being at the forefront of developing an online offer for users of the Rylands collections

Emily Tan and Mat Bancroft

Developing and delivering the British Pop Archive launch exhibition Collection

Pete Morris (winner)

Approaching an online workshop project with creativity and imagination

Linda Pover, Shona Forbes and Michael Roughley

Demonstrating creative approaches to improving the reading list service

Pete Morris (winner)

Demonstrating an extraordinary level of creativity and implementing genuinely innovative solutions for the Office for Open Research (OOR) website

Katie McGrother

Leading the development of Power BI in the Library, creating innovative visualisations that have transformed our decision making

Pete Morris (winner)

Being innovative, creative and incredibly responsive in his work to support Teaching, Learning and Students and Customer Services

Dave Hirst

Showcasing the Library's ability to innovate pedagogically through his work on the Digital Society module over the last two years

Olivia Rye

Contributing artwork for communications campaigns and bringing arguably dull research-related subjects to life

Web Team in Research and Digital Horizons

Extraordinary creative and technical skills which have gone into the design of the new Imagine2030 and Office for Open research websites

4. Inspirational Action Award: for an individual or group that has taken a course of action or responded to a situation that has inspired others to think or act differently


Nominee Nominated for
Lucinda May Spearheading our new approach to flexible working, organising our weekly RS labs and reinvigorating our time on campus
Stephanie Dyson Going above and beyond her role and being a strong, passionate, innovative individual, who is always looking to improve her practice
Esther Miller Contributing to the Library's accessibility agenda and setting up a group bringing together colleagues to develop and share their skills in sign language
Rebecca Winstanley Taking on many extra roles due to staff shortages and being an inspiration and a pleasure to work with
Justin Parker (winner) Continuously inspiring the Subscriptions Team to react with calmness and fortitude throughout the past 20 months in response to increased workload demand and often unexpected urgent deadlines
Ciaran Talbot Working on Office 365 for Library staff. Without it we wouldn't be doing so well with our comms
Digital Support Team Reacting very quickly to supporting staff with working from home, providing me with the equipment I needed and remote support when everything stopped working
Dom Hunt Taking a lead role working with teams across the Library to ensure our spaces remained open and safely available to students
John Hynes, Beth Norgrove and Mikey Tang Supporting three strategically vital pieces of work with a positive, inspiring attitude under very challenging circumstances

5. Digital Collections Award: for an individual or group that has contributed significantly to the development / delivery of our digital collections (including Special Collections)


Nominee Nominated for
Amar Nazir Sustained efforts and achievements in the acquisition of new finance and accounting data sets, especially FactSet
Tom Higgins Groundbreaking and innovative work to support the Simon Papers research project in creating a digital edition on MDC
Charlotte Hoare Transforming the processes for creating new content for Manchester Digital Collections
Library Systems Team Working incredibly hard to continuously improve Library Search
Dominic Marsh and others (curators etc.) involved in the virtual reading room service The Virtual Reading Room project
Tom Higgins Outstanding work on developing new functionality to enhance the display of transcriptions and translations with the Manchester Digital Collections (MDC) platform
Dominic Whitehead Being incredibly helpful and professional in his role around LUNA and ELGAR
John McCrory, Karen Jacques, Emily Tan, Jane Gallagher, Imaging team, Suzanne Fagan, Janette Martin, Kristian Scott, (IT Anthony Evans) Researching, selecting, photographing and preparing objects for the Manchester Guardian exhibition under very difficult conditions
Ourania Karapasia Making considerable improvements to Luna’s metadata. It is now infinitely more consistent, with improved discoverability, usability and navigation
Helen Foster Exemplifying the Library’s values through her commitment to ensuring that all students have equitable access to their core texts
Ourania Karapasia Hard work, dedication and passion for metadata quality and integrity for digital collections (Special Collections)
Manchester Digital Collections Team  (winner) Continuing to grow and develop MDC into an inspiring and rich platform for researchers and other audiences to interact and practice scholarship with our wonderful special collections
Beth Price Contributing significantly to the delivery of Manchester University Press's digital collections by coordinating metadata-creation activities to ensure that high quality MARC records are delivered to our colleagues at the Press in a timely manner.

6. Print Collections Award: for an individual or group that has contributed significantly to the development/delivery of our print collections (including Special Collections)


Nominee Nominated for
Clare Baker Meeting the challenge of a new role with calm, efficiency and creativity which has ensured her success. Working effectively to bring together the Curatorial Practices Collections Assistants as a team and establishing more effective and co-ordinated teamwork
Sean Hampton Performing beyond the call of duty numerous times to ensure we can add to the collection and exemplary work on REF
Acquisitions Team Dealing with a sizable backlog in print orders (~940 staff orders, ~100 student orders) when we returned to campus
Helen Charles, Mark Hastings and Phil Somers  (winner) Tackling the mountain of 150 mail sacks that had built up since our sudden exodus on March 17 2020 with passion and determination

7. Research Innovation Award: for an individual or group that has delivered excellence or innovation on behalf of our research community


Nominee Nominated for
Scott Taylor Displaying exemplary leadership in the development of the Office for Open Research, working with stakeholders at the highest levels of the University
UKRI OA Policy Implementation Team (Scott Taylor, Lucinda May, Tristan Hooper, Sarah Phillips, Steve Carlton) Developing and delivering a communications and support campaign (commended by Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research) for the implementation of the new UKRI OA policy
Chris Gibson  (winner) Developing and delivering unique content for the Sensitive Data workshop as part of the My Research Essentials training programme

8. Student Partnership Award: for an individual or group that has delivered excellence and innovation in partnership with our students


Nominee Nominated for
Digital Society & Student Team Uniquely contributing to the Library’s Digital Society course content through weekly podcasts on the key themes
Donna Sherman, Lianne Smith, Maya Sharma, Adam Cooke, John McCrory, Kathy Davies and Janette Martin Innovatively supporting the first year module Manchester History Workshop and demonstrating the impact Special Collections has on the student experience
Kerry Scott, Matthew Hallsworth and Arvin Johnson  (winner) Demonstrating continued excellence in partnering with students through the day-to-day coordination of the Library Student Team. Ensuring that the student voice is integrated into Library services and establishing the Library as an exemplar in student partnership at the University and beyond

9. Social Responsibility Award: for an individual or group that has made a contribution to furthering the University’s social responsibility goals or made a difference to a particular community


Nominee Nominated for
Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre  (winner) Inspirational contribution to extending the reach of the Library into local communities
British Pop Archive Team (Mat Bancroft & Emily Tan) Creating and launching the British Pop Archive exhibition, Collection, which stands to attract what is likely to be the largest audience we may have seen through the doors of the Rylands
Library Student Team Embodying the Library’s and University’s commitment to the "Our Future" social responsibility goals and putting the Library's work at the forefront of the University's efforts to deliver a socially responsible and inclusive experience for our students and the wider community

10. Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Initiative Award: for an individual or group that has made a significant difference in promoting EDI within the Library and / or beyond


Nominee Nominated for
MT Hutchinson Going to great lengths to introduce himself and explain his role as EDI Champion at the Rylands
Kristian Scott Persistent yet often unrecognised work towards continually improving the accessibility of our digital interfaces
TLS QA group (Emma Pearson, Kerry Scott, Matt Hallsworth, Arvin Johnson, Neil Sprunt)  (winner) Working tirelessly to make all our teaching materials inclusive and accessible, working in partnership with the Library Student Team
Customer Services Recruitment Team Creating an innovative approach to encouraging a more diverse set of applications to Customer Services roles
Lianne Smith and team Creating an environment where people can thrive and evolving processes to enhance and improve how resources are accessed

11. Scholarship Award: for an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to sector thinking and practice by presenting, publishing or otherwise sharing their work


Nominee Nominated for
Sam Aston Being a collaborative editor, writer and publisher for the book Library Pedagogies: personal reflections from practitioners
Imaging Team Supporting our researchers using cutting-edge technologies and providing excellent resources to engage with visitors
Emma Booth  (winner) Contributing significantly to the Metadata and Discovery sector and being an advocate for making quality standardised metadata an intrinsic part of acquisitions and procurement processes
Safina Islam Contributing extensively to the scholarship around diversity, equality and inclusion in the heritage and libraries sectors

12. Library Spaces Award: for an individual or group that has been creative in the development or redesign of Library spaces and made a difference to the way our space is used


Nominee Nominated for
Donna Sherman Tireless efforts to transform the map room at Main Library, creatively implementing signage and barriers to create a Special Collections space
Isabel Sebastian Tireless work creating additonal student study spaces
Isabel Sebastian and Ciaran Pook  (winner) Creatively transforming study spaces in Main Library and the Learning Commons to improve the student experience
Julianne Simpson and the Reader Services Team Creating the Virtual Reading Room and the Virtual Teaching Space at Rylands
Ciaran Pook Putting in a tremendous amount of work on a daily basis to make sure we were able to reopen and offer safe spaces for students when they most needed it

13. The ‘What Were We Thinking’ Award: a fun award designed to help us embrace the success of failing, being able to learn from it and, just as importantly, laugh about it!


Nominee Nominated for
Chris Pressler (winner) Creating the Christie Library PGR study space - not only was it hardly used, but the Library ended up getting the blame for the closure of everyone's favourite coffee shop and meeting space!
Austin-Smith:Lord (Architects) Their 'too scary even for free-solo climbers or base-jumpers' ceiling lighting access design in the stairwell of the Rylands extension
Digital Technologies and Services Team DTS Bingo! Pete Morris created it when he had never played bingo before. We were happy to have something to do for our DTS social but it was really hard going!