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The Rylands


Rylands trophy

The University of Manchester Library Awards, known as ‘The Rylands’ were presented as part of the Library’s Annual Conference event in June 2023.

Nearly 100 nominations were received across seven categories. A short summary of each nomination is detailed below.

Award categories and nominees

1. Above and Beyond Award

For an individual or group that has shown the most initiative and desire to go above and beyond the duties of their role.


  1. Grant Collier
  2. Dominic Marsh (Highly Commended)


Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Mark Laws FSP Mark's commitment to his job and the University is exceptional, going above and beyond by ensuring safety, helping colleagues, and demonstrating dedication.
Steph Dyson CP Steph is the unsung hero of the Rylands, consistently going above and beyond in maintaining the building, pushing for better training, and creating effective cleaning schedules.
Vicky Flood CS Vicky's expertise in Inter-Library Loan processes has been invaluable in merging teams, ensuring a smooth transition, and maintaining high standards of service.
Isabel Sebastian RDH Isabel's exceptional organisational skills, attention to detail, and ability to collaborate with various stakeholders has been crucial in successfully delivering complex projects.
Charlotte Hoare, Tom Higgins, Ourania Karapasia, Jo Castle, Helen Scott Various Despite numerous challenges, tight deadlines, and significant demands, the team has displayed unwavering professionalism, flexibility, dedication, and enthusiasm, ensuring the successful launch of the Library's first digital edition.
Christine Stahl CS After 47 years of dedicated service, Christine deserves recognition for her lifetime contribution to the Library, especially during the Together23 Library staff conference.
Justin Parker, Helen Charles, Helen Monagle, Phil Reed FSP This collaborative team consistently goes above and beyond, managing complex business data while achieving desired outcomes and maintaining the Library's reputation.
Projects and business analysis team RDH With their diverse skills and professionalism, this small yet impactful team embeds project and operational management skills, ensuring strategic priorities are met.
Gemma Smith and Nick Campbell FSP These Engagement Librarians excel in their roles, providing exceptional support, intelligent data usage, and proactive collaboration, resulting in positive feedback and strategic advancements.
Martin O'Dwyer, Jai Vaghela, Jocelyn Wright and Alison Walker RDH Martin, Jai, Jocelyn, and Alison have shown exceptional dedication and creativity in deploying digital technology in the new Crawford House Staff Hub.
Shona Forbes CS Through her initiatives and collaborations, Shona has streamlined workflows, improved identification processes, and enhanced reporting, benefiting the Teaching Collections Team, Library colleagues, teaching staff, and students.
Special Collections Reading Services Team CP This team delivers exceptional service, mastering new technology and providing a personalised reading room experience for remote users worldwide.
Lindsay Wilson RDH Lindsay's outstanding performance in digital Library development, creative skills, project management, and contributions to successful campaigns make her a worthy nominee.
Mark Laws FSP Mark consistently puts in a tremendous effort, excelling in supporting colleagues, delivering high-standard customer service, and contributing to projects and events.
Amber Greenall Heffernan CP As Visitor Services Supervisor, Amber's skills and positive attitude have improved team operations, making her a valuable asset.
Stephanie Dyson CP Steph's work ethic, dedication to conservation cleaning projects, and core responsibilities as a BC assistant make her an exemplary member of the Building Care Team.
Ciaran Talbot RDH Ciaran's attentiveness to improving all aspects of the Library and his commitment to his role and team make him a valuable contributor.
Kristian Scott RDH Kristian's attention to detail, ability to handle urgent requests, and advocacy for accessibility make him highly esteemed across the Library and beyond.
Lindsay Turrell FSP Lindsay's hard work, knowledge, support, and dedication to her role in the Customer Services Team make her a standout colleague.
Lindsay Turrell FSP Lindsay consistently delivers excellent customer service, contributes positively to the team, and is a pleasure to work with.
Olivia Walsby and Isabel Sebastian Various Olivia and Isabel successfully managed the Crawford House project and exemplified collaboration, professionalism, and representation of the Library's values.
Digital Support Staff team RDH Despite staffing challenges, this team has worked exceptionally hard to provide outstanding support to the Library's student body.
Mark Elson RDH Mark's calm approach, coordination, and leadership were instrumental in delivering outcomes for a major national project.
CP Collections Assistants CP This team has worked diligently to support the use of collections in teaching, events, and exhibitions, managing increased activity and contributing to improvements.
Gemma Henderson CP Going above and beyond her role as CP EPER Coordinator, Gemma has led the support for online and hybrid events, overcoming challenges with determination and patience.
Pamela Morris and Deborah Morrissey DotUL These team members provide excellent support, solving issues, and serving as a friendly first point of contact for Library and external colleagues.
Linda Pover CS Energised team leader, efficient in managing responsibilities, and goes above and beyond to assist and advise.
Grant Collier  CP Exceptional support for map collections, handling projects, events, film production, teaching blog creation, and promoting the map collections.
John Hynes RDH Inspiring leadership in challenging circumstances, maintaining high-level service delivery, and showcasing Manchester's work and metrics expertise.
Olivia Walsby and Isabel Sebastian Various Leading the development of a game-changing workspace in Crawford House, facilitating collaboration in post-pandemic work.
Student Digital Support Service team RDH Tireless dedication in resolving a major technical problem, restoring critical services and supporting teaching needs.
Lianne Smith CP Exceptional Archivist and Library Manager, creating systems, prioritising users, and displaying exceptional interpersonal skills.
Reader Services Team CP Consistently proactive and inspiring in helping readers and colleagues, going above and beyond assigned responsibilities.
Julianne Simpson CP Technical expert and public engagement supporter, training colleagues, troubleshooting AV issues, and participating in events.
Ourania Karapasia CP Driving improved discoverability and data sustainability in digital collections, promoting best practices and advancing skills.
Mehvish Ali CS Supportive team member, encouraging development, and leaving a positive impact on colleagues with her kindness and reliability.
Lee Wolstenholme CP Outstanding Visitor Services Team member, goes above and beyond for visitors and colleagues, bringing treats and maintaining morale.
The Digital Support Services team RDH Resolving persistent technical problems, ensuring smooth operation of services, and supporting teaching and learning.
The Digital Support Services team RDH Integral to space and technology projects, adapting technology delivery, supporting hybrid work, and delivering important changes.
Dave Goulding CS Helpful and passionate colleague, goes the extra mile in providing tours, DJ sets, and support to colleagues.
Kathryn Miller FSP Invaluable in her split role, excelling in organisational skills, communication, team support, and fostering good working relationships.
Christine Stahl CS Dedicated cataloguer, committed to high standards, with a positive attitude and embracer of new responsibilities.
Crawford House project team Various Creative and adaptive leadership in the Crawford House project, transforming the space into an inspiring and functional environment.
Dominic Marsh CP Inspiring leader, handling pressures, supporting teams, staying late, and serving as a liaison for the Rylands Next Chapter project.

2. Creative Approach Award

For an individual or group that has demonstrated unusual levels of creativity or innovation in their role or on a project.


  1. Open Research Tracker team
  2. Imaging team (Highly Commended)


Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Open Research Tracker team RDH Innovative tool supporting open research principles, freely available for adoption and adaptation in the sector.
Olivia Walsby CS Creatively transformed a tired space into an inspiring environment, collaborating with colleagues and exceeding expectations.
Laura Earnshaw FSP Cares about staff and students, creates a nice working environment, supports new starters, and delivers creative ideas.
Jack Hardman, Alessia Benedetti and Ceri James CP Developed and launched an updated core program of public engagement activities, engaging over 1800 visitors.
The Imaging team (Rylands) CP Implements a creative approach to digitising special collections, problem-solving, and supporting innovative research with advanced imaging techniques.
Fred Breese RDH Showed creativity and innovation in overseeing the Open Research Accelerator Fund and developing informative videos and case studies.
AIU RACE Centre team CP Takes a creative and user-centered approach to engagement sessions, going beyond providing access to archives.
Carlene Barton FSP Creative problem solver and collaborator, revolutionising reporting and contributing to the design and delivery of TLS services.

3. 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.


  1. John Hynes
  2. Mike Roughley (Highly Commended)


Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Curatorial Practices Building Care team CP The Building Care team's conservation cleaning work at the Rylands has transformed perceptions, preserved artefacts, and uncovered new insights.
Charlie Goss FSP For being a true inspiration.
John Hynes RDH Exemplary leadership in challenging circumstances, maintaining high-level service delivery and showcasing Manchester's work and metrics expertise.
Finn Hobin (Jackson) FSP Dedicated to creating a brighter and easier work life, organising events for colleagues and fostering a non-judgmental atmosphere.
Building Care and Operations Team CP Transformed the perception and use of the Rylands building through conservation cleaning, showcasing expertise and making new discoveries.
Mike Roughley FSP Inspirational team player, fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge in My Learning Essentials and the Business Data Team.

4. Social Responsibility Award

For an individual or group that has made a successful contribution to furthering the University’s social responsibility goals and / or has made a difference to a particular section of the community, the environment etc.


  1. Jocelyn Wright
  2. Inbal Harding (Highly Commended)


NomineeDirectorateNominated for
Mark Hastings CS Friendly, community-oriented, and improves staff experience and well-being through various initiatives in the Main Library.
Jennie Blake FSP Student-focused advocate, secured financial support for students, challenged norms, and made a positive impact.
Inbal Harding CP Fantastic engagement with the Sikh community, digitisation efforts, and increased accessibility of Sikh collections.
Jocelyn Wright RDH Proactively addresses environmental impact of digital equipment acquisition, challenges delivery practices, sets an example for sustainability.
Jennie Blake FSP Strong advocate for student financial support, instrumental in the Library's involvement, and sector-leading response.
Jocelyn Wright RDH Challenges old practices, addresses environmental concerns, and actively seeks improvements.
Inbal Harding CP Crucial connection with the Sikh community, accessibility initiatives, and critical approach to collections.

5. 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.


  1. Esther Miller
  2. Jane Gallagher (Highly Commended)


NomineeDirectorateNominated for
Esther Miller FSP Scoped, planned, and implemented the Library's support for the Hidden Disabilities Scheme, demonstrating exemplary work in the EDI Working Group.
Amin Hussain RDH Leading voice in the EDI Working Group, introducing inclusive practices in digital services and fostering wellbeing and EDI within the team.
Jane Gallagher CP Outstanding leadership in EDI, raising the profile and embedding it in all aspects of the Library's work.
Esther Miller FSP Showed outstanding leadership in implementing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme in the Library, overcoming challenges and receiving praise from the EDI Directorate.
Esther Miller FSP Coordinated and led a Library sign language group, bringing staff together to practice and develop their sign language skills.
Esther Miller FSP Scoped, planned, and implemented the Library's support for the Hidden Disabilities Scheme virtually single-handedly, providing opportunities for staff and users to be recognised and supported.
Abigail Harrison-Henshall RDH Demonstrated commitment and initiative to improve EDI, addressing systemic problems and advocating for underrepresented talent.
Mark-Taylor Hutchinson CP Contributed to initiatives promoting LGBTQ visibility, highlighted the sunflower scheme for hidden disabilities, and ensured inclusivity in special collections.
Esther Miller FSP Successfully implemented Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme in Library, praised by EDI Directorate as exemplary. Overcame challenges with tenacity.
Esther Miller FSP Single-handedly implemented Library's support for Hidden Disabilities Scheme, fostering inclusivity. Exemplary member of EDI Working Group.

6. 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.


  1. AIU RACE Centre
  2. Tony Richards (Highly Commended)


Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Nilani Ganeshwaran, Phil Reed and Carlene Barton Various Hidden treasures in the Library, deserving recognition for their impactful teaching of the Carpentry skills program.
Tony Richards CP Exceptional senior photographer, pioneering advanced imaging techniques, and receiving prestigious awards and invitations.
AIU RACE Centre team CP Sector-leading research on EDI, actively embraced by the heritage sector and influential organisations.
The Research Metrics Team RDH Groundbreaking methods, insights, and commitment to sharing knowledge, enhancing research assessment practices.
Phil Reed FSP Outstanding contributions to Digital Scholarship, publications, workshops, and expertise benefiting the HE sector.

7. Outstanding Newcomer Award

For the individual member of staff who has joined the Library since July 2022 and made an outstanding initial contribution either on a particular project or by visibly embracing our University’s core values.


  1. Amber Greenall-Heffernan
  2. Ria Sunga (Highly Commended)


NomineeDirectorateNominated for
Amber Greenall-Heffernan CP Brought a positive attitude, revamped the shop with bespoke and themed items, and brightened everyone's day.
Steven Hartshorne CP Steven has become an invaluable team member since joining the Library, forming strong relationships, giving presentations, leading initiatives, and demonstrating unwavering support.
Ria Sunga FSP Ria has made a remarkable impact since joining the Library, quickly understanding her role, delivering projects with exceptional pace and quality, and establishing herself as a confident and enthusiastic team member.
Molly Crabtree FSP Molly deserves recognition for her outstanding contributions and dedication to the Library.
Amber Greenall-Heffernan CP Amber has transformed the Rylands retail facility with her flair and commercial expertise, improving the shop's appearance, product range, and resolving challenges to increase income and customer satisfaction.
Jinyan Li RDH Jinyan has made significant progress in supporting eTextbooks and Purebooks applications, contributing to their improvement, and ensuring compliance with funder requirements and open research initiatives.
Amber Greenal-Heffernan CP Amber, as supervisor of the Rylands shop, has efficiently managed all aspects, implemented effective processes, introduced new product lines, resolved support issues, and continually contributed to service enhancements.
Samuel Simpson CP Samuel's exceptional performance in training and diligent work as a photographer for the Envisioning Dante project is enhancing the project's outcomes through the generation of high-quality image data.
Bonnie McGill FSP Bonnie has embraced the Library's values as a newcomer, supporting colleagues, providing teaching cover, and actively contributing to continuous improvement and innovation with a calm and supportive approach.
Amber Greenall-Heffernan CP Excellent communication, operational understanding, and collaboration skills make her a valuable asset to the Visitor Services Team.
Ethan Pollock CP Dedicated, knowledgeable, and delivers exceptional customer service, enhancing the visitor experience at the Library.
Samantha (Sammie) Barker FSP Significantly reshaped and improved the TLS team, implementing equitable processes and establishing valuable connections.
Amber Greenall-Heffernan CP Inspirational dedication, positive influence, and remarkable retail achievements make her an invaluable team member.
Bonnie McGill FSP Valued member of the team, brings a fresh approach, offers expertise, and contributes to continuous improvement.

Recipients for the following award categories have been selected by Library Executive Team.

Enriqueta and John Rylands Staff Member of the Year Award

For the individual member of staff that has made the most significant contribution to the Library this year by visibly embracing our University’s core values.

Awarded to

  • Olivia Walsby

Enriqueta and John Rylands Team of the Year Award

For the Team that has made the most significant contribution to the Library during the course of the year by visibly embracing the University’s core values.

Awarded to

  • Building Care and Operations

Enriqueta and John Rylands Outstanding Professional Contribution Award

An external award to be presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sector / profession either on a particular project or throughout their career to date.

Awarded to

  • Chris Banks