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The Rylands


Rylands trophy

The University of Manchester Library Awards, known as ‘The Rylands’ will be presented as part of the Library’s Annual Conference event in June 2024.

The Rylands 2024 will be presented by Patrick Hackett, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at The University of Manchester.

Nominations have been received across eight categories. A short summary of each category can be found below:

Award categories

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.

Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Frankie Broodbank FSP Going the extra mile as a Safepod coordinator, prioritising accommodating bookings and creating a professional, welcoming environment for all users of this specialist facility.
Frankie Broodbank FSP Consistently delivering outstanding services to our researchers in his role as Safepod Coordinator, remaining dedicated, readily assisting colleagues and adjusting his schedule where required.
Fred Breese DUL Exceptional efforts in advancing the Office for Open Research leading to groundbreaking initiatives like the Open Research Fellowship Programme and the Open Research Innovation Fund, positioning the University strongly for the next REF.
Helen Foster CS Admirably filling the gap left by our colleague Linda's passing, supporting the team through challenging circumstances with kindness and thoughtfulness.
Helen Foster CS Being an outstanding colleague and manager during a challenging six months in the Reading Lists team. Supporting the team through Linda Pover's absence and after her passing while ensuring the team's service remains excellent.
Helen Foster CS Being exceptionally supportive during a challenging year for the team, fostering an inclusive and encouraging culture. Organising morale-boosting activities and actively listening to the team's needs.
John Hodgson CP Weekly communications, fondly known as 'John's Sunday briefs', that keep the team informed and engaged. Fostering a supportive environment, encouraging self-care and offering open communication with Library leadership.
Mark Hastings CS For consistently going above and beyond with Library colleagues for many, many years, in terms of organising events and generally improving wellbeing for all.
Mark Hastings CS Embodying the spirit of the Library, being always present and engaged without seeking recognition. From providing Yorkshire Tea to hosting board game sessions, having humour and camaraderie that always lifts the team.
Mark Hastings CS Committing to improving the wellbeing and social offering made to Library colleagues, both in an official capacity in the wellbeing team and by being extremely friendly and welcoming to everyone.
Mark Hastings CS Being great with improving wellbeing at the Library and setting up a lot of initiatives in the staff spaces and organising staff sports events.
Mark Laws FSP Juggling numerous responsibilities with unwavering diligence and a warm smile; brightening up the day of everyone he meets, whether a student or colleague.
The Reader Services Team CP Stepping in admirably during a challenging time by covering shifts, offering emotional support and picking up the slack.
Tristan Hooper FSP Always being relied upon to deliver on what he's said he'll do, going beyond what is asked to ensure things run smoothly and that all on a project have everything they need.
Will Smith FSP Having a meticulous approach to supporting the eResources team on the Imagine2030 project to accelerate its progress and enhance its quality.
Helen Foster CS Going above and beyond to support the Teaching Collections Team during Linda Pover's illness and since her death. Introducing team events, arranging a group counselling session and always being available for anyone needing support.
Christine Sweet AIIA Outstanding dedication as the eResources manager, not only improving workflows and user experience but also uplifting team morale. Unwavering support, guidance, positive attitude and a commitment to excellence.
Helen Foster CS Bringing immense support to the Teaching Collections Team last year during challenging times, notably after the loss of Team Leader, Linda. Prioritising wellbeing, fostering a cohesive team environment and providing unwavering care and guidance.
Frankie Broodbank FSP Consistently going above and beyond, adjusting his schedule and stepping in whenever needed to ensure the success of the Safepod scheme for visiting researchers.
Pamela Morris and Deborah Morrissey DUL Going beyond their job descriptions to help staff when in need; working hard to make staff events great, even when it isn't their turn to be the ones organising.
Jan Whalen AIIA Going above and beyond in her role during Dom's illness and unfortunately his death. Taking on his work and supporting him as much as she could.
Adam Cooke FSP Consistently supporting and advocating for colleagues, especially those in the Student Team, encouraging their confidence and involvement in projects beyond their comfort zone. Having support and belief in others to enhance the Student Team's experience.
Adam Cooke FSP Consistently ensuring the student voice is heard and celebrated in his work, fostering inclusive spaces and empowering colleagues, especially the Student Team, to lead initiatives.
Mark Hastings CS Always looking out for Library staff's wellbeing, and ways to improve people's experiences at work year after year.
Mark Laws FSP Being an exceptional coordinator and colleague whose support and camaraderie are cherished by the entire CS team. Effortlessly juggling team management with humour and friendship.
Carlene Barton FSP Excelling in challenging situations, and despite illness taking on additional responsibilities by filling in as eLearning Manager.
Kristian Scott AIIA Dedication and commitment to accessibility; meticulous attention to detail and ability to handle urgent requests with calmness and proficiency.
Amin Hussain AIIA Leading on numerous initiatives this year, demonstrating exceptional leadership and humility. Facilitating the creation of a pilot multifaith space as well as inclusive recruitment efforts.
Curatorial Practices and EPER Teams CP Consistently going the extra mile to support each other and visitors to the Rylands. Handling last minute rota changes, volunteering for additional tasks and ensuring the safety and engagement of all visitors.
Lucy May, Helen Foster and Laura Briggs Various Revitalising SMF group activities, demonstrating exceptional dedication and initiative. Organising events, creating content and facilitating meetings.

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.

Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Beth Norgrove, Mikey Tang, John Hynes and Scott Taylor DUL Showcasing remarkable creativity in the Data Triptych Project, leveraging AI tools to revolutionise the Library's research metrics capabilities.
Scott Taylor AIIA For insightful and creative suggestions as to how the Library can respond to the problems inherent in Transitional Agreements within the sector. 
Collection Care Team CS Work on the preservation of Demotic 9; innovative use of enzymes and collaborative efforts to successfully stabilise the scroll and preserve its global significance.
Steven Hartshorne CS Demonstrating resourcefulness by swiftly resolving an issue with a locked trolley, enabling timely access to Special Collections equipment. Invaluable craftsmanship in repairing damaged exhibition materials.
OA Jisc Monitor Replacement Team Various Responding quickly and creatively to create a new process for recording our OA funding approvals after a sudden announcement from Jisc that they were shutting down the Gold Open Access team's most used system.
Together Conference Planning Team Various Dedication each year to innovation and improvement to the conference, e.g. in initiatives such as live captioning and sustainability efforts.
Pete Morris AIIA Rapidly developing a service status application during the cyber incident, providing crucial support to staff working remotely.
Ruth Burns CS Collaboration on the LAVA project which showcased her innovative approach to collection development.

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.

Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Helen Foster CS Exceptional support for the Teaching Collections team during a challenging time, following the loss of Linda. Positivity, hard work and her caring attitude have kept the team together and helped manage the additional workload and emotional burden.
Mark Laws FSP Amazing work as a Customer Services Coordinator; having a leadership quality that shines throughout, handling difficult situations calmly and taking the time to chat with people when needed.
Mark Laws FSP Inspiring action on a busy University open day, which exemplifies his exceptional kindness and dedication. Going out of his way to assist a homeless MMU student, arranging support and even paying for transportation to ensure the student's wellbeing.
Steve Carlton and Research Services DUL For all those involved in experimenting with and implementing sprint-based approaches to projects. Particularly Steve Carlton and colleagues for their work on replacing Jisc Monitor.
Steve Carlton, Elizabeth Warnock, Olivia Rye and Scott Taylor DUL Swiftly forming a project team to develop a solution to the retirement of Jisc Monitor Local. Successfully launching the GOAT system in just six weeks, showcasing the potential of Microsoft 365 and generative AI to optimise workflow and ensure compliance with funding and REF requirements.
Customer Services Wellbeing Team FSP Dedication to promoting the welfare of Customer Services, Library and University staff and students. Producing a monthly newsletter alongside their regular responsibilities, demonstrating proactive commitment.
Helen Foster CS Resilience and unwavering support following the huge loss of Linda the Teaching Collections Team Leader; demonstrating an admirable ability to cope with change as well as wonderful management and leadership skills.

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.

Nominees(s)DirectorateNominated for
Beth Norgrove DUL Innovative use of AI under tight deadlines which has been instrumental in understanding the University's contributions to UN Sustainable Development Goals and identifying international research partners.
Emily Tan CP Innovative approach to Rylands exhibitions highlighting underrepresented narratives, as seen in the Founders and Funders exhibition. Collaborating with student curators and academics, facilitating public engagement events focused on Caribbean genealogy and fostering opportunities for development and dialogue.
Bicentenary Walk of Fame and Heritage Tours Team Various Work on the digital Historic Campus Tours and Bicentenary Way which commemorates achievement and progress, showcasing the power of collaboration and heritage to inspire both within and beyond the University.
Christine Sweet AIIA Recently appearing in a BBC documentary about childbirth prolapse, and campaigning to raise awareness of the issue.
Des Coyle CS Playing a crucial role in holding Library content suppliers accountable for their environmental commitments as a member of the Environmental Sustainability Library Steering Group.
Paul Ralphs FSP Leading on targeted initiatives during the Get Started 2023 campaign; tailoring sessions for students with care responsibilities and running tours for autistic students which paves the way for greater inclusivity in future campaigns. 
The Sikh Community Heritage Project Team CP Making remarkable strides in preserving and digitising Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Rylands, and ensuring access while fostering a fruitful partnership with community leader Gurtek Singh.
Des Coyle CS Leadership in the Library Environmental Sustainability Steering Group which has been instrumental in driving supplier accountability for sustainability commitments. Initiating dialogue with suppliers and collaborating with central procurement to enhance monitoring using NETpositive Supplier Engagement Software. 

5. Equity, 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(s)DirectorateNominated for
Amin Hussain AIIA Dedication to EDI principles, evident through his efforts in spearheading the inclusive recruitment survey with Padma and Abi. Advocating for a multi-faith space for staff.
Angel Cossigny CP Tireless dedication to promoting EDI within our organisation. Organising regular meetings and workshops, ensuring smooth operation and inclusivity.
Rachel Kirkwood CS Significantly expanding collections around protected characteristics including queer, disability, PoC and wellbeing collections through the Libby app launch.
Amin Hussain AIIA Playing a pivotal role in establishing a staff multi-faith prayer and contemplation space at Main Library. Dedication to fostering inclusivity aligning with national benchmarks like the Race Equality Charter.
Tabita-Gabriela Juravle, Iqra Malik and Adam Cooke FSP Organising the Words Matter symposium at the Rylands. This event was funded by a grant awarded to students for the first time.
Rachel Kirkwood CS Launch and promotion of the Libby app which significantly diversified our Library's reading materials and provided non-academic books for staff and students.
Kristian Scott AIIA Working really hard to include accessibility in the Library's digital comms, advising the Engagement and conference teams on best approaches.
Angel Cossigny CP Transforming the Curatorial Practices EDI reading group into an action-focused group. Establishing regular meetings to discuss positive actions and ensuring staff are involved and informed.
Veronica Pizzarotti CS Dedication to equality, diversity and inclusivity in her work at the RACE Centre. Enhancing accessibility to diverse resources, developing inclusive cataloguing practices and improving the organisation of collections.
Amin Hussain AIIA Tirelessly campaigning and arranging to get the Multi-Faith Prayer and Contemplation Space in the Library.
Iqra Malik FSP Consistently championing overlooked voices and advocating for inclusivity in the Library, notably by advocating for improved prayer facilities for students of all faiths.
Iqra Malik and Tabita-Gabriela Juravle FSP Making a significant impact by promoting inclusivity through initiatives like Ramadan snacks, organising events challenging traditional teaching practices and inspiring collaborative sessions like 'decolonising the curriculum.'
Amin Hussain AIIA Perseverance and dedication in realising the Library Staff Multi-Faith Prayer and Contemplation Space, and leading on other EDI-related workshops and promoting inclusive recruitment practices.
Abigail Harrison-Henshall, Padma Inala and Amin Hussain Various Making significant strides towards implementing inclusive recruitment practices across the Library, and developing a proposal to implement easy to follow inclusive recruitment guidance for Library staff.
Iqra Malik FSP Leveraging a position of influence advocating for marginalised voices, including by being a leading voice on the inaugural Teaching and Learning Conference plenary panel, and leading a team collaboration session on inclusive language and content warnings to influence our teaching practices.
Iqra Malik FSP Mobilising the Library to take significant steps towards prioritising EDI values, including by presenting at conferences including RAISE, AdvanceHE and Oxford Brookes, and being an Inclusivity Representative at Staff Student Liaison Committees.
Imogen Durant and Angel Cossigny CP Developing and embedding Curatorial Practices; EDI Learning and Action Group to inspire and challenge colleagues to work differently; liaising with colleagues at a range of grades to create a supportive and open atmosphere. 

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.

Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Eleanor Warren DUL Leading impactful events and facilitating valuable exchanges among colleagues in the sector as co-chair of the ALN Research Support SIG, which has not only showcased the Library's innovative work but also fostered connections and knowledge beyond our institution.
Chris Gibson DUL Leading the Library's Data Management Plan (DMP) service, providing robust support for research grants. Advocating for elevating DMPs as scholarly records and actively working on improving funder records. 


7. Outstanding Newcomer Award

For the individual member of staff who has joined the Library since July 2023 and made an outstanding initial contribution either on a particular project or by visibly embracing our University’s core values.

Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Harry Eyre CP Embodying the pioneering spirit of the AIU RACE Centre, excelling in his frontline duties with skill and enthusiasm. Significantly contributing to our busiest period, doubling the number of researchers, despite his short tenure.
Tim Calvert FSP Boundless enthusiasm that shines through in every corner of his work. Tackling embedded program requests, participating in teaching, content creation, socials and embodying the values of collaboration and co-creation.
Chrysoula Papadimitriou FSP Becoming an indispensable member of the team, ensuring efficient administration of our teaching programs and fostering partnerships with Manchester Museum, as well as demonstrating a proactive approach and eagerness to embrace opportunities within the Library community.
Harry Eyre CP Hitting the ground running after starting and becoming a true pillar of the RACE Centre and its values in a short period of time, and having such a positive work ethic.
Tereza Ward CP Excelling in her role with the Christian Brethren Archive and providing invaluable support with sensitive material relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

8. Turing AI Partnership Award

For an individual or group, internal or external to the Library that has shown significant innovation through partnerships in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Nominee(s)DirectorateNominated for
Beth Norgrove DUL Adept use of generative AI technologies, which greatly amplified the Research Metrics team's capabilities. Creating innovative scripts that have streamlined complex bibliographic analysis, delivering valuable insights to stakeholders and saving weeks of work.
Beth Norgrove and Mikey Tang DUL Contributing a wealth of knowledge to the Mosaic project through coding and AI, which has opened up infinite possibilities about how we can use data in a few clicks.
Jennie Blake FSP Innovative approach to AI pedagogies in the Library, emphasising research integrity and critical thinking, which has garnered international attention.
Jennie Blake FSP Leadership that has positioned the Library as a AI leader at UoM. Forging strategic partnerships and leading cross-University projects to ensure the integration of AI guidance into teaching with a critical eye. 
Jennie Blake FSP Spearheading the Library's response to generative AI well ahead of other institutions. Collaborating on the development of the University's AI Teaching Guidance, which has influenced AI principles at the Russell Group and JISC.
Scott Taylor DUL Pioneering the use of AI to enhance creativity and productivity in the team, integrating it into agile sprint sessions for rapid prototyping of new research metrics and workflows.