originally published at https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/june/congratulationstoouroutstandinglibraryteam.php
London, 23 June 2016: University of Huddersfield won the Outstanding Library team award last night, at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2016. The awards, now in their eighth year recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.
Heritage Quay, the University of Huddersfield’s official archive, opened in October 2014. From the start, it was designed to offer “a truly interactive service where collections become a catalyst for creativity and are a living archive, offering a lively interface between our audiences and the academic community”.
The result is unique among archives in any sector in its use of immersive technology, including an IMAX-style 7 metre video wall to allow visitors to animate and interact with the heritage collections. The wide-ranging programme of events and outreach across Yorkshire and beyond are also highly unusual within UK higher education.
These goals were achieved through the identification of thematic communities of interest, and extensive consultation with partners in the public sector and voluntary organisations, as well as the owners of the principal collections, such as the Rugby Football League and Sound and Music (the national charity for new music). As a result of this, the university created a four-year activity plan and an interpretation strategy, which also underpinned the overall development of the building.
The judges praised Huddersfield’s “amazing new knowledge hub” as “a great example of how to transform valuable heritage collections into an interactive and engaging interdisciplinary resource”.
“The project uses state-of-the-art technology with clear purpose, bringing to life previously hidden knowledge and enabling new connections and ideas to be born. The project’s vision and focus on quality will have a positive impact on the university for many years to come.”
Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jimmy Carr, where over 1,000 guests gathered to celebrate outstanding performance in the competitive world of UK higher education.
The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David McBeth, director of research and knowledge exchange services at the University of Strathclyde, and Maja Maricevic, head of higher education at the British Library.