Jack wins library challenge

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13 Mar 2014

University of manchester International Management and American Business student Jack Green has won the 2014 Eureka! Library Innovation Challenge.

University Librarian Jan Wilkinson named the winner following an enthralling afternoon’s contest, hosted by performer Phill Jupitus at the Contact Theatre, which saw keen competition among the six finalists.  Jack was presented with a cheque for £1,000.

The student won with his idea for a Book Delivery App to show the availability of a book and allow students to request it to be delivered to a central hub for collection.

“It was a closely-fought contest,” said Jan Wilkinson, speaking immediately after the event. “The judges had a tough decision to make, but after tense deliberation they finally agreed that Jack’s idea was the best of the finalists’.”

More than 200 entries were submitted for the contest. “Shortlisting itself was something of a challenge”, said Lorraine Beard, Innovation Team lead and Head of Digital Technologies and Services at the University Library. “There were so many fantastic ideas that we began to wonder whether we’d be able to reduce the number to the final six.”

Two runners up were also announced. Harriet Hill-Payne, studying English Literature, submitted her idea for the creation of an Exhibition Space in the Main Library which could be used to promote awareness of the range and diversity of the University’s huge and diverse collections; while Medical student Cal Robinson proposed a University of Manchester Library App for smartphones which would feature personal resource management for students, self-directed loans, study room bookings and dynamic maps to help students locate items in Library buildings.

“Eureka! is such a fantastic opportunity for students to get involved in”  said Grace Skelton, General Secretary of the University of Manchester Students’ Union. “It’s great to see students engaging with the University and putting their ideas into action. I was thoroughly impressed with each of the finalists and I look forward to seeing Jack’s idea made a reality in the Library. “

As well as rewarding the finalists, six Quick Wins— ideas which can be implemented quickly and which will bring immediate benefits – were selected. Each of these winners received a £50 prize.

Speaking about the event , Jan Wilkinson said, “Innovation is a key element of our approach at The University of Manchester Library.

“We’re used to the fact that our students have good ideas,” she added, “but it’s a real pleasure to see that they’re willing to make time to think through and submit ideas which will help current and future students get even more from their Library.”

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