Library staff at the University of Sussex has been placed on the shortlist for an esteemed higher education reward. Announced Tuesday 24 April, the Library staff has been nominated for the Outstanding Library Team award category as part of the 2012 ‘Thelmas’ – the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards.

The shortlist for this particular category is comprised of six university libraries from across the United Kingdom. This occasion marks the first time that any institution of the University of Sussex has been nominated for a ‘Thelma’ award.

Alongside the above category, the ‘Thelmas’ award a range of other university services, such as Outstanding Student Services Teams or Outstanding Marketing and Communications Teams.

A major factor contributing to nomination of the Library staff for the award was due to its work in supporting postgraduate researchers at Sussex.

Over the last two academic years the Library staff has assisted doctorate students and early-career researchers with a range of support tools, namely seminar programmes and bespoke training.

In addition, the library has been praised for its Research Hive, the dedicated study space located on the top floor of the Library. It was opened in November 2010 as part of the extensive refurbishment programme of the Library. Its facilities have enabled the Library and its staff to further cater to the needs of researchers.

In its first nine months of opening, postgraduate users of the Research Hive gave it a 96 percent positive feedback rating. All of these factors contributed to the nomination for Outstanding Library Team. Librarian Kitty Inglis, in response to the Library staff being placed on the award shortlist, said: “This is emblematic of an exciting new approach to supporting academic career scholarship and learning at Sussex.

Through the seminars and programmes, we have ensured that the Hive is not just a physical space but a place where a research community can develop”. The winners for each of the fifteen ‘Thelma’ award categories are announced on 21 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

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