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Sussex shortlisted for two Times Higher Education awards

The University of Sussex has been shortlisted in two categories for the Times Higher Education magazine’s annual awards.

Sussex is in the running to win awards for both Outstanding Library Team and Digital Innovation of the Year in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2015.

The “THELMAs”, as they are known, recognise “those with exceptional knowledge, nous and ability who make realities of strategic ambitions and deliver what staff and students need”.

University Librarian Kitty Inglis is delighted with the recognition for her Outstanding Library Team, who were previously shortlisted in the same category in 2012.

Kitty says: “This shortlisting is a tribute to the Library team, who are engaging students in new and innovative ways to ensure that all our services and resources have the greatest possible impact and are of the highest quality.”

The Library’s THELMA entry focused particularly on a ground-breaking collaboration with publisher SAGE. Three undergraduate students have been selected to record their activities - from freshers’ week to their final exams - on a blog and social media, arrange focus groups and conduct surveys to help the Library and SAGE better understand students’ needs and study behaviours.

The Library’s THELMA entry also highlighted Skills Hub, a collaboration with the Careers and Employability Centre that has brought together all cross-campus academic training and support for students. These materials support a number of different learning styles including video, 1-to-1 support and group teaching.

Another major area where the Library has taken a collaborative approach (in this case, with the Technology-Enhanced-Learning and IT teams at Sussex) is the integration of its reading lists system with the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE), enabling students to discover context-sensitive resources and link seamlessly to readings.

The Library is also a key player in a project that has put the University of Sussex and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) on the shortlist for the Digital Innovation of the Year category of the 2015 THELMAs.

SABRE (Sussex and Brighton Research Explorer) provides a single, seamless search interface for all three of the library catalogues within the BSMS partnership: at the University of Sussex, University of Brighton, and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust.

SABRE provides access to more than a million bibliographic records from the three catalogues, with information in an easy-to-read format about where a resource is located, if it is available for loan, and which library can provide access to particular journals.

“We are not aware of any other service providing a single search interface across higher education and NHS catalogues,” says Kitty.

And she adds: “SABRE has the potential to be utilised by other universities and medical schools to support partnership working across higher education and the NHS, enhancing the discoverability of information in an innovative and cost-effective manner.”

The THELMA judges have already recognised the quality enhancements to library services at Sussex and BSMS with the announcement of the shortlists, but Kitty and her colleagues will have to wait until 18 June to find out if they will get to take home a trophy; the winners will be announced that night at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex and BSMS
Last updated: Friday, 17 April 2015