Sixth Week of Commonwealth Professional Fellowship Program

Our sixth week fellowship programme was comprising of One day workshop on “Developing Leadership” and visits to Manchester Libraries.

July 7, 2014

We four commonwealth fellows and nine UEL IT staff, were the participants of one-day workshop on “Developing Leadership” conducted by Fiona McPhail, Chartered FCIPD (McPhail Watmore Associates Limited).

 The interactive workshop begin with the understanding of natural leadership, impact of different styles on achieving goals. Workshop participants were divided in to 3 groups. The trainer Fiona asked each group to define leadership. Some of the definitions came out from the group of participants were:

 Leadership is: Organized and structured way of doing the things; One who Motivates, One who does task oriented act; Serve people as a team player; Working in a group with integrity; Inspirational; Listener; Somebody who live by example; The one who delegate tasks; The one who takes responsibility. 

The second task were performed in stages. In the first stage we were given to identify three things: 

  1. Think about good Leader in our memory.
  2. What leadership qualities they had.
  3. List the attributes that they have

Interestingly participates were came out with different names, some have mentioned their head of the institutions as their leader, some have mentioned that their research supervisors and few of the participants have remembered their friends as leader.

The leadership attributes came out during the discussions are:

The person who is: Pushing positively to excel; Acknowledging creative growth opportunities; Tolerant; Supportant; Approachable; Good Communicator; Practical approach; Responsible; Timely result oriented; Gives experimentation; Having positive attitude; Having constructive ideas; Mentor.

In the second stage we were asked to:

  1. Think about a good leader in the society
  2. List the attributes that they have
  3. What is inspirational about them

Some of the names of leaders came out during the discussion were: (i) Mahatma Gandhi; (ii) Alan Michael Sugar; (iii) Margaret Thatcher; (iv) Fidel Castro; (v) Nelson Mandela; (vi) Mother Teresa;  (vii) George Washington; (viii) Barak Obama.

After thorough discussion we have concluded that Thatcher, Sugar and Castro were visionary, stubborn and autocrat leaders. Gandhi, Mandela and Teresa were peaceful, humble, sacrificial, humanitarian and trustworthy leaders and where as Washington and Obama were classified as democratic, inspirational, strategic and visionary leaders.

In the next session Fiona teached us about the common styles of leadership i.e., (i) The Autocrat; (ii) The Abdicrat and The Democrat.

Generally, Autocrat style of leadership will be undervalued, resentful, de-motivated, child minded with the typical behaviours of disagreement, compliance without conviction, striking. Autocrat leadership discourages open communication, poor organisation practices, saps self confidence and much scope for self development.

The Abdicrat leadership will be with poor direction, lack of involvement, uncertain, frustrated, insecure, disillusioned. The behaviours of Abdicrat leaders will be leathargic, wary, uninvolved and lack of commitment.

The next leadership style is “The Democrat”. This style of leadership will be having considerable participation and involvement by both the parties. Here both the parties guide, support and encourage the team members. In this style of leadership, staff will be valued, encourage, motivated, challenged and the work behaviour of this style will be creative, enthusiastic, participative and committed. 

 In order to measure team performance and to identify our own performance as a leaders we were given a small project and few tasks to perform. The small project was to build a structure with a given stationaries. The next task we had given to perform was to identify our preferred team role. This scoring points task helped us to identify our different behaviours as leaders. Some of the role we performed were:

  1. What I believe I can contribute to a team?
  2. I have a possible shortcoming in teamwork: It could be that:
  3. When involved in a project with other people?
  4. My characteristic approach to group is that:
  5. I again satisfaction in a job because:
  6. If I am suddenly given a task with limited time with unfamiliar people:
  7. With reference to the problems to which I am subject in working in groups.   


Developing Leadership Workshop


Fiona McPhail (Trainer), Gurdish Sandhu and participants during Developing Leadership Workshop

Based on the above parameters, we could able to identify our team roles as: Company worker (stable, controlled); Chair person (stable, dominant, extrovert); Shaper (anxious, dominant, extrovert); Plant (dominant, high IQ, introvert); Resource Investigator (stable, dominant, extrovert); Monitor Evaluator (high IQ, stable, introvert); Team Worker (stable, extrovert, low in dominance); Complete finisher (anxious, introvert).

Another task we performed was “Improving Individual Motivation”. This task was on ranking on the 10 points scale of the factors which are important to our jobs; factors concerned when on job; most important factors when going to a new job; factors you like most in a job and so on. We also tried to understand the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for motivation, factors affecting motivation, motivation in practice and so on. The trainer also explained us about the transactional analysis, contracting, ego states (parent, adult and child ego states).

In the last one hour of the session we were given the job of testing the Leadership Challenge. We have selected the leadership challenge option of “A significant change which will impact on staff and students across the University” and done the task successfully.

July 8, 2014

On July 8, Tuestday, I worked on another assignment “Job description for Learning Resource Manager”. Later I tried to collect the visitor information from the web about the Manchester city where our next three days official trip was scheduled.

 July 9, 2014

 We all four Me, Rishi, Raphael and Leena started our journey to Machester from Upton Park. From  London Euston we took Virgin Train to Machester Piccadilly. Around 1:00 PM, we have checked in the Holliday Inn Express, located in Oxford street which is very close to the centre of Manchester city. On the same day we have visited Art Gallery, Town Hall of Manchester and had a little shopping at Arndale Shopping Centre.

July 10, 2014

Visit to the Library, University of Salford, Manchester:

As per the schedule, along with our mentor Gurdish we arrived at the The Library, University of Salford, Manchester. The University of Salford is a Public University located in Salford, England, approximately 1.5 miles west of Manchester city centre. Its origins come from the Royal Technical Institute, Salford which was opened in 1896 (Wikipedia). We got a very warm welcome from Julie Berry, University Librarian and staff. Julie has introduced us to the the Library with the detailed powerpoint presentation. She has highlighted about the origin of University, spectrum of students, staff, colleges and schools associated with the University. She briefed us on Library Organogram along with the responsibilities of  senior Library team. The senior team consists of two associate University Librarians (One is looking after Library services and another dealing with Learning and Research support) and the Head of Library Business (Planning & Quality). She explained us the what is the main responsibility of the Library in the University in-terms of services, systems, activities,  programmes and learning spaces. On campus there are three physical libraries: Clifford Whitworth (main Library, opens 24/7/52), Adelphi (music, media, performance, art and fashion), Media City (Modern Digital Library with a focus on shared student support desk and creativity). 


CW Fellows with Julie Berry, University Librarian, University of Salford, Manchester

Some of the unique feature of this Library are:

    • Transaction supported by technology
    • RFID to manage all collections
    • Book Sorter
    • Self-service with single card access, borrowing, printing, laptop loans, lockers, payments, group study and open access PCs bookings.
    • Enquiry chat service
    • Roving team
    • Multifunctional devices

Julie has highlighted Library statistics of turnstile entries, Library budget, staff and FTE. She has also explained about collections, resources and services. Salford Univ. Library is using SOLAR (Management system of virtual/digital knowledge & resources powered by ExLibris). Library has got USIR (Institutional Repository) having 8635 deposits with a 1,105,120 downloads so far. She also briefed us on Reading list strategy and policy, Archives and special collections. We also got to know the various steps of Library induction programme for students. From the presentation we came to know that, Library has awarded “Customer Service Excellence Award” in 2012, 2013 and 2014 for 100% compliance. Very interestingly Library is using different feedback gathering methods to develop & improve the library services, resources and facilities. Few of the methods are: 

  • Online feedback form on website
  • Comment cards within libraries
  • Training session online evaluation forms
  • Attendance at School Committees
  • APMER follow ups
  • National Student Survey
  • University Student Experience Survey

At the end Julie thrown the light on Academic support services such as student information & digital literacy, support for research (EndNote Training, Literature Review, IR, SPoRT, Supervisor Support), student engagements and current priorities of the Library in improving the value and impact of services, Reading list project, support for University collaborations, partnerships and international priorities, Student & research support.





CW Fellows along with Gurdish and Salford Library Staff during the Presentations

We had a Library tour then we came back to conference room for the detailed presentations by Regina Ferguson on Collection Development, Mr. James Allen on E-Books, About Digital Library and Library Analytics by Angela Walker and Jenny McNally. All the presentations were very good and I got many clues on modern library and learning services and management. After having a delicious lunch with Julie Berry and Library staff, we had a group photo session.

In the second half of the day as per the schedule program, we have visited the Salford Media City Library. MediaCityUK is a vibrant place which is meant for live work, socialise and study. Media city is the home to major BBC and ITV departments, the University of Salford and over 80 businesses across the creative and digital sectors, MediaCityUK is recognised as one of the most innovative developments in Britain ( Nicola Haworth took us around the Media Library which is the UK’s major new hub for creative, digital and media sector consisting of ‘The Egg’ Suite and Gallery, Digital performance Lab, Creative studio spaces, Meeting, lecture and board rooms, Conference services. Through out the media centre we can find ultra-modern technologies adapted.


You can browse the beautiful venue of the Salford Media Library using the link below: 

Our visit to the Library of Salford University was very well organised. I too liked the professionalism of the Library staff there. Thanks to Julie Berry and Library staff for their valuable time, sharing their knowledge and engaging us through out the day.  


July 11, 2014

Visit to the Libraries of University of Manchester, Manchester:

In the University of Manchester (UoM), we have visited three Libraries. The University of Manchester is one of the reputed University in the UK. The Library of University of Manchester offers a range of specialised services. The Library has got more than 4 million printed books and manuscripts, over 41,000 electronic journals and 500,000 electronic books, as well as several hundred databases, the library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK ( There are many libraries under the umbrella of University of Manchester: Main Library; Alan Gilbert Learning Commons; The John Rylands Library; Art and Archaeology Library; Braddick Library; Joule Library; Precinct Library; Stopford Library; Eddie Davies Library; Kantorowich Library; and Lenagan Library.

As soon as we entered the main Library of UoM, Lisa Donneley welcomed us and gave introduction to the Library, collection, range of services offered etc. Then she took us for the Library tour. During the tour I got to know that UoM Library offering range of specialised, tailor made research services. To name few: Manchester eScholar; Citation analysis; Open access at Manchester; Business data service; Research data management; Scholarly communication service etc. The renovated entry lobby of the main Library was very impressive and attractive.

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 After the visit of main Library building, we have arrived at the most awaited place, i.e., The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons. This digital study and learning space is the state of the art centre in University with the boasting an onsite café, an impressive atrium providing a social meeting space and flexible study spaces and inspirational environments throughout the building. Halen welcomed us and took us for the tour of Learning Commons. We came to know from the Halen that the students were very much involved in the concept behind the landmark learning commons, its design and artwork. The learning common offer a stimulating and comfortable environment for study. We, all the fellows were very much impressed with the state of the art of building design, technology used and latest furnitures’ of the learning commons.  

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Zia Hong, Head of the Eddie Davis Library, Manchester Business School and the close professional friend of Gurdish had come to meet us at Learning Commons. Gurdish has introduced all of us to Zia. Then Zia took us for Eddie Davis Library visit. Eddie Davis Library is a Post Graduate Library which having separate finance zone and group study rooms consisting of specialist financial databases.

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Many thanks to Lisa Donnely, Helen and Zia Hong for their kind help and support during the visits of University of Manchester Libraries.

In the afternoon, we have visited the Manchester Public Library which is one of the best Public Libraries of UK. The Library is having state of the art, very impressive and attracting learning space with modern digital Library equipments and facilities. It has got comfortable seating and eye catching study environment for the publics. We have gone around all the four floors of the Library. At the end we had a meeting with the Gurdish in one of the meeting room of public Library.

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After the Public Library visit, we had a delicious lunch at the Thai restaurant in the China town of Manchester. I would like to thank Gurdish for arranging, accompanying and guiding us during such a wonderful study tour of Libraries of Manchester. This tour definitely helps us to think and design innovative Library spaces and services in our home countries in near future.


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