Five minutes with: Matt Cunningham
What is your job title and how long have you worked at Loughborough?
I’m User Services Manager at the University Library and I’ve worked here 18 years.
Tell us what a typical day in your job at Loughborough looks likes?
Every day starts with a meeting updating my team with what they might need to know for the day. From there, no two days are alike – it depends on the time of year. There’s usually lots of meetings, planning and user experience work. Currently, I’m working on updating the Library’s website. I try and make sure I spend at least part of every day around the help desk so that I’m still aware of what users need and how we can help.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on?
I love interacting with our users – my favourite times of the year are when I get to help them face-to-face eg induction weeks and open days. The pastoral side of our role shouldn’t be underestimated and having a friendly, helpful person to ask questions of is where we thrive. My favourite question was when a student asked on their first day what time their tea was in halls. The fact that they thought of the Library as a place that helps people find information puts a smile on my face.
What is your proudest moment at Loughborough?
Having worked here so long, there are so many highlights. When I think of the building I walked into on my first day here, there is no resemblance to what we have now. The same is true of the services we offer. When I started we closed at 10pm and students could only borrow 12 books. Now we are open until 2am and 24/7 during exams, and students can borrow 50 books which are automatically renewed to avoid having to pay fines. However, the thing I’m probably proudest of as a team is our response to Covid and the way we supported users. We were nominated for a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for our efforts, which was a lovely recognition.
Tell us something you do outside of work that we might not know about?
I don’t drink but I used to manage wine shops so I run wine tasting events as I have higher wine qualifications. Oh, and I have a not too secret addiction to Lego!
What is your favourite quote?
Those who have visited the Library may have seen our Confucius quote but when we had a refurbishment in 2013 I joked that we should use the Terry Pratchett quote: “Students, love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t hit them on the head with a shovel!”. It didn’t make the cut.
If you would like to feature in ‘5 Minutes With’, or you work with someone who you think would be great to include, please email Soph Dinnie at S.Dinnie@lboro.ac.uk.
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