Ulster University student recognised for excellence with Allen & Overy award

Allen & OveryDr Mary-Ellen Leighton,  received the award from Sarah Fahy, Allen & Overy Global Head of Library Services; Dr David Barr (left), Head of the School of Education at Ulster University; and Jim O’Hagan, Chief Executive Libraries NI.

Ulster University student, Mary-Ellen Leighton, has been awarded the prestigious Allen & Overy (A&O) trophy in recognition of excellence in the field of librarianship.

It is the sixth time that the honour has been presented to a student enrolled in the two-year Library and Information Management Postgraduate Diploma course which aims to enhance the skills of information professionals. The honour is presented annually to the student who achieves the highest marks on the popular course which is delivered online to assist professionals to fit studies around their working lives.

The advanced programme is supported by A&O in collaboration with the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Library and Information Services Council NI (LISC).

Sarah Fahy, Global Head of Library Services at Allen & Overy, said: “Exceptional library and information managers are of great importance to organisations like Allen & Overy and this course offers thorough preparation for a varied and challenging career. It is designed to encourage excellence and inspire talented people to go further in our profession. Our congratulations go to Mary-Ellen and to the talented group who have successfully completed the course this year.”

Winning student Mary-Ellen, a Libraries NI employee at Lisburn City Library, said: “This course provides an excellent grounding in the concepts and principles of library and information management and how they apply to the working environment. It provided me with a wonderful opportunity to study alongside information professionals in other library sectors and share experiences and relevant knowledge of different systems and demands. The support and guidance of the tutors at Ulster University has been invaluable and I am also indebted to my colleagues and friends in Libraries NI for their assistance and support over the last two years.”

Dr David Barr, Head of the School of Education at Ulster University, said: “The Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Management at Ulster University is the only course of its kind in Ireland. Thanks to our well-established relationships with professional bodies and the wider industry in this field our graduates are equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed and meet the needs of this important sector.

We are delighted that our students benefit from this ongoing partnership with Allen and Overy, both in terms of their professional development as a well as the achievement of personal success that this award imbues”.

Jim O’Hagan Chief Executive, Libraries NI, said: “We are delighted with Mary Ellen’s achievement and success on the programme. Having this significant honour awarded to a Libraries NI employee is a welcome recognition of the quality and calibre of staff working in the public library service in Northern Ireland.”

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