The kids & I left the 5-star apartment in Edinburgh and said good-bye at Waverley Station. They caught the 0852 to Stratford-upon-Avon; I was on the 0900 headed to Newcastle. If you ever have the opportunity to rail from Edinburgh to London (or points in between on the train to Kings Cross), do make sure you grab a seat on the left side of the train. There are spectacular views of the coastline at certain points along the way.
I dropped my bags off at my hotel, which fronts the River Tyne and sits right next to one of the many bridges that cross the river at this point of the quayside. I walked back to the train station – a 10 minute walk that took me about 20 with one good uphill climb that I wish I could say I was getting used to, especially after being in Edinburgh. My meeting was in Sunderland, about 30 minutes away by metro.
Contact Rachel W. met me at the station at St. Peter’s, which is the location of one of 3 libraries of the University of Sunderland. The library sits right next to the River Wear – the North Sea is visible, too – in an area once housing shipyards, an industry, like coal mining, that used to dominate Sunderland. The campus is also near St Peter’s Church, which dates back to 674AD – and no, I’m not missing a “1”. Wish we’d had time to take a look around that site, but we headed into the library, built in the 1990s. Guess what – they are remodeling, too – adding more study space and collaborative areas – sound familiar? Oh – they have a huge mural of a forest on one wall that has soft seating for students. It looked calming…
Rachel took me to the cafe at the National Glass Centre right next door to campus but I only got to peek at some of the magnificent results of glass-blowing that goes on there. We headed over to the university’s main campus and Murray Library after lunch. Murray is being refurbished one floor at a time, too, and Rachel mentioned that major de-selection will occur this summer to accommodate that and the incorporation of the 3rd branch, an art library. Tech Services at Murray is located just around the corner from their enquiry desk and staff space for subject liaisons and those working the desk. We retreated to Special Collections for our meeting, which included the heads of IT services and tech services and the heads of acq/cat and ILS.
I hope to see a bit of Newcastle this morning before I jump on the train to Huddersfield.