Human Book Chain

Staff, students and children from local schools formed a ‘human book chain’ at Edge Hill University to celebrate its brand new £27m Catalyst building.

This symbolic event saw 502 books passed from person to person between the old library and the new facility, in a chain which snaked along the Hub Boulevard.

The first books into the new building included Edge Hill University history books by Fiona Montomery and Mark Flinn, the anthologies Atlantic Drift and Head Land, both published by Edge Hill University Press, A Conflicted Mind, by Professor Geoff Beattie, A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray, Dougie’s War: A Soldier’s Story by Rodge Glass and Inter-war Penal Policy and Crime in England by Professor Alyson Brown. Alumnus Stuart Maconie’s Pies and Prejudice was also passed along the chain together with books by honorary graduates Helen Pankhurst and Dame Janet Suzman.

Musicians and performers helped to keep the books moving to the innovative building at the heart of Edge Hill’s campus, which will house the library, careers and student services functions in its contemporary 8,000-square metre space.

Catalyst will be an inspiring 24/7 destination for the Edge Hill community with welcoming, knowledgeable staff on hand to support student life, research, learning and career development.

This ‘destination’ building will provide a 50 per cent increase in study spaces, with 30 bookable rooms plus two training rooms. Students will get improved access to services with 24-hour opening.

Around 230,000 books will sit on 5,000 shelves and the building’s top floor will be a dedicated space for study, silent working and research, with a traditional reading-room feel.

Catalyst will also have a landscaped roof terrace taking in views across the 160-acre campus and beyond. The ground floor will feature a coffee shop and an exhibition space which will host events and double as a relaxation area.