Many of the organisations we spoke to early on in our research told us that opening a new learning centre without the resources to manage it as a distinct entity had been problematic. We have two and a half times more space dedicated to education than we had before which means an expanded programme with many new types of activity. The Manager not only co-ordinates all the activities of the Centre and ensures that it runs smoothly at an operation level but also that it achieves our aim of creating a friendly, accessible and welcoming environment in which to learn. We recognise that the Centre is a significant asset to the Museum and to London and we will hire out spaces with the aim of generating maximum additional income. Each space may therefore have several changes of use in one day.
It was clear that efficient management of the Sackler Centre would be a crucial success factor and a new post of Sackler Centre Manager was therefore in our business plan from the start. Over the months when the Centre has been under construction budgets have been getting ever tighter and some creative thinking was needed before we could advertise this new role. The reorganisation of the Learning and Interpretation Division last summer, the subject of an earlier diary entry, and a vacant post gave us this opportunity.
The new Manager, Karine Lepeuple, joined us in February 2008, 6 months before opening.
'Being involved with the Sackler Centre is a fabulous opportunity to champion design and creativity, something that I feel very passionate about. The Sackler Centre is a stunningly beautiful space with cutting-edge technology and, what's more, there is nothing like it in London! My role is to ensure that all our visitors - from all ages and backgrounds - have an enjoyable and truly inspiring experience and I very much look forward to welcoming them in the Sackler Centre.'
The other new post that we felt was essential is that of IT Technician, to join our existing AV team. We are significantly increasing the amount of programming using digital technologies and the equipment needs to be set up and maintained. Jonathan Pawley joined us in May. He is primarily responsible for the Apple Mac equipment in the Digital Studio and for supporting our new Digital Team in running programmes there.
'I am really excited that the Sackler Centre will be opening soon; my role will be to ensure the equipment in the Digital Studio is in working order, as well as supporting the staff and public who use it. So far I have been involved in finalising the equipment order and selecting software and am getting to know how the new spaces will operate. At the moment I am helping the Museum Residents to become accustomed to the equipment, as well as understanding what the Learning and Interpretation teams have planned for the activities and events they will run. My next task will be to help install the iMacs and software for the Digital Studio and provide training for staff using the new equipment for the first set of activities in July.
'My next task will be to help install the IMacs and software in the digital studio as well as provide training to staff on how to use the equipment in time for the first set of activities at the end of July.'