An expert in literature, literacy and libraries, Sandeep Mahal, is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network.
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Passionate about equality, inclusion and empowering young people to build a better world with words, Sandeep is responsible for providing creative and strategic leadership and effective management of Nottingham’s UNESCO designation and charitable company. She drives the city’s vision where everyone is reading and writing their way to a better life. She is also Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network.
Sandeep previously spent ten years in public libraries in Sandwell, in various roles, working as Race Equality Librarian, and later as Outreach Services Librarian. In addition to libraries, she has many years of experience in the UK publishing environment, transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network. She has staged all kinds of events with authors from Zadie Smith and Jarvis Cocker to Adele Parks and Neil Gaiman. In 2013, Sandeep was seconded as a Clore Fellow to The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC. Sandeep is a trustee of Spread the Word and the Women’s Prize Trust.
Sandeep has positioned Nottingham’s UNESCO designation as crucial to the local cultural ecology. She has developed a strong reputation for cultural collaboration, provided an infrastructure that has leveraged new investment into the city and embedded the UNESCO designation into the capital development plans for the new Central Library. She worked with the National Literary Trust to establish the Read On Nottingham Literacy Hub and sits on Nottingham’s new Board for Culture and Creativity.