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We bid farewell at the end of this month to Sue Hodges, Chair of WHELF and Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University. Sue joined WHELF in 2011 and played a key role in developing a new governance structure for WHELF with establishing the WHELF Officers group and in the writing of a formal Constitution. She also contributed greatly to the writing of WHELF’s new Strategy and Action Plan. Sue was Vice-Chair of WHELF from 2013-2015 and then stepped into the role of Chair in October 2015. Sue is not quite ready to retire and intends to work part-time doing coaching and mentoring training and also some teaching in coaching, leadership and management. WHELF thanks Sue for her support of WHELF activities and her commitment and enthusiasm in the roles of Vice-Chair and Chair. We wish her all the very best for the future.
Judith Agus, former College Librarian at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD), sadly passed away on Tuesday 14th February 2017. Judith retired from RWCMD in December 2014 and was a greatly respected and dedicated librarian and a really valued member of WHELF. She will be sadly missed.
The following information from the website of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama highlights the contribution that Judith made to the profession:
“Judith was the College’s Librarian from December 1995 to December 2014 and during that time made a significant number of changes and improvements to the Library, professionalising resources and transforming it into the much-valued service it is today.
Forward thinking, Judith significantly raised awareness of the importance of Library services within the HE and Peer Group; she was a great ambassador for the College and a much-respected colleague.
Judith was awarded a President’s Medal at the Graduation Ceremony in July 2014 in recognition of her long and distinguished service to the College. She took a special interest in our students’ personal development and continued to follow with interest the careers of our graduates even after her retirement
Our thoughts are with Judith’s family at this very sad time” (http://blog.rwcmd.ac.uk/2017/02/15/in-memory-of-judith-agus/)
The National Library of Wales (NLW) have launched a consultation on their Strategy, “Safeguarding Wales’ Culture and Heritage for All: Moving the National Library Forward 2017-2021”. NLW would like to engage with as many people as possible in the consultation to get the views of the people who visit and use its services and resources. Further information and links to the Strategy and Questionnaire can be accessed here.
The consultation ends on the 10th February 2017.
Every year WHELF and HEWIT organise a residential colloquium at Gregynog Hall, the University of Wales’ conference centre. This is an annual opportunity for Library and IT staff and practitioners at all levels to collaborate and share best practice.
This year’s Colloquium will be held from 12th-16th June 2017 and is jointly organised by UWTSD and Swansea University. The overarching theme is ‘Advocacy, Engagement and the Student Experience’ and we are seeking presentations or workshops in the following broad areas:
· Learning spaces; physical and digital
· How students engage with digital resources
· Managing resources in challenging times/Impact of Brexit
· Virtual enquiry services
· Digital repositories and open access
· Measuring the impact of research e.g. bibliometrics, altmetrics
· Use of Analytics
· Realising the benefits of the LMS
· NSS/Student Experience
· Marketing and Communications
We are particularly look for presentations on approaches to the NSS/Student Experience for the Wednesday crossover day so as to share ideas and practice with our colleagues across both library and IT. Please include a brief description of the presentation or workshop and email all suggested submissions by Friday 24th February to: email@example.com
Even if your suggestion doesn’t fit, or you don’t think it fits into these areas, we are open to looking at all ideas for talks.
Gregynog Library Organising Group
Academic Book Week celebrates the diversity, innovation and influence of academic books in all their forms and will be taking place from the 23rd-28th January 2017. In support of this event WHELF will be holding a workshop on the theme of “The Academic Book of the Past/The Academic Book of the Future: the Role of Special Collections in Academic Libraries and beyond”, at the British Library on Wednesday 25th January from 10:30am-12:30pm. It will be led by Sue Hodges, Chair of WHELF and Director of Libraries & Archives at Bangor University and Emma Adamson, Vice Chair of WHELF and Director of Learning Services at the University of South Wales. There will be a presentation about the “Treasures of Wales” followed by a discussion on how we can all open up our Collections. For more details and to register for this event please click here
A list of all the events that are taking place across the UK as part of Academic Book Week can be accessed here
This year LILAC (Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) will be taking place from the 10-12th April 2017 at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. This conference is “aimed at librarians and information professionals who teach information literacy skills, are interested in digital literacies and who want to improve the information seeking and evaluation skills of all library users whoever they may be. The conference incorporates keynote speeches and parallel sessions covering many different areas of the field, from school to academic libraries, from public sector to national libraries” (quote from the LILAC website).
Early bird bookings are now open, book before the 13th February to take advantage of the discount (http://www.lilacconference.com/lilac-2017/book-your-place)
Nominations for the LILAC Information Literacy Awards 2017 are also now open, for more details see http://www.lilacconference.com/lilac-2017/awards
Many thanks to Helen Bader (Assistant Librarian (Drama), Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama) for writing this report on her experience of attending the recent Employability LibTeachMeet at Swansea University:
In November 2016 the WHELF Learning and Teaching Group held an Employability LibTeachMeet at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. The event followed on from two previous LibTeachMeets earlier in the year, at Aberystwyth University and Bangor University. The programme promised an interesting and varied line-up of speakers and attracted more than 20 delegates from libraries across Mid- and South Wales.
The day began with an eagerly-anticipated tour of the new Bay Library, which currently supports more than 5,000 engineering and management students and staff based at the Bay Campus. There were plenty of students using the study areas, but the spacious and open design (complete with natural light and some wonderful sea views) ensured that the library didn’t feel overcrowded. I particularly liked the variety of study spaces available – especially the stand-alone soundproof ‘pod’ for group work – which I felt would help to make the library a comfortable and inviting place to work.
After the tour it was time for the LibTeachMeet proper to begin. The first presentation was given by Ellie Downes, a Library Support Assistant at Aberystwyth University. She offered her perspective on recognising transferable skills in students and library staff, based on her experiences as an undergraduate, graduate library trainee and current Masters student. Ellie highlighted some of the key employability skills that library staff can help students to develop, such as the ability to navigate and critically evaluate information sources.
Next up was Karen Dewick, the Customer Services Team Co-ordinator (Information Services and Systems) at Swansea University, who provided an opportunity for delegates to reflect on their own employability skills in her workshop-style session – a useful exercise for those of us who haven’t completed a job application in a while!
A delicious buffet lunch followed, thanks to sponsorship from the CILIP Information Literacy Group, with time afterwards to wander the few steps down to the beach with coffee in hand. It was hard to tear myself away from the picture-postcard view, but fortunately the afternoon’s presentations were able to tempt me back inside.
Both Sarah Gwenlan, from Aberystwyth University, and Susan Glen, from Swansea University, examined how their respective library services were supporting the employability agenda as part of larger, university-wide initiatives. Sarah described the work of Aber’s Employability Action Group and the contribution of the Information Services department to the development and delivery of joint workshops, the signposting of employability resources and an employability guide. Susan talked about supporting the employability skills of researchers at Swansea through the library’s participation in the postgraduate training programme, which offers a Skills Development Award mapped to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.
The final two presentations of the day were both delivered by staff members of the Swansea Employability Academy. Rebecca Vaughan outlined the Swansea Employability Academy Award, a modular course that allows students to undertake their own personal career journey and gives them the skills to learn, reflect and develop professionally along the way. Rebecca’s colleague Gareth Hill concluded the LibTeachMeet with another workshop session which encouraged us to think about how we could get students and staff to engage in and see the value of employability initiatives. He emphasised the importance of ‘trial and error’ – having the confidence to try different approaches and evaluate whether they work, without being paralysed by the fear of failure. His philosophy of making ‘marginal gains’ was also very thought-provoking – rather than coming up with one big idea for developing employability skills, try making lots of small changes/improvements that together will add up to a significant step forward.
Many thanks to the WHELF Learning and Teaching Group, in particular Philippa Price, for organising such an enjoyable and stimulating event, and to the CILIP Information Literacy Group for their sponsorship. (Read Philippa Price’s blog post of the day here)
View presentations from the day here
All images licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
The WHELF Annual Report for the academic year 2015-16 is now available. The report highlights the collective work of WHELF along with news and developments from the WHELF institutions. The report can be downloaded in English or Welsh from the links below:
Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
The Sconul Collaboration Strategy Group have developed a toolkit for library collaboration “to aid the selection and development of efficient and effective shared services within and beyond the HE library sector”. The toolkit has been authored by Richard Parsons, University of Dundee along with Diane Bruxvoort (University of Aberdeen), Robin Green (University of Warwick), Ann Rossiter (Sconul) and Tracey Stanley (Cardiff University). The experiences of the Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) and the WHELF Shared LMS collaborative procurement have helped inform the development of the toolkit. To download the toolkit and for more information see http://www.sconul.ac.uk/news/toolkit-for-library-collaboration
The WHELF Representatives met at Gregynog Hall on Thursday 28th October-Friday 29th October 2016. These are some of the topics that were addressed at the meeting.
For the first session of the meeting we welcomed Einir Young, Director of Sustainability at Bangor University. Einir delivered an engaging and informative presentation on the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act and WHELF Reps took the opportunity to consider the ways we are working that are in support of the Act and ways we can articulate this better. Steve Williams provided feedback to WHELF Reps from the HEFCW consultation meeting he had attended on Draft Higher Education Strategy for Wales. The draft strategy has been prepared to align with the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
Gregynog Colloquium: The Colloquium will be held from Monday 12th – Friday 16th June 2017 and will be organized by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Swansea University. WHELF Reps discussed whether we can develop the Wednesday sessions to be more collaborative in scope between WHELF and HEWIT. Suggestions from WHELF Reps will be passed to the Colloquium planning group meeting which will be held in November.
WHELF Action Plan: WHELF has prepared its Action Plan for 2016-17. The Actions are aligned to the WHELF Strategy for 2016-18 following the Strategic themes of Collaboration, Collections and Research and Engagement. The Action Plan can be accessed from http://whelf.ac.uk/about/action-plan-2/
WHELF Shared LMS: Following implementation WHELF has identified 3 key collaboration opportunities, namely: shared catalogue and cataloguing, reciprocal borrowing and analytics. WHELF Reps discussed papers prepared by Gareth Owen (WHELF Shared LMS Programme Manager) on these three opportunities and supported the recommendations of the LMS Management Board that they each be formalised as a project with project board and remit.
Benefits study: A second workshop had been run by Cambridge Econometrics during which they presented their data template for collecting quantitative data. Feedback from the workshop identified the need to refine the template and accompanying guidance further. Institutional case studies provided by Cardiff University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the National Library of Wales will provide qualitative data to accompany the study. It is anticipated that the draft report will be circulated by the end of January 2017. The Benefits Working Group will then consider ways to disseminate the findings and how they can inform future work.
Digital repositories for heritage collections: The National Library of Wales have been working with ARCW (Archives and Records Council Wales) to address the requirements for the preservation and management of digital records. They have tested several solutions including Archivematica, Preservica and Fedora. WHELF would like to explore further the options for a digital repository in Wales and it was agreed that WHELF seeks funding to support a feasibility study that will map current practice and systems and identify a set of requirements.