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WHELF would like to welcome Gary Elliott-Cirigottis who joins us representing the Open University and the Open University in Wales.
Gary has been Acting Co-Director of Library Services at the Open University since January 2019 and had been in post as Associate Director, Library services since January 2018. He has 24 years’ experience across the higher education sector, with a career focused in business transformation, programme management, people management, research delivery, organisation development and change. He is a qualified Change, Agile, Project and Business Transformation Practitioner.
Gary will be attending the WHELF Board meeting on 10-11 November 2019 at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, North Wales. We look forward to meeting him there!
Ann Davies will be retiring on 6th November 2019 from her role as Acting Co-Director of Library Services and the Learner and Discovery Service at The Open University and OU in Wales. Ann had been in post since 1998 and prior to that was Deputy Head of Library & Media Services at Roehampton University for 9 years.
Ann’s experience and contribution to WHELF will be missed and hopefully she will attend a future Board meeting as a guest. WHELF would like to wish Ann a long, happy and enjoyable retirement.
Dr Amy Staniforth of Aberystwyth University and CILIP Cymru Wales writes:
This is a free event for members and non members this year so it would be lovely to welcome colleagues from across Wales.
The programme and booking information is all here and people can contact me for further information
On Tuesday 10th September 2019, Gill Morris, WHELF Development Officer, attended the Mercian Collaboration’s 2019 Conference at the beautiful University of Nottingham:
The theme of the conference was Building Bridges and opened with an introduction from Diane Job, Chair of the Mercian Collaboration.
The keynote speech about the Hive at Worcester highlighted the benefits and challenges of cross sector working.
Next I attended a workshop,(complete with board game!), led by Katie Mann of Coventry University. Katie was appointed in May 2018 to a new role of Partnerships Librarian, to support Transnational Education (TNE = delivered in a different country eg distance/online, local delivery [collaborative provision], international branch campuses and flying faculty)
Katie visited Middle East College (MEC) in Oman for a week where there are 2500 students studying for Coventry University degrees – mainly business, engineering and computing. She looked into issues with accessing e-resources, delivered information literacy sessions to teaching staff, shadowed staff there and reviewed library provision.
Katie believes skills needed for her role include relationship building, communication , negotiation, an open mind, the ability to analyse a situation and to apply library knowledge to new settings; and above all, patience!
The next session was led by Tom and Stacey from the University of Wolverhampton on Collaboration on UX Design. The user experience research was user focused and guided, moving away from traditional questionnaires and surveys which can be loaded/leading. The project team worked with Andy Priestner between November 2018 and February 2019.
After lunch the final session I attended was led by Kate and Catriona from the University of Warwick on Students as true partners – meaningful collaboration between students, academics and the library.
The project began in summer 2018, and focused on research and what this means to students. The aim was to encourage students to engage with independent research from their 1st year as an undergraduate.
The project team comprised 7 humanities undergraduates, 2 academic staff and 2 library staff. The project tied in with Warwick’s Educational strategy – teaching beyond boundaries and received funding from Warwick International HE Academy.
I found the theme of the conference both relevant and timely, and I had much to reflect on during the train journey back to South Wales. Some of the presentation slides can be viewed here.
My thanks to Dr Gaz J Johnson and the Mercian Collaboration Conference Team for inviting WHELF to their conference.
Jenny McNally will be starting as the WHELF LMS Business Manager on 27th June.
Jenny has worked in academic libraries for over 15 years in roles including Cataloguing, Collections Management and E-resource Management. She also worked on a project at Mimas loading data from new contributors into Copac. More recently she has worked in systems management, playing a key role in the implementation of Alma and Primo at the University of Salford.
Jenny will also be continuing as Digital Librarian at Salford and will be based in Manchester. Her working days for WHELF will be Thursday and Friday.
The WHELF Annual Report for the academic year 2017-18 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:
At the launch of the Learning Analytics Cymru (LA Cymru) last year, participants recognised that learning analytics are a fruitful area for collaboration, and expressed an interest in building ‘communities of experience’.
JISC have engaged a consultant, Kerr Gardiner, to help coordinate this. On Monday 18th March, colleagues from across WHELF took part in a webinar led by Kerr, which was organised by Dr Andrew Dalgleish, WHELF Representative for the University of South Wales.
One of the key outcomes is that members understand the need for institutions to manage the LA Cymru project strategically and will engage within their home institution to do so. They will also look to ensure that data provisioning is strategically aligned.
WHELF members agreed to make LA Cymru part of their agenda and to create sub-groups when necessary. It was noted that Libraries collect and manage data in different ways and that WHELF has a strong network across Wales which it can draw upon to support the LA Cymru project and share knowledge.
WHELF would welcome more discussion with the JISC LA project team on the role that libraries can play, in order to clarify how they can support LA activity. To achieve this, an LA Cymru briefing document and roadmap to align their library activity with would be useful.
WHELF would like to thank Kerr for setting up this informative webinar which has given us much to discuss and explore.
On Monday 18th March, WHELF colleagues will have the opportunity to take part in a webinar which was organised by Andrew Dalgliesh, our new Representative for the University of South Wales. Andrew says:
At the launch of the Learning Analytics Cymru project last year, it was recognised that learning analytics are a fruitful area for collaboration, and interest was expressed in building ‘communities of experience’. For us it could mean an opportunity to
*Share experience of how our libraries are engaging with wider strategic objectives in this space
*Share perspectives on which library/e-resource data can usefully contribute to learning analytics
*Share expertise (especially from our LMS experts) about extracting data and making it fit for purpose
*Provide a forum for discussing how to interpret data and sharing what support interventions are appropriate and effective
JISC have engaged a consultant, Kerr Gardiner who has offered to do a webinar for WHELF to give us common understanding of the learning analytics projects and their implications for institutional change, and hear from us about how we might want to get involved.
This promises to be an interesting and informative session.
Steve Williams is our new Chair of the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF), a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), a trustee of Lyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (National Library of Wales) and sits on the CILIP Board. He is a member of various university committees and groups including the REF Strategy Group and the Student Partnership and Engagement Committee. Steve is a founder member of the University’s History of Computing Collection. Steve is Head of Libraries, Archives, Culture and Arts, responsible for the strategic planning, development and delivery of Culture, Arts, Libraries and Museum services across the University’s campuses. From leading the development team responsible for the Bay Library on the University’s £450m Bay Campus, to Open Scholarship and Digital Humanities, he is responsible for a wide range of projects and services.