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New Wales-wide library system will foster greater collaboration between universities
The new bilingual library management system which will be shared by Welsh university libraries (Aberyswyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff University, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Swansea University, University of South Wales, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Wrexham Glyndwr University), NHS libraries, and the National Library of Wales, will deliver cost benefits, greater collaboration, and the potential to share collections throughout Wales. Bangor and Glyndwr Universities recently completed the roll-out of the system, finalising the implementation schedule across Wales.
A library management system is the technology which enables university and other libraries to buy, catalogue, lend and show their holdings. The consortium, brought together by the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF, a network of university libraries and the National Library of Wales), and project managed by Cardiff University, has introduced the Alma and Primo systems, marketed by Ex Libris, across its member institutions during a three-year long programme.
The successful introduction of the new system across the WHELF network, alongside implementation of the first phase of a shared library management system for public libraries, will today be celebrated at an event at the Senedd with Julie James AM, the Minister for Skills and Science.
The ‘Celebrating library collaboration’ event is also supported by Wales’ public libraries and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP, which supports the work of the Library, Information and Knowledge Profession), to celebrate wider cooperation across libraries in Wales.
Speaking ahead of the event, Minister for Science and Skills Julie James, said: “I’m really pleased to be able to celebrate your collaboration and innovation in Welsh libraries and I’m proud that the Welsh Government has supported both of these partnership projects. Welsh libraries are leading the way in working collaboratively to deliver a better service for all those who use them. The new shared library management systems will bring significant benefits for library members across Wales. I very much hope that it will also act as a catalyst for further partnership working in future.”
Sue Hodges, Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University and Chair of WHELF stated: “This is a remarkable achievement which demonstrates the trust, commitment, vision and strength of collaboration within WHELF. I would like to thank all of the WHELF institutions and Ex-Libris for their fantastic efforts in delivering the implementation and roll-out of the system on time and to extremely challenging deadlines. Students will benefit immensely from this new library system which provides easier access to resources for teaching, learning and research.”
The Society of Chief Librarians for Wales said: “Cooperation is a crucial part of the efforts of Public Library Services in Wales to fulfil their statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient service for their residents. With the launch of the first phase to adopt a Library Computer Management System for Wales in North Wales, this project will offer benefits for all authorities and is important step forward to ensuring sustainable models of delivery of Welsh public library services.”
Mandy Powell, Head of CILIP Cymru Wales said: “It is thrilling to see a project of this scope and ambition being rightly celebrated. Librarians, Information and Knowledge Managers are all experts in the world of information and whether it is using their extensive skills to benefit users by widening access, saving money or opening up collections, great things happen when librarians are involved.”
Cardiff University is one of the Welsh universities to have introduced the new library management system in August 2016. Staff at the university also project managed the procurement process and oversaw the implementation of the new system. Janet Peters, Director of Cardiff University Library Service and Chair of the project’s steering group, said: “The collaboration between the member institutions of WHELF has been vital to the success of such an ambitious project. Developed over many years, the desire to work together has been truly inspirational, and we are looking forward to sharing resources and expertise with our colleagues across Welsh Higher Education libraries into the future. Our students, researchers, clinicians, and other users, will gain very real benefits from the new library management system by being able to search the library collections throughout Wales in a consistent way. We are already planning further developments to streamline access even more.”
Press release courtesy of Cardiff University.
With thanks to Beth Hall, Academic Support Librarian at Bangor University for this blog post:
The WHELF research group organised a training session on Research Data Management at Cardiff University on the 6th September. Attendees represented a range of the WHELF academic institutions, Natural Resources Wales, and National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru.
Dr Andrew Cox, senior lecturer at the Information School at the University of Sheffield and project director of RDMRose, delivered the training session. Andrew gave us an in-depth introduction to what is involved in research data management, what support researchers need, what expectations are out there from research funders and institutions, and a chance to explore our role and the role of others at our institution. A highlight of the session was listening to some recorded examples of researchers talking about their data; we explored the attitudes and experiences of researchers. There was also opportunities to reflect, discuss and share ideas about RDM support across institutions.
Some of us had been at previous training provided by UKeiG at Cardiff Metropolitan University on 1st July 2015 and already had a good working knowledge of RDM. This session on 6th September 2016 was an important timely update and did incorporate updates to funder expectations, for example the RCUK concordat on research data. This session also had a focus on how we lead change at our institutions; this was something we recognised as an important focus for WHELF. Many of us have set up services and support at our institutions but we now need to embed and establish these services, and we need to expand and increase engagement with these services.
At the end of the training session, we had a group discussion to identify areas where WHELF institutions can collaborate to further develop RDM support, these are listed as follows. The WHELF research group will discuss how to take these forward:
We also spent some time as a group discussing our top current priorities at our institutions. The priorities are as follows ranked in order of importance:
Other concerns that the Bangor University research support team highlighted are:
Bangor University went live with Ex-Libris Alma and Primo on 25 August, completing the implementation cycle for all of the 11 Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) Shared Library Management System (LMS) institutions. The first to go live was Swansea University in June 2015. The period since then has been marked by intense and focussed work on the part of all of the WHELF implementation teams and Ex-Libris in order to migrate from 6 legacy systems to a single shared cloud hosted system.
The 9 universities of Wales (Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff University, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Swansea University, University of South Wales, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Wrexham Glyndŵr University), together with the NHS libraries in Wales and the National Library of Wales now share the same library management system and discovery interface. This provides a platform for building deeper and wider collaboration and for further work in opening up and sharing our collections for the benefit of all.
Sue Hodges, Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University and Chair of WHELF stated: “This is a remarkable achievement, which demonstrates the trust, commitment, vision and strength of collaboration within WHELF. I would like to thank all of the WHELF institutions and Ex-Libris for their fantastic efforts and hard work in delivering the implementation and roll-out of the system on time and to extremely challenging deadlines. I look forward to further opportunities based on this ground-breaking shared platform”.
The WHELF Shared LMS has already delivered major benefits to the participating institutions, including a consortial discount, other cost benefits and a fully bilingual interface for staff and users. Students and other users will benefit immensely from this type of next generation LMS which provides easier access to all resources for teaching, learning and research. All resources including library owned, open access, licensed and externally hosted resources can be accessed via a one-stop interface or search for both digital and print resources. We also have a unique opportunity to work more closely with other Welsh libraries for the benefit of everyone including procuring shared content and sharing collections and services. Robert Bley, Managing Director of Ex Libris, UK stated “Ex Libris is excited to enter this new phase in our relationship with WHELF. With the implementation process completed as scheduled, we look forward to working with WHELF on the next phase of broadening and deepening collaboration opportunities within the consortium, for the benefit of students and researchers across Wales”.
The project will provide a model business case for the development of a shared LMS across a consortium of HEIs and a summary of the key requirements and issues to consider for implementing a shared system and the key benefits and impacts of doing so. WHELF is now actively working with Jisc on a benefits realisation study, which will report in 2017. For the future WHELF is now committed to building on this initiative, enabling more benefits and to sharing its work with the wider community. ”
We will be celebrating the successful implementation of the WHELF Shared LMS at the ‘Celebrating Library Collaboration’ event to be held at the Senedd on 22nd September, hosted by Julie James AM and alongside colleagues from across the library sectors in Wales.
This presentation was delivered by Bronwen Blatchford (Cardiff Metropolitan University / RWCMD), Susan Glen (Swansea University) and Beth Hall (Bangor University) at the 2016 WHELF/HEWIT Colloquium. It discusses the feedback from the 3 regional events for librarians supporting research organized by the WHELF Research Group.
We are very pleased to announce that the Library and Information Service of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has become a member of WHELF.
NRW’s Information Services offer a range of electronic and physical resources and services to its staff and supports a wide range of the research activities of individual students. The subject matter of their collections covers land and water management, species and habitats, environmental and conservation management, forestry, planning, landscapes, access and recreation, marine and freshwater, soils and geology.
They also have specialist collections including historical and recent publications relating specifically to the Welsh environment. Their library catalogue (https://libcat.naturalresources.wales/webview/) also provides access to details of 1000+ datasets held by NRW. The largest physical library collection is based in Bangor, which is open to students, researchers and the general public to view and consult items.
Membership of WHELF will lead to greater collaborative and cooperative opportunities across Wales in terms of access to resources for researchers and students and will also open up opportunities for increased strategic working in evidence provisioning, learning and development and innovation.
The WHELF Representative for Natural Resources Wales will be Tegid Rhys Williams, Information Services Manager. Tegid began his Library career in 2012 as an Information Literacy Officer with Gwynedd Council. During this time he gained a Diploma in Information and Library Studies from Aberystwyth University. In 2015 he was appointed as the Information Services Manager with Natural Resources Wales. He also represents Natural Resources Wales on the North Wales Library Partnership Group (NWLP).
Congratulations to Cardiff University Library, the NHS Wales Libraries and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD), who have now all gone live with the WHELF Shared LMS. These libraries are part of cohort 3, and make up the third and final group to implement the LMS. Bangor University and Wrexham Glyndwr University are the next to follow with their implementation later this month. Once Bangor and Glyndwr have gone live, the implementation will be complete, and this groundbreaking project will have delivered a shared library management system across the country incorporating all 10 Welsh higher education institutions, the National Library of Wales, and the Welsh NHS Libraries.
Largely driven by funder policy, libraries around the world have begun to explore how to support research data management. This means applying our skills to a new context. We need to support researchers to plan data management. We also need to find ways to make the case for sharing data and to design training in “Data Information Literacy”. We need to provide input to making data resources discoverable and creating an infrastructure for long term preservation. RDM is a complex challenge because research is itself so diverse and the message has to be adapted to individual researcher’s needs. Our skills in influencing others are needed to develop research data services collaboratively with Research Offices, Computing Services and with researchers themselves. Research data stewardship will be one of the big challenges for university libraries in the next five years. This practical hands-on course is designed to help librarians build the skills and confidence to play an active part in research data management in their institution.
This training session is a follow up to the WHELF/ UK eInformation group “Research Data Management for Information Professionals” training session previously provided by Dr Andrew Cox on 1st July 2015 at Cardiff Metropolitan University. That session provided an excellent introduction to what is involved in supporting RDM, and this session one year on will focus on developing our skills to lead and develop research data services at our institutions and collaboratively via WHELF.
WHEN: Tuesday 6th September 2016
WHERE: Cardiff University, Room 0.86 Glamorgan Building – King Edward VII Avenue Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3WT
Trainer: Dr Andrew Cox, Senior Lecturer at the Information School, the University of Sheffield
Who should attend?
10.30 Arrival and coffee
11.00 Welcome and introductions
11.15 RDM policy in context
12.15 Data case study
12.45 Incentives for RDM and data sharing
13.15 Lunch break
13.45 Research Data Services, including data management plans and teaching “data information literacy”
14.45 Leading change in RDM within your organisation
15.15 Summary, Q &A, resources available
15.30 Identify and discuss WHELF priorities for collaboration on RDM support
Outcomes of the event:
This event is free thanks to funding from the WHELF Staff Development Fund.
Lunch will be provided for registered attendees. Please email email@example.com with any dietary requirements.
Spaces are limited. Booking will close on Monday 15th August 2016. Please click here to book.
About the trainer: Dr Andrew M. Cox is a Senior Lecturer at the Information School, the University of Sheffield, the UK’s first Information School. He was the director of the RDMRose and “Wicked ways in RDM” projects. He is a University of Sheffield senate award winner for learning and teaching and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research areas are research data management; social media and wellbeing; and information behaviour in serious leisure. He is head of the Information School’s Digital Societies Research Group.
Congratulations to Alison Harding who has been appointed as Executive Head of Library and Learning Resources at UWTSD (University of Wales Trinity Saint David). In her new role Alison will provide overall leadership in devising, implementing and monitoring a strategic vision for the provision of library and learning resources to support UWTSD’s mission and strategic priorities. We look forward to working with Alison in her new role.
WHELF also bids farewell to Anne Harvey, Head of Library and Learning Resources UWTSD: Swansea. After more than 30 years working in higher education institutions in their many guises (West Glamorgan Institute of HE, Swansea Institute of HE, Swansea Met & UWTSD) Anne has decided to take early retirement. Anne became a WHELF Representative in 2007 after being appointed as Head of Library & Learning Resources at Swansea Metropolitan University. We will miss working with Anne and thank her for all her support and contributions to the work of WHELF over the years and wish her a very happy retirement. Anne will be retiring on 1st September 2016.
Thank you to Sally McInnes (Unique Collections, National Library of Wales) for this report:
WHELF Archives and Special Collections Group / ARCW Conference
National Library of Wales
19 May 2016
Since 2008, staff from the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division of Welsh Government have worked together with archivists, conservators and the National Manuscripts and Conservation Trust to preserve and provide access to archival collections. The NMCT scheme provides the opportunity to undertake a fully funded manuscript conservation project and 15 eligible organisations have taken advantage of the scheme, which has provided conservation funding for 35 projects, amounting to over two hundred thousand pounds.
In May, nearly 50 delegates attended The Big Reveal conference which was held to celebrate this partnership and to demonstrate the significance and impact of conservation work on users and collections. WHELF has identified that opening up collections and promoting access is a strategic objective and it provided generous support towards the costs of hosting the conference.
The Archives and Special Collections Group members have made several successful applications for funding. Presentation were given by Elisabeth Bennett, Richard Burton Archives, on the records of the South Wales Miners’ Federation which provide invaluable evidence about the development of industrial relations in the UK and the wider impact on political, social and economic history. Elen Simpson, Bangor University Archives, spoke about providing access to the Penrhyn Jamaica Papers. These papers form part of the Penrhyn Collection, which is a significant research resource which provides an insight into the administration of a large estate in North Wales. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Pennant branch of the family acquired sugar plantations in Jamaica. The Jamaica papers relate to the ownership of these plantations and provide evidence of the activities of the slave trade at this time.
Other successful applications include Aberystwyth University for the conservation of important and fragile music manuscripts from the University archive, mainly from the George Powell of Nanteos collection. One of the items is a fragile double sided, manuscript sheet written by Gustav Holst as the rehearsal copy of ” O Spiritual Pilgrim” from the 1933 Gregynog Festival. A series of Mendelssohn letters were also conserved as part of Aberystwyth University’s 2013 grant application. As a result of the funding these items have been conserved, rebound and consequently are accessible to the public.
The scheme is now open for applications. Expressions of interest should be a maximum of 750 words and should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 22 July 2016.
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) will be closed from Friday 8th July until Monday 12th September in order to carry out work to improve the library entrance, issue desk and office space. As part of the refurbishment they will laying new carpet and rearranging the study space in the rest of the library. It will be an “all-singing all-dancing!” library refurb for RWCMD as they will also be implementing Alma and Primo as part of cohort 3 in the WHELF Shared LMS. If you need to contact the library during the period of closure email: email@example.com