(English) “Collaboration and the Academic Library” Shared LMS chapter

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WHELF Shared LMS Programme Manager Gareth Owen and Tracey Stanley, Deputy University Librarian at Cardiff University, have just had a chapter included in a new volume “Collaboration and the Academic Library” published by Chandos Publishing. The editor of the volume is Jeremy Atkinson, an active past member of WHELF.

The abstract for their chapter is

The Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) have undertaken an ambitious programme to procure and implement a single Library Management System and discovery interface for all Higher Education institutions across Wales and the National Library of Wales.  The paper describes the steps taken to create the conditions for a complex collaboration at a national level, and the benefits identified and achieved from this.  It also covers the opportunities for deeper collaboration which have been established, which have potential to transform service provision across Wales.

The book is available to purchase as a paperback or for institutional subscription.

Posted in Whelf shared LMS

(English) Sue Hodges’ Contribution to Academic Book of the Future

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Sue Hodges is Former Chair of WHELF and Former Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University. Sue contributed to the Academic Book of the Future project and her article has now been added to the project’s BOOC – an ever-developing collection of online content hosted by UCLPress.

You can see the BOOC here (it’s completely open access) and Sue’s article “The Alchemy of Academic Libraries and Scholars: Learning From the Past“. Comments and discussion around the content are encouraged on the site.

Posted in e-books, open access, WHELF

(English) WHELF Archives and Special Collections colouring book

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Black and white line drawing of Aberystwyth Old College - a page from the Colour Our Collections book 

Join us 5-9 February 2018 for a worldwide colouring extravaganza on social media!

Led by the New York Academy of Medicine Library, who first launched the campaign in 2016, libraries, archives, and museums around the world are sharing free colouring sheets based on materials in their collections. Users are invited to download and print the sheets and share their filled-in images on social media, using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections (because the campaign launched in America most institutions are using the American spelling of colour!).

So, for this year the members of the WHELF Archives and Special Collections Group have gotten together to create a colouring book based on the Year of the Sea.

Download the book here [PDF]and let us see your creative skills!

Post images of your coloured pages on social media with the hashtags #lliwioeincasgliadau or #colorourcollections and tag us in @WHELFed.

And don’t forget to check out which other institutions around the world are taking part using the #colorourcollections hashtag or visiting the website of the New York Academy of Medicine

Happy colouring!!

Colour our Collections image


Posted in archives & special collections

(English) Teachmeet: Be brave and bold in your teaching

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Bookings are now open for a TeachMeet on the 6thFebruary, 10-2pm, in Committee Room 1 in the Glamorgan Building at Cardiff University. This has been organised by colleagues at Cardiff University as part of the activities of the WHELF Learning and Teaching Group.

Details of the event:

This event is not aligned to a specific subject area or level. This will be an opportunity for Librarians to come together in an informal setting to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights into their teaching. This is an opportunity to learn together.

All participants are asked to be prepared to deliver a 2 or 7 minute presentation. On the day, a virtual wheel will be spun and those chosen will be asked to deliver their 2 or 7 minute talk.

By the end of the day attendees should have an understanding of how to improve their confidence in teaching and have some new ideas to apply to their own work situations.

Full programme and a link to book:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cardiff-university-library-teachmeet-being-brave-and-bold-in-your-teaching-tickets-42094072504?utm_term=eventname_text


Posted in Uncategorised

(English) Celebrating our Research Collections

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Andrew Green, former Librarian at the National Library of Wales, gave a talk last night at Swansea University on “Celebrating our Research Collections” to mark the 80th anniversary of the university’s first purpose-built building: the 1937 library. The focus of the talk was “prospects for collections – analogue and digital, national and local – in humanities, research and learning”.

Andrew Green seated on stage at Taliesin, taking questions from the audience

Andrew Green taking questions

Andrew’s talk focused on the value that special collections can bring to their institutions, in particular drawing out three key points:

Powerpoint slide: the text is given below in the blog post

Photo of Andrew Green’s “Three Propositions” slide

  1. Special collections are assets, to be cared for. They matter.”: caring for its special collections is a clear demonstration that a university respects research and excellence in it, something that will attract the best academic staff and students. Andrew also spoke of the need for retaining “excellent staff” and “energetic promotion” for special collections.
  2. Special collections are important for people outside the institution: archives and special collections are also important in how a university constructs its relationships with the wider community and accessibility to collections is vital.
  3. Special collections benefit from size and variety: there are economies of scale in bringing collections together, to benefit from shared resources and expertise.

Andrew highlighted examples of particular merit which showed the possibilities for investment in special collections by a university (or collaboration): the striking Ruskin Library at Lancaster University, the cross-sectoral Hull History Centre and the Keep at Brighton.

WHELF’s Archives & Special Collections group provides a supportive and collaborative network for staff in Welsh HE institutions. A key aspect of their work is to promote their special collections: you can view a selection of “WHELF’s Treasures” on this website.


Andrew Green’s blog can be found at http://gwallter.com.

Update: the full text of Andrew’s talk has now been added to his blog.

Posted in archives & special collections

(English) Open Access Week 23-29th October 2017

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It’s International Open Access Week. Take a look at the @WHELFed Twitter feed to see what events the WHELF institutions have planned for this week or search for tweets using the hashtag #OAWeek for wider news.

A summary of key resources, issues, policies and guidelines regarding open access can be accessed here

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Posted in events, open access

170928 Libraries Week UNI INFOGRAPHIC W - final (1)
Posted in Uncategorised

System Rheoli Llyfrgell a Rennir WHELF: mesur manteision cydweithio

Mae’n bleser gan WHELF eich hysbysu bod yr adroddiad canlynol wedi’i gyhoeddi: “Gwerthuso buddion ymagwedd consortiwm at system rheoli llyfrgell WHELF”.

Gyda chymorth ariannol gan JISC, comisiynodd Fforwm Llyfrgelloedd Addysg Uwch Cymru (WHELF) Cambridge Econometrics i gynnal gwerthusiad annibynnol o’r prosiect i gaffael system rheoli llyfrgell a rennir a’i rhoi ar waith yn y naw prifysgol yng Nghymru, ynghyd â Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru a llyfrgelloedd y GIG yng Nghymru  Mae’r adroddiad hwn yn darparu fframwaith awdurdodol ac annibynnol ar gyfer nodi a chofnodi’r manteision a gyflawnwyd.

Ategir yr adroddiad gan dair astudiaeth achos ardderchog o Brifysgol Caerdydd, Prifysgol Cymru y Drindod Dewi Sant a Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.

Croesawyd yr adroddiad a’r astudiaethau achos gan Emma Adamson, Cadeirydd WHELF  a Chyfarwyddwr Gwasanaethau Dysgu ym Mhrifysgol De Cymru: ‘Mae manteision rhannu, a ddatgelwyd gan adroddiad Cambridge Econometrics ar y broses o roi systemau rheoli llyfrgell a rennir, Ex Libris Alba a Primo, ar waith yn llyfrgelloedd WHELF ledled Cymru, yn dystiolaeth glir ac annibynnol o’r gwerth a’r manteision sylweddol sy’n deillio o gydweithio: boed y rhain yn economaidd neu drwy arloesi neu ddatblygu ffyrdd mwy effeithiol ac effeithlon o gydweithio.

Ar ran WHELF, hoffwn ddiolch i JISC, Cambridge Econometrics ac Ex Libris am eu cymorth wrth gomisiynu’r astudiaeth bwysig hon o fanteision rhannu. Hoffwn ddiolch hefyd i bob un o’r 600 o aelodau staff yn y llyfrgelloedd a’u cydweithwyr ar draws sefydliadau WHELF a gyfrannodd at roi’r system rheoli llyfrgell a rennir ar waith ledled Cymru. Maen nhw wedi cydweithio i’n helpu i gyflawni manteision rhannu casgliadau WHELF: er budd dysgwyr ac ymchwilwyr ym mhob man.’

Mae’r adroddiad a’r astudiaethau achos yn amlygu amrywiaeth y manteision a gyflawnwyd gan WHELF, yn eu plith:

  • costau cyflenwyr is – arbedwyd £226,000 yn 2015-17
  • costau caffael is – arbedwyd £55,000
  • system o ansawdd uchel ar sail manyleb uchel ar gyfer yr holl sefydliadau cyfranogol
  • rhyngwyneb blaen a chefn hollol ddwyieithog sy’n galluogi staff a defnyddwyr i gael mynediad i’r system yn nwy iaith swyddogol Cymru
  • arbenigedd a rennir i ddatblygu nodweddion, hyfforddiant a gwelliannau
  • integreiddio gwell â systemau TG eraill
  • rhyngwynebau mwy hyblyg drwy ddarparu system yn y cwmwl
  • yr offer cofnodi a dadansoddi diweddaraf i resymoli llifoedd gwaith

Meddai Chris Keene, Pennaeth Dyfodol Llyfrgelloedd ac Ysgolheigaidd yn JISC, “Roedd yn bleser gan JISC gefnogi’r adroddiad annibynnol ar brosiect system rheoli llyfrgell a rennir WHELF – prosiect a gefnogwyd gan JISC ers y dechrau, drwy astudiaeth dichonoldeb yn 2012. Yn ogystal â dangos y gwerth amlwg y gellir ei gyflawni drwy gydweithio, mae’r adroddiad hwn hefyd yn darparu methodoleg y gall gwasanaethau llyfrgell eraill ei defnyddio”.

Meddai Graham Hay o Cambridge Econometrics, “Mae dulliau ansoddol o werthuso effaith rhoi system rheoli llyfrgell a rennir ar waith drwy gydweithio yn gymharol annatblygedig. Drwy ddarparu fframwaith strwythuredig ar gyfer nodi effeithiau mabwysiadu system rheoli llyfrgell a rennir newydd drwy weithio fel consortiwm, a dull dichonol o’u gwerthuso, mae’r adroddiad hwn yn ychwanegiad newydd at yr ymchwil sy’n bodoli yn y maes hwn. Mae’r dull a gyflwynir yn yr adroddiad yn darparu set o offer a fframweithiau y gall sefydliadau addysg uwch eu haddasu i gyd-fynd â’u hamgylchiadau penodol.” Yn ogystal, gellir mireinio’r dull wrth i ragor o wybodaeth, a gwybodaeth well, ddod ar gael dros amser, gan ganiatáu iddo ddatblygu a pharhau’n berthnasol yn y dyfodol.”

Mae’r adroddiad ar gael yma

Manylion cyswllt

WHELF: Gareth Owen, Rheolwr Rhaglen y System Rheoli Llyfrgell a Rennir, oweng12@cardiff.ac.uk  Ffôn: 02922510189

Jisc: Chris Keene, Pennaeth dyfodol llyfrgelloedd ac ysgolheigaidd JISC, chris.keene@jisc.ac.uk, 0203 006 6047.

Cambridge Econometrics: Graham Hay, Cyfarwyddwr Cysylltiol, CE, gh@camecon.com, Ffôn: 01223 533100

Posted in Blog LMS WHELF a Rennir, collaboration, JISC, Uncategorised, WHELF Shared LMS blog

Posted in events Tagged with: ,

(English) Reports from the WHELF UXLibs workshop

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WHELF was very pleased to have Andy Priestner run a UXLibs workshop at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen campus on 30th June 2017. Many thanks to Nina Whitcombe (Swansea University) and Sue House (University of South Wales) for these excellent blog posts about their experience of the day.

By Nina Whitcombe, Collections Services and Systems Officer at Swansea University:

“I registered for this course as soon as I saw it advertised on the enthusiastic recommendation of a colleague who had already attended training given by Andy Priestner. The course became full very quickly so I am glad that I did manage to book early.  After working in academic libraries for longer than I am prepared to admit, it becomes very easy to fall into the mind-set of assuming you have a good grasp on what users want. This training was a timely reminder that user requirements constantly evolve and in order to meet institutional aims for student experience we need to gather behavioural and attitudinal data alongside the more traditional data such as footfall, number of loans etc.

Throughout the day, Andy introduced a variety of ethnographic approaches that can be employed when gathering research data from library users. The results can then be examined to identify how our services and spaces are currently used and how people want to use them. We were given the opportunity to carry out practical examples using the various research methods and encouraged to consider how we could take these ideas away with us and apply them in our own work environments.

The final part of the day covered idea generation and prototyping based on data gathered during research. We worked through a number of practical examples aimed at maximising the value of user feedback. It was reassuring to see how quickly and cheaply user satisfaction with the physical library environment can be improved (strategically placed plants acting as privacy screens on shared study tables). We are currently undergoing a major campus redevelopment project and I am sure there will be the opportunity to try out some of the methods and ideas covered at this event soon”


By Sue House, Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, University of South Wales:

In this slightly unconventional post I’ve tried to use reflective questions learned on a CILIP Professional Registration Workshop & Mentor Information and Support Session from CSO Sharon Cook to share with you a personal evaluative and critical summary of the day.

Why did I do this activity?

  • To learn about UX and ethnographic research
  • To find out how I could understand our library users better
  • To find out if I could use UX to help me prioritise my own workload by finding out what is important to my students & staff in humanities, social sciences and law (the answer is potentially ‘yes’.)

What did I learn from it?

I learned a huge amount from this day, the key points for me were:

  • UX is a holistic approach to giving users not just what they want but also what they ‘don’t yet know they want’ and if it is done well and services and products change for the better as a result of feedback then ‘customer service’ is not necessarily required as the experience of our services and products will be good/great.
  • It’s all about how someone feels when they use a service or product (their attitudes / behaviour)
  • It’s all about how ‘useful, usable and desirable’ a service or product is
  • Everyone in the library should be involved in UX research
  • There are several methods available – surveys/focus groups are ok if very well designed, but there are lots more engaging methods which will illicit more useful and effective data e.g. observations, mapping the ‘desire line’ through a space, in-depth user interviews, cognitive mapping, photo elicitation interviews, user journey mapping, card sorting, touchstone tours, love and break-up letters etc. Several of which we were able to experience in various activities throughout the day.
  • You can start small and scale up, you just need post-its and Sharpies!
  • You need to think about ethics and consent forms (speak to your ‘Ethics’ people before you start)

 There are lots of UX library resources available including:

Reading List:

  • Krug – Don’t Make Me Think
  • Priestner & Borg – User Experience in Libraries: applying ethnography and human-centred design
  • Schmidt & Etches – Useful, Usable, Desirable: applying user experience design to your library

How is this going to change my practice?

  • I would like to start by carrying out some 1hr observations of the space around the law collection at our Treforest library in the new academic year
  • I’m also considering using love and break-up letters as an activity in my ‘Refresher’ library induction sessions with returning students

How am I going to share this new knowledge?

  • I’m going to feedback to the team at the next available opportunity
  • I’ve written this blog post for WHELF

How am I going to monitor impact?

I will report back on the observations and inductions to my line manager with any suggestions for improvements to library space and services.

Ask yourself – ‘So what’?

The recent updating and development of classic ethnographic research methods to ‘UX’ has really energised many in the library community to gain a better understanding our users. At a time when libraries are under pressure to provide return on investment/value for money and evidence-based services these methods can relatively easily and more effectively inform the strategic and operational direction of the library service at USW. I would advocate that all USW library staff be involved in UX work. Andy was a great trainer and above all else it was a fun day out – yes, really!

Posted in events, workforce development