WHELF meeting quarterly update March 2014

WHELF actively promotes the work of higher education libraries in Wales and provides a focus for the development of new ideas and services.

This was the first meeting hosted by the new Chair of WHELF Aled Gruffydd Jones, Chief Executive & Librarian of the National Library of Wales.

At our recent meeting in February, these were some of the topics under discussion:
Eduroam/Wifi in Health Libraries
Gareth Bulpin, Technical Development Network Support Manager from Cardiff & Vale University Health Board detailed the roll out of eduroam/wifi in the Cardiff & Vale Health Boards working in partnership with Cardiff University. The eduroam wireless network is now available via the majority of 1,400+ wireless access points on the Health Board’s sites. Access is available to students, researchers and staff along with students working on placement to access the University’s digital resources. Eduroam is also available for students of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Boards.

WHELF shared LMS
Phase 2 of the LMS Project, which covers the procurement of a new system, is gaining momentum.   The EU tender, indicating a 7 year contract (with an option to extend up to a further 5 years), was initiated on 24 January 2014 under the EU restricted tender process.  This 2 stage process includes a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) and an Invitation to Tender (ITT).
The first stage, just initiated, requires potential suppliers to submit a PQQ.  The PQQ is an opportunity for the WHELF LMS Working Group to test the organisational capacity and capability of suppliers to deliver the required LMS system, with those suppliers passing this stage progressing to ITT, where suppliers will be assessed against responses to detailed system requirements.
WHELF institutions, through the Working Group and wider representation within institutions, will have the opportunity at this stage to further test potential systems through, for example, reference site visits and demonstrations.  At the end of this second stage, a contract will be awarded to a single supplier.
A grant bid has been submitted to CyMAL for funding to support the implementation phase.  If successful, this will provide funding for the Programme Manager role from October 2014 to March 2015, plus a small amount of funding for travel and subsistence. The bid to CyMAL is based on securing match funding from WHELF members. A decision on the bid is expected in March 2014.

Conservation and Digital Service for Wales’ Cultural Heritage
Avril Jones, Director of Collection Services, NLW reported on the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund submitted at the end of November 2013 to support the development of a Conservation and Digital Service for Wales’ Documentary Heritage. WHELF is represented on the Project Board by Sue Hodges and Alison Harding.

The NLW and CyMAL jointly commissioned a report on the conservation landscape in Wales, based upon the 2000 Lisc report `The future of our recorded past’.  In order to support the HLF application, the NLW has employed a consultant, Marilyn Deegan, to identify options for the role to be played by NLW to support digital preservation in Wales and to identify potential partners and stakeholders, both within and outside Wales.
The outcome of the HLF bid will be known in April 2014.

Succession planning for bilingual staff in Archives & Special Collections
A paper from Peter Keelan (Head of Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University)  on succession planning for bilingual staff in Archives & Special Collections was reviewed. The paper reports on the importance of Welsh medium language provision for sustaining knowledge of heritage collections, maintaining the collection and providing bilingual services. Discussions have been opened with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to explore ways of taking this forward.

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