Last week CILIP Cymru Wales met with information professional leaders from across Wales to respond to Welsh Government’s consultation on its LGBTQ+ action plan. WHELF is pleased to have been included in this and hopes its members will share their views via the following link.

Libraries and Information Services play a key role in defining and supporting the information needs of their service users

WHELF is currently going through a period of change, with colleagues leaving WHELF institutions:

Mairwen Owen retired from Bangor University in July. Mairwen was most recently Academic Support Manager in Bangor University library but also worked as Law Librarian for many years.

Within WHELF Mairwen could be relied on for practical, helpful input in meetings and on projects. Mairwen was a quietly spoken, reliable colleague with a mischievous sense of humour. She will also be missed within the WHELF Learning and Teaching Group.

Tegid Rhys WIlliams has left Natural Resources Wales to take up a role with Betsi Cadwalladr Health Board. As well as being a knowledgeable and supportive colleague on the WHELF Board, we will miss his enthusiasm and his music! Tegid is a past Chair of the WHELF Research Group.

Following a year’s secondment to the University of Westminster from RWCMD, Megan Wiley has accepted a position as Director of Library and Digital Academy Services at the University of Law. Megan has had a varied career within libraries and Careers and brings a wealth of experience from her work within several WHELF Groups, including Archives and Special Collections and Copyright. On a personal level Megan is known for her enthusiasm and kindness and for unwavering support for all her colleagues, both at RWCMD and in WHELF.

Finally, Steve Williams will be moving from Swansea University after 23 years, to take up a new role over the Severn Bridge in Leicester in December. Most recently Steve has been University Librarian, Head of Libraries and Culture at Swansea and was WHELF Chair from 2019-2021. WHELF will miss Steve’s generosity in sharing

knowledge and information, his sense of humour and his ability to make new colleagues feel welcome.

Good luck Mairwen, Tegid, Megan and Steve. We will miss you all and please keep in touch!

This Teachmeet is an opportunity to showcase the range of ways in which libraries support research and to learn from one another’s experiences.

We welcome contributions from both library staff and the research community, including students.

The Teachmeet will take place live on MS Teams on Tuesday 23rd November 2021. 


  • How does the library at your organization support research?  
  • What methods have you employed to discover the needs of researchers and what have you found?  
  • How have you developed your own range of skills to be relevant to the researchers to whom you offer support and training?  


  • Are you a research student or member of research staff who has taken up library support?  
  • What can librarians learn from you to develop and market their support and training offer?  

This free event will be delivered via Teams and your presentation can be pre-recorded or delivered live.   

Please complete this short survey to register your interest in taking part.

Questions? Please email the Academic Engagement team

Llun yn cynnwys testun

Wedi cynhyrchu’r disgrifiad yn awtomatig

The WHELF Learning and Teaching Group is organising a second Teachmeet on the theme of inclusive learning and teaching, which we hope to run in September.

This Teachmeet will focus on how we can foster and enable equality and diversity in our learning communities. We’d like to invite proposals for short talks of up to 20 minutes on this subject.

Possible themes could include:

  • Learning environment
  • Reading lists
  • Learning and teaching design and delivery
  • Partnership with students and staff to improve student experience and sense of belonging
  • Assessment and attainment
  • Marketing and communication

We would particularly welcome proposals which include student presenters or student feedback.

If you would like to submit a proposal, please send a title and a brief overview of the content of your talk to Rebecca Mogg and Allison Jones ( by Friday 20 August[:]

WHELF Annual Colloquium 2021

There and back again: using lessons learned from the pandemic to shape the library services of the future.

The WHELF Colloquium was again online this year. Our programme explored how we have adapted services and innovated during the past year with a chance to reflect and discuss on what we might take forward into the future

Link to recordings here

Passcode: vQ#Etcn0

The ideas shared in breakout sessions via a jamboard are here

Susan Glen (swansea University) and Gill Morris shared some notes from the day:


Every year, we publish a report which includes examples of our collaborative activities. WHELF has had another highly successful year in its efforts to create more value than the ‘sum of the parts’.  Under its umbrella, libraries have succeeded in sharing good practice, pursuing common services, improving the experience of researchers and learners and saving money for their institutions

WHELF Annual Report 2019-20

The WHELF Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Group recently held two events under the title Excluded Voices.

Tracey Stanley (Cardiff University and Chair of WHELF EDI Group) writes:

As chair of the WHELF EDI Committee, I’d like to thank you all for your contributions to and participation in the WHELF Excluded Voices conference on 22 April and 24 May.

The conference was very successful with lots of positive engagement during the day and also on Twitter. I feel that we were able to foster a real sense of connection and community, and also to open up a space for discussion, which I hope will lead to future collaboration. There were so many great ideas coming out of the day, and I am confident that we can work across our sectors to move ideas forward. I also felt really heartened to see attendees picking up practical ideas and talking about how they were keen to implement changes in their own organisations.

22 April 2021 (day 1) recordings

Passcode: V96^Q3CM

24 May 2021 (day 2) recordings

Passcode:   V5Fa5?y%

The ideas shared in breakout sessions via a jamboard are here

The WHELF EDI Group is delighted at the interest generated and aim to run further sessions in the future. Once again, heartfelt thanks to the team at Jisc Wales for the technical support.

WHELF Annual Colloquium 2021
There and back again: using lessons learned from the pandemic to shape the library services of the future.

The WHELF Colloquium is again online this year. Our programme explores how we have adapted services and innovated during the past year with a chance to reflect and discuss on what we might take forward into the future. Booking is free for this virtual event, so please join us for our annual get together on Wednesday 9th June 2021, 10:00 – 16:30

Register here

10:00     Welcome and introduction from Alison Harding as WHELF Chair

10:05     Keynote  (Steve Williams – Head of Libraries, Archives, Culture and Arts, Swansea University)

10:35     Panel 1  (introduced by Claire Wotherspoon – The Open University)

Moving information literacy training online: challenges, tools, impact, and lessons for the future (Nicola Jones – Cardiff University)
Moving Open Days online at Swansea : Our libraries’ contribution(Bernie Williams, Sian Neilson and James Broomhall– Swansea University)

11:25     Comfort break

11:35     Shared experience breakout discussion:  Reading lists / Information Literacy training online

12:00     Lunch

13:00     Panel 2  (introduced by Andrew Dalgleish – USW)

WHELF shared LMS update: an update on WHELF LMS activities to adapt to a world with Covid (Jenny McNally – WHELF LMS Manager)
Reinventing with WHEEL: How resources acquisition has changed with the times (Tom Francis – Aberystwyth University, John Dalling – UWTSD)

13:50     Shared experience breakout discussion: Lessons learned from the pandemic.

14:15     Comfort break

14:25     Panel 3 (introduced by Gill Morris – WHELF/Swansea University)

Help! How can we open the library? : Building collaborative frontline services during a pandemic (Bernadette Ryan, University of South Wales)                                         
Supporting blended learning for highly practical subjects (Sally Brockway and Judith Dray (RWCMD))
Digital surrogates: ways forward for access to archives & special collections (Kristine Chapman, National Museum Wales, Alan Hughes, Cardiff University, Sian Williams, Swansea University)

15:45     Quiz (Mark Hughes – Cardiff Met)

16:15     Closing remarks by Alison Harding as WHELF Chair 

If you have any questions, please contact the Jisc events team or Gill Morris, WDO.

José Lopez Blanco writes:

On the 12th of May 2021, librarians from academic institutions across Wales gathered for the latest WHELF teachmeet to share good practice on improving inclusivity in learning and teaching.

The event took place online. There were three presentations on the day -click on the presentation titles to view the slides:

A Holistic Approach: Universal Design for Learning

Joe Nicholls, Education Consultant, Cardiff University

Joe reminded us that we should value difference in our student body and the learning opportunities it creates. Joe posed an interesting question: “what is normal anyway?”

One difficulty is that a lot of accessibility work is done retrospectively, while it should be done from the outset.

There was a call for reflection and recognising our bias: in Joe’s adapted quote, “teacher, heal thyself.”

Finally, Joe gave us a short demonstration of how to apply the principles of the Universal Design for Learning model:

Supporting Print Disabled Students with Accessible Formats at Swansea University

Martina Webber, manager of the Swansea University Transcription Centre

Martina firstly introduced us to the legal framework around accessibility in universities:

  • The Equality Act 2010 asks universities to provide accessible learning.
  • The Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018 regulates the accessibility of all digital resources.

Martina then gave us an overview of what the law says about the characteristics of accessible digital environments and highlighted the social model of disability, whereby the onus is on society to become inclusive, rather than on individuals to request alternative formats in learning.

Finally, we were given a summary of the work from Swansea University Transcription Centre, in operation since 1995 and a free service since 2014. There are only seven such centres in the whole of the UK.

Some the work they do includes transcribing all course materials, sourcing alternative formats, transcribing of audio recordings and converting textbooks to DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) audiobooks.

How Can I Make my Learning Material More Inclusive? Using Features in PowerPoint and Word to Make Information More Accessible and Easier to Use

Philippa Price, Subject Librarian, Swansea University

Philippa shared some practical tips on how to make learning materials more accessible by paying attention to the following features in PowerPoint and Word documents: font, size, colour contrast, avoiding italic text and block capitals, not relying on one single feature for emphasis, avoiding big chunks of text, clear and concise language, and adding alt text to as many images as possible.

Philippa then offered a practical demonstration of how to use the Check Accessibility feature in PowerPoint, Styles in Word and Font sizes in Outlook. Philippa also showed how an accessible template for PowerPoint can be built. During Questions and Answers participants were invited to share what tips they were going to take away and share. There were quite a few questions about sourcing ebooks in accessible format and the rise in demand for audiobooks.

A recording of the event is available here

WHELF and Jisc are pleased to announce that our Excluded Voices conference is now open for booking:

WHELF Excluded Voices Conference

Register here

Outline Programme 24th May

10.00 – 10.05 – welcome and introduction from Alison Harding as WHELF Chair

10.05 – 11.05: Keynote Session 1:

· Many Hands Make Light Work: A Collaborative Approach to Diversifying Collections (Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive Service- Diane McCourt)

· Walking the Tightrope: Sharing Histories of Slavery and Colonialism at Sites with Person-led Interpretation (National Trust – Eleanor Harding)

11.05 – 11.20: Break

11.20 – 12.00: Breakout Discussion 1: Sharing experiences of amplifying excluded voices

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch break and optional informal chat.

13.00 – 14.15: Lightning Talks:

· To What Extent Can Qualitative Research About the Digital Practices of Doctoral Students Inform Research Library Services? (City, University of London– Diane Bell)

· See Yourself on the Shelf: Raising the Visibility of Excluded Voices in Our Collections (University of Kent – Emma Mires-Richards and Sarah Field )

· Sex Work and the State: The Personal and Political in a Government Archive (National Archives/Wellcome Collection – Vicky Iglikowski-Broad)

· Evaluating Diversity in a Student Reading List (University of Leicester – Keith Nockels and Heena Karavadra)

14.15 – 14.30: Break

14.30 – 15.00: Breakout Discussion 2: Towards a Cross-Sectoral ‘manifesto’ for change – how can we work better together to move the agenda forward

15.00 – 16.00: Keynote Session 2:

· Now You’re Out, You’re In (National Library of Ireland – Elizabeth Kirwan)

· WHELF Equality and Diversity – the next steps (WHELF – Tracey Stanley)