(English) WHELF Reps meeting report May 2016

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The WHELF Representatives gathered at Gladstone’s Library on 19th-20th May 2016. Attending the meeting were: Sue Hodges (Chair, Bangor), Emma Adamson (U of SW), Kristine Chapman (National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru), Andrew Dalgleish (U of SW), Ann Davies (OU),  Alison Harding (UWTSD: Carmarthen & Lampeter), Julie Hart (Aberystwyth), Mark Hughes (Swansea), Paul Jeorrett (Wrexham Glyndwr), Manon Foster Evans (NLW),  Aimee Jones (Cardiff Metropolitan),  Janet Peters (Cardiff University), Rachael Whitfield (WDO), Megan Wiley (RWCMD).

Some of the topics under discussion at this meeting were:

WHELF Shared LMS: We are now in the final stages of implementation, progress in Cohort 3 (which consists of Bangor University, Cardiff University, Wrexham Glyndwr University and the Wales NHS libraries) is going well and all sites remain on target to go live on the agreed milestones. However, implementation across the consortium marks whilst a huge achievement in itself marks just the beginning of the process to realise the benefits of a shared LMS. Recognising this, Jisc have agreed to fund a benefits study conducted by Cambridge Econometrics to identify what has been achieved, what the evidence is for this and what can be anticipated in going forward by developing a logic framework. Cambridge Econometrics will provide an independent evaluation and provide a high level of analysis to demonstrate the value of this project to our sector and wider. Workshops as part of the project are to be scheduled for July and September.

International interest in the Shared LMS continues, the Programme Manager for the WHELF Shared LMS, Gareth Owen, recently attended the Academic Librarian 4 Conference in Hong Kong in June to present on the project and nearer to home, Gareth will be speaking at the SCONUL conference this year held in Cardiff, June 23-24th.

WHELF Strategy: WHELF’s existing strategy will be drawing to a close at the end of this academic year and in anticipation of this we have been working on a new strategy for 2016-18 to underpin our activities. Our strategic aims are identified as:

  • Collaboration
  • Collections and Research
  • Engagement

WHELF Reps agreed the draft of the new Strategy and it will be in place for the start of the new academic year. We also took the opportunity to review and update the WHELF Constitution and as part of this have agreed a new meeting schedule of 3 times per year of 1 meeting by videoconference in February and a residential meeting in May and October. The WHELF Officers group will meet 4 times a year via videoconference.

Guest speakers: We welcomed two guests to our meeting, firstly on Thursday 19th May, Alyson Tyler, Senior Libraries Development Adviser for the Museum, Archives and Libraries Division (MALD) of the Welsh Government. Alyson attended as part of MALD’s future library strategy consultation to ask the HE library sector what our priorities are for 2017-20 and how might some of these be acheived. We had a very useful discussion with Alyson and look forward to seeing MALD’s new strategy in due course.

Our second speaker Tom Mowlam, Director of Operations at Ubiquity Press attended on Friday 20th May. Ubiquity Press is an open access publisher of peer reviewed academic journals and books as well as a journal hosting platform. Tom presented to us the different business models that Press offers along with outlining some of the partnerships that they have in operation. Thank you to Tom Mowlam for taking the time to come and visit WHELF and for giving us lots to think about!