Message from Steve Williams, Chair of WHELF, on the COVID-19 situation:

While our members’ physical libraries have closed, our digital estate is abuzz. The work of libraries and information services has increasingly taken place online and our wonderful and professional staff are helping our students, staff and users across WHELF organisations to stay connected with their learning and research. Staff across WHELF member organisations have been fantastic in adapting very quickly to a new way of working – and services have been at the forefront of ensuring that staff and user wellbeing is being looked after as much as possible at these challenging times.

Across Wales, access to online resources is being maintained and where possible expanded, and staff are using online collaboration tools such as MS Teams and Zoom to continue providing services. As we settle into this new way of working, we will further adapt and hone our services to continue to meet the needs of our users.

The WHELF Annual Report for the academic year 2018-19 is now available. The report highlights the collective work of WHELF along with news and developments from the WHELF institutions.

WHELF Annual Report 2018-19
Welcome to the WHELF report for 2018-19. Writing an introduction such as this can be quite daunting as there is so much that could be covered. It is, however, a welcome chance to reflect, a…
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Thank you to Jenny McNally for your work on this.

Bookings are now open for the third Icepops copyright conference, taking place in Cardiff on the 7th of July.


This is the first time that the international conference has taken place in Wales, and it’s being proudly supported by WHELF.

This year’s theme focuses on copyright and how it relates to cultural heritage, GLAM, information literacy, scholarly communication and building communities of practice.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Emily Hudson (Kings College London), Dr. Andrea Wallace (University of Exeter) and Douglas McCarthy from the Europeana Foundation.

There will also be pre-conference social events and local tours, and the opportunity to work with other members of the international copyright literacy community.

The call for contributions is open until the 24th of February – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1G2v9gLhTDpqqHKn4tmn12xQPMMgbai6rQl0wAxruAM4/viewform?edit_requested=true

Bookings are open at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/icepops-2020-tickets-92017692395

If you would like any further information, or would like to discuss a possible presentation, then please contact Marie Lancaster (mflancaster@cardiffmet.ac.uk) or Scott Pryor (pryors@cardiff.ac.uk)

It’s that time of year again! The Archives & Special Collections Group are taking part in the Color Our Collections social media campaign run by the New York Academy of Medicine Library, joining with other libraries, archives, and museums around the world to share free colouring sheets based on materials in our collections.

This year the campaign kicks off on Monday 3rd February and runs through till Saturday 7th February.

Download the book here, print the sheets and share your filled-in images on social media, using the hashtags #colorourcollections (because the campaign launched in America most institutions are using the American spelling of colour!), #lliwioeincasgliadau, 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!!

Previous WHELF Colouring books are also available here and here.

WHELF would like to welcome Dr Owain Rhys Roberts who joins us representing The National Library of Wales.

Owain is Director of Collections and Public Programmes and Deputy Chief Executive at The National Library of Wales (NLW) since November 2019. He has an MPhys and PhD in Physics and has worked in various roles at the National Library of Wales since 2009. He has experience in a wide range of areas including digitisation, library systems, change management, digital humanities, library and archival services. In his previous role at NLW he was responsible for physical and digital access to NLW collections in addition to digitisation, outreach and participation activities. In his spare time, he enjoys running and spending time with the family.

The WHELF Research group have arranged a session at Aberystwyth University looking at the use of Wikipedia/media/data in research activities:

Discover how the National Library is utilising Wikipedia and its sister projects to engage with the public, to share digital content and to enrich metadata. Learn more about the ways in which these platforms can be used for research and to improve content discovery interfaces. Following this presentation attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, and to learn the basics of contributing to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata in a hands on session. Attendees will also have an opportunity to learn how to query the 70 million items of data in Wikidata using the query service.

The session will be led by Jason Evans, National Wikimedian based at the National Library of Wales whose work coordinates collaboration between NLW, Wikimedia and the Wiki Community and leads activities associated with the Library’s collections, Wales as a nation and/or the Welsh language.

This is a free training event, but registration is required through this Eventbrite page.

The annual WHELF Twitter takeover has been ongoing since October. This is a wonderful opportunity for each WHELF member institution to showcase the work it does and to promote activities, events, exhibitions or special collections.

The takeover will continue in January 2020. Many thanks to all contributors!



On 11th-12th November the WHELF Board met in the beautiful venue of Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. All the WHELF institutions were represented in person except for Cardiff University who joined via MS Meeting. Tracey Stanley from CU was unable to travel to North Wales as she was being interviewed for the role of Director of Library Services and University Librarian and WHELF would like to congratulate Tracey on her successful appointment. 

Tracey’s predecessor, Janet Peters, was a guest at the meeting and gave a very interesting presentation on Transferring Skills into the Third Age/Life after Work. 

Following her retirement at the end of 2017, Janet focuses on “spending time on what matters with the people who matter”. She has extended her love of horses into volunteering with riding for the disabled and may train to be a coach. Being on the riding club committee has led to Janet managing training events and organising competitions and events. She has found that her skills and experience working in libraries have been invaluable in such matters as revising the constitution, and writing risk assessments and the annual report.  

Steve thanked Janet for her contribution to our discussion of the strategy and to the meeting overall. 

The main focus of this meeting was the new WHELF Strategy. Alison Harding (UWTSD), Mark Hughes (Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Tracey Stanley (Cardiff University) have led on this and all staff have been invited and encouraged to contribute ideas and to give feedback. The WHELF Board thanks Alison, Mark and Tracey for all their efforts and looks forward to the new Strategy being published in early 2020.

The next WHELF Board meeting will take place in South Wales on 28th February 2020 at USW’s Cardiff campus. 

The WHELF inter-library loan scheme is one of the case studies featured in a recently published SCONUL copyright briefing paper .

SCONUL commissioned the briefing following the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property which led to the 2014 amendments to UK copyright law.

The authors of the briefing paper are Chris Morrison and Jane Secker.

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