Over 20 representatives from Welsh HE, FE and Public Libraries gathered in Swansea in April to spend a day hearing about Open Source for libraries – theory and practice.

To find some excellent notes and links to all the slides, speakers and systems, take a look at the RSC Wales post at http://blogs.rsc-wales.ac.uk/lr/2009/04/22/open-source-for-libraries-day-at-swansea/

Speakers Mark Hughes, Ken Chad and Nick Dimant gave their perspectives on the background to open source in libraries – the current environment and reasons for and against looking at open source solutions. Jonathan Field from PTFS Europe gave a detailed demo and comparison of the 2 major open source systems: Koha and Evergreen. There was also an overview of the ongoing implementation of the open source VuFind system as part of the Virtual Academic Library project in Wales. VuFind is being used to provide a common interface for searching 3 universities’ print and electronic resource collections. The project is a good example of how Wales is leading the way on library collaboration and open source development.

Mark Hughes also publicised the useful work that has been done at Swansea with RFID, resulting in the Open RFID in Libraries Specification (ORILS) being published under a Creative Commons licence. This can be re-used by anyone undertaking an RFID procurement process and work is ongoing to build a community of practice to encourage interoperability between the different RFID systems.

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An interesting publication from the Reseach Information Network, which “takes an in-depth look at how researchers in the UK use electronic journals, the value they bring to universities and research institutions and the contribution they make to research productivity, quality and outcomes.”

Of particular interest to information literacy practitioners are perhaps the findings on “information-seeking behaviour”.

The report can be accessed via the RIN website: http://www.rin.ac.uk/use-ejournals

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On 16 April the governing bodies of Trinity University College and the University of Wales Lampeter gave the go ahead for the formation of a new university, saying it will be a “powerhouse” for education in the area.

The first students will be admitted in September 2010.

UW Trinity Saint David will work as one institution by this July, under the Vice-Chancellor Designate, Dr Medwin Hughes, the current principal of Trinity University College.

“This is a major development for university education in Wales which will have a particular impact upon individuals and communities in the region, ” Dr Hughes said.

“The new university will seek to respond to the Welsh Assembly Government’s One Wales policy document which aims to create a prosperous society by unlocking the potential of Wales’s people.

“This is just the beginning of a journey that will transform educational provision in South West Wales.”

Press releases: http://www.trinity-cm.ac.uk/english/news/press09/university.asp and http://www.lamp.ac.uk/news/press_releases/2009/new_university_created.html

BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/8002815.stm

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Tuesday 25th August 2009
11.00 am to Noon – guided tour St. Deiniols Library, Hawarden. A minibus is available from Wrexham Station to St. Deiniols if required
Noon – minibus transportation to Chester city centre with ample time for lunch
2.00 – 3.00pm – guided tour of Chester Cathedral Library by the Cathedral Librarian

St Deiniol’s Library has been recognised as the most important research library and collection in Wales after the National Library of Wales. The Library boasts an outstanding collection of more than 250,000 books, journals and pamphlets on a wide range of subjects but specialises in Theology and Victorian Studies. At the heart of the Library is Gladstone’s own collection of over 32,000 items.

Chester Cathedral has a rich and fascinating heritage. It is a living community of prayer and worship, a centre of excellence in Church Music, and plays a key role for the Christian community across Chester, the Wirral and Cheshire.

Cost £15.00 per delegate including tours and minibus transport from Wrexham to St. Deiniols and Chester.

To reserve a place, contact:  Nicola Watkinson
Tel 01978 293338 e-mail nicolaw@glyndwr.ac.uk

The Welsh Assembly Government announced yesterday its SCIF grant of £2m to the National Library for a project entitled ‘Welsh Newspapers and Magazines Online’.

This is a three-year project to digitise a high proportion of all out-of-copyright Welsh newspapers and publish the resulting text online for all to search, browse and reuse for free. WHELF and Welsh HEIs in general supported the bid to SCIF (the Strategic Capital Investment Fund).

For more details, see the press release:
Wales’ past to go on-line

BBC Cymru/Wales:
Historic newspapers to go online

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Information Services at Aberystwyth University has been awarded £260k by the JISC to support the Welsh Repository Network Enhancement Project as part of their national Repositories Programme. Aberystwyth University will act as the lead partner in the newly funded scheme which will involve collaboration with all other Welsh Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the National Library of Wales.

The project will run from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2011 and will look to build on work from previously funded programmes including the UK wide Repositories Support Project and a Welsh Repository Network Start-Up Project which have helped to establish Aberystwyth in the forefront of UK developments in this field.

The project team will investigate the potential of a collaborative, centrally managed model to accelerate the development and uptake of repository services by Welsh HEIs and will investigate the potential for a mediated deposit bureau to facilitate the increased population of newly established repositories with appropriate academic research outputs.  Another project strand will work on the creation of a Welsh Thesis Harvesting Service in collaboration with the National Library of Wales, developing an earlier pilot programme known as Repository Bridge.

The Project Director will be Bill Hines and the Project Manager will be Jackie Knowles, with the support of Hannah Payne as Project Officer and another newly appointed Technical Officer.

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Are you a newly qualified information professional working in Wales? Are you looking for ways to expand your horizons and/or boost your Chartership portfolio? The New Professionals Slot at Gregynog Colloquium is the perfect platform for New Professionals to gain experience of public speaking in a supportive and friendly environment. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with other Information Professionals and to see some of the Welsh countryside.

CDG Wales are looking for 4-5 speakers, each talking about a topic of their own choice for approximately ten minutes, to an audience of information professionals. The date is 9th June 2009, 9.30-11am. Delegate fees, up to a maximum of 24 hours, will be paid by CDG. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity please contact Louise Williams by email lwillia2@glam.ac.uk

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1Rebecca Davies, currently Head of the Welsh Assembly Government Library & Public Enquiry Service, has been appointed Director of Information Services at Aberystwyth University.

A graduate of Aberystwyth University where she studied Librarianship and Education, Rebecca also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Aberystwyth before taking up her first professional post as Nursing Librarian at Trinity College, Carmarthen.

In 1996 she was appointed Health Science Librarian at Swansea University and in 2002 joined the Welsh Assembly Government’s Knowledge Management Division as Head of the Assembly Library Service.

An Executive Committee member for the Welsh branch of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Rebecca is also Treasurer/Secretary of the Government Libraries Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Library and Information Studies and of the Libraries for Life Online Services Board.

Speaking of her appointment, Rebecca said;
“Aberystwyth University has changed beyond recognition since my days there as a student, and it is a privilege to be appointed to work for an organisation that is ambitious and growing, both in terms of research and student numbers.”

“I look forward to applying the experience I have gained over the past 7 years at the Welsh Assembly Government to developing further the information services that are provided for the benefit of staff, students and the wider community at Aberystwyth. Never have I been more reluctant to leave one job, and yet more excited about taking on the challenges of a new one.”

Rebecca will start in her new post on 18 May.


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The visit will start at Swansea Metropolitan University Library at the Dynevor Campus at 10.30am, with refreshments in The Boardroom. There will then be a tour (of library and the new campus building itself) which will conclude at around 12.30.

Meet up again for a tour of Swansea Public Library at 2 pm. This visit is due to finish at around 3.30pm.

The date is: 2 June 2009.

For more information or to reserve a place, contact  Alison Harding  on: 01267 676786 / 676781 or email: a.harding@trinity-cm.ac.uk

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A reminder that this year’s Wales-wide HE libraries and IT conference, the Gregynog Colloquium, will be held from Monday 8 June to Friday 12 June.

The 2009 Colloquium website is at: http://www.gregynog.ac.uk/HEWIT/ but is still in draft form at this stage. We hope to have the programme available and the booking form live by April 20. Closing date for bookings will be 29 May. This year’s costs for a full (24-hour) delegate will be £80 and £30 per day delegate.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments – the Planning Committee can be emailed at: gregynog2009@aber.ac.uk

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