WHELF update: August 2012

WHELF: Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum
August 2012: an update

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

At our meeting in July, these were some of the topics under discussion:

Walk-in Access Wales
Walk-in Access Wales is a new WHELF project to enable members of the public to access electronic resources in Welsh HE libraries. The project will focus on implementing a practical solution in pilot sites at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and develop a tool kit to help other Welsh institutions set up walk-in access in the future.

The project is led by Alison Harding at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and a grant from CyMAL has funded the secondment of Bronwen Blatchford from the University of Wales as Project Officer for one day a week for the duration of the project. Project partners include Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, Aberystwyth and Bangor universities. We are working closely with SCONUL and SCURL to share experience and expertise.
Find out more at: http://walkinaccesswales.wordpress.com/

Library Systems Shared Services
The JISC pathfinder project, led by Cardiff University on behalf of WHELF, is now underway. The project will explore potential benefits and pain points inherent in a move from distributed to centralised hosting and infrastructure models for a suite of library systems software, while building a possible overall business case for such a move by the HEIs within the WHELF consortium.  The Project Manager post has been advertised and the Project Working Group has met for the first time.
Find out more at: http://whelf.ac.uk/2012/05/31/shared-lms-new-whelf-project-to-be-funded-by-jisc/

Expanding access to research publications: the Finch report
We discussed the implications of the Finch report. The report envisages that several different channels for communicating research results will remain important over the next few years, but recommends a clear policy direction in the UK towards support for open access publishing. The preference for “gold” over “green” open access will have implications for library budgets as libraries will still have to buy journals while funding open access.
The full report is available at: http://www.researchinfonet.org/publish/finch/

The UK Government has since announced that it has accepted all the recommendations of the Finch report except the recommendation on reducing the VAT on e-journals. Its response can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/science/docs/l/12-975-letter-government-response-to-finch-report-research-publications

Written Statement – Learning in Digital Wales
Chair of WHELF, Andrew Green, was a member of the Task and Finish Group which published its report entitled Find it, Make it, Use it, Share it – Learning in Digital Wales in March 2012. The Education and Skills Minister has considered the wide ranging recommendations in this report and has agreed an action plan for the use of digital technology to improve performance in schools.
Find out more at: http://whelf.ac.uk/2012/08/02/written-statement-learning-in-digital-wales/

Welsh Information Literacy Project
Follow the project as it moves into its implementation phase, embedding information literacy in schools, enabling public library staff to facilitate information literacy development, and further promoting the information literacy units of learning:

The Welsh Experience of World War One
Academic engagement is an important part of this shared digitisation project. The first project workshop included academics working in areas of research around World War One, together with the librarians and archivists who are selecting the content. There was also discussion about how we can embed the project into teaching and learning by thinking about potential use (and users) of the digital resource as the project is developed.
Find out more at: http://cymruww1.llgc.org.uk/

Gregynog Colloquium 2012
Congratulations to Swansea University, Swansea Metropolitan University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David who organised a very successful colloquium at Gregynog for library and IT staff to discuss recent developments and to exchange experiences. The baton has now been passed to Bangor and Glyndŵr Universities who will take on the organisation of the 2013 event.
Find out more at: http://gregynog.smu.ac.uk/

Janet Peters gave a presentation about WHELF Collaboration in Action at the CILIP Wales Conference in Cardiff. You can download the presentation at:
http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/regional-branches/wales-cymru/events/cilip-in-wales-conference-2012/pages/conference-presentations.aspx (no login required)

On 17 July Education and Skills Minister Leighton Andrews made a statement on Higher Education reconfiguration in South East Wales. He believes that “HEFCW’s proposal for a strong metropolitan university in South East Wales remains a sound one” and welcomes the recent announcement by the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport regarding their intention to merge. Cardiff Metropolitan University has already made clear its opposition to a merger, but the Minister hopes “to see progress in terms of Cardiff Metropolitan’s involvement in the new merged institution in 2014.”
Find out more at:

For more information please contact:
Sue Mace
Development Officer
WHELF: Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum

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