WHELF update: October 2011

WHELF: Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum
October 2011: 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 recent meeting in October, these were some of the topics under discussion:

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
We welcome a new member of WHELF – Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. The Coleg is a new national institution which will play a key role in planning, supporting and developing Welsh medium education and scholarship at universities in Wales. It began its first full academic year in September 2011 and we look forward to developing effective collaborative partnerships.
Find out more at: http://www.colegcymraeg.ac.uk/en/

Academic library consortia – sharing experience and expertise
We were joined for a half-day seminar by colleagues from other leading academic library consortia: Philip Cohen, Chair of CONUL, the consortium of Ireland’s main research libraries; John Tuck, Chair of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries; and Margaret Weaver, member of NOWAL, a consortium of academic libraries in the north-west of England and lead partner of the Northern Collaboration, a new partnership of academic libraries in the north of England. It was an excellent way to share experience on a wide range of initiatives which included shared library management systems, collaborative stores and e-books. We also explored the challenges and benefits of working together in a region/country to enhance our individual services.

Sharing services
A successful bid by WHELF to CyMAL: Museums Archives Libraries Wales has funded a feasibility study into shared library management systems. This is seen as a potential area to drive further collaboration and forms a key part of the WHELF Action Plan 2011-13. Our strategic vision for the “Sharing Library Services Programme” is to enable access to the collective resources and services of a virtual academic library for Wales.
Find out more at: http://whelf.ac.uk/2011/10/18/sharing-services/

 A Cloud for Wales
WHELF contributed to A Cloud for Wales, a day of discussions and presentations at the National Library of Wales. It was an opportunity for leaders and senior staff from the sector to consider the potential use of cloud computing by their institutions as a way of sharing and improving services.

Libraries Inspire
We have written a response to CyMAL regarding the draft delivery plan for their new strategy Libraries Inspire. We have suggested areas where funding would allow WHELF to deliver on their strategic priorities – walk-in access to electronic resources (delivering digital inclusion), digitisation (creating new bilingual content), a shared library management system in HE – and possibly NHS – libraries (rolling out an all-Wales LMS) and implementing the Welsh Information Literacy Framework.
Find out more at: http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/cultureandsport/librariesinspire/?lang=en

Review of Digital Classroom Teaching: Task and Finish Group Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, has announced a task and finish group to review the use of digital classroom teaching. Andrew Green, Chair of WHELF, is a member of the new group and was able to report on the scope of the review.
Find out more at: Written Statement by the Welsh Government

The new 2011-2013 action plan for WHELF is complete and is now on the website.
Find out more at: http://whelf.ac.uk/mission.shtml  

We welcomed Bronwen Blatchford who will be representing the University of Wales at future meetings.

We bade a sad farewell to Leigh Abbott last month who, after more than five years with the University of Wales Online Library, is busy settling into a new life in Perth, Australia.

We look forward to welcoming Sue Hodges as a member of WHELF. Sue will join Bangor University as University Librarian from the start of December.
Find out more at: http://whelf.ac.uk/2011/09/12/new-university-librarian-at-bangor/

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

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