Category Archives: shared services

EU tender issued for WHELF LMS

Today marks the start of the procurement process for a single cloud hosted library management system for higher education institutions in Wales, together with the National Library of Wales and the NHS libraries in Wales.

A EU notice has been published and a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) is available for interested suppliers.

The selected library management system will be awarded to a supplier for 7 years, with the option to extend up to a further 5 years.  It is anticipated that the library management system will be implemented in tranches across participating institutions over a 2 year period following award of contract.

The procurement process is being coordinated by the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum and is being managed by Cardiff University.

Mae’r proses caffael ar gyfer archebu system rheoli newydd ar gyfer llyfrgelloedd addysg uwch yng Ngymru, y GIG yng Nghymru a Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru wedi cychwyn heddiw.

Mae hysbysiad yr UE wedi ei gyhoeddi ac mae holiadur cyn-gymhwyso (PQQ) ar gael i gyflenwyr sydd â diddordeb.

Bydd cytundeb 7 mlynedd ar gael ar gyfer y system, gyda’r opsiwn i ymestyn hyd at 5 mlynedd arall. Rhagwelir y bydd y system yn cael ei weithredu dros gyfnod o 2 flynedd ar ôl dyfarnu’r contract.

Mae’r broses gaffael yn cael ei gydlynu gan Fforwm Llyfrgelloedd Addysg Uwch Cymru ac yn cael ei reoli gan Brifysgol Caerdydd

Walk-in Access Wales project featured in CILIPUpdate

The Walk-in Access Wales project is featured in the October issue of CILIPUpdate. The article written by Bronwen Blatchford (UoW, Walk-in Access Wales Project Officer) and Alison Harding (UWTSD, Walk-in Access Wales, Project Manager), describes the project objectives to set up a walk-in access service at two of UWTSD campus libraries and to produce a toolkit to help other Welsh HEIs to do the same. The success of the project and the ensuing toolkit are a demonstration “of the collaborative spirit evident across the Welsh university library sector” (p.38 CILIPUpdate, Oct 2013). The digital edition of the article can be accessed here by CILIP members:

The full Walk-in Access Wales report and toolkit can be accessed here:

Development underway for shared national library services in Scotland and Wales

Scotland and Wales have started to undergo work to develop shared library IT systems across their higher education institutions thanks to initial funding and support from Jisc.

Ultimately, this will provide students access to information hosted at all institutions, opening up a wealth of teaching and learning materials. There will also be cost saving opportunities.

Higher education institutions in Wales are currently joining with the National Library of Wales to start development of a joint procurement process for a shared library management system. The shared system will open up potential opportunities for collaboration on other levels – including the possibility of reciprocal borrowing across the libraries and shared cataloguing of collections. They are looking to have these systems in place by summer 2015–2016 and a tender for the work will be going out in the New Year.

Tracey Stanley, deputy university librarian and assistant director of information services at Cardiff University has been heavily involved in the work says: “The Welsh Higher Education Libraries and the National Library of Wales have developed a compelling vision for a shared library system. A shared system will give us the opportunity to work more closely together for the benefit of our users, for example, on sharing content, collections or services.  We also have an opportunity to share the costs of development and support, share expertise across Wales and work together to enhance our services.”

For more information on the Welsh project visit their blog.

The first phase of the Scottish project, The Benefits of Sharing, has shown the benefits that a shared national IT support system could offer higher education and possibly further education institutional libraries. The key benefits include:

  • All items from Scottish higher education institutional libraries and the National Library of Scotland being available and searchable to researchers and students, providing a higher quality service
  • Supported procurement, making shared services cost effective, allowing more funds to be spent on resources.

Ben Showers, programme manager at Jisc explains: “The collaboration on the development of library systems and services in Scotland and Wales has the potential to transform the experience of students and researchers who attend university in these countries. It is easy to imagine the possibilities – seamless access to a wide range of content and resources, through to innovative services built on top of this new infrastructure such as powerful recommendation engines and integration with teaching and learning systems.

“By collaborating on the essential infrastructure these universities are creating the resources and space that will enable them to develop the future services and systems that their students and researchers will need.”

Read more from Jisc

Fifth birthday of a new approach to LIS education in North Wales

The foundation degree in Library and Information Practice at Glyndŵr University is nearly four years old and has now seen two cohorts of students successfully graduate, twenty one new professionals altogether. The course grew from a seed of an idea in 2008 to bring a fresh approach to professional training for the library and information sector. In the FDSc Library and Information Practice we have always emphasised the importance of the need for new professionals to be flexible, adaptable individuals who can manage change innovatively, imaginatively and proactively, recognising new opportunities and grasping new challenges. The course team includes practicing professionals and academics from computing and IT to blend practical library skills with the demands of an increasingly changing technological world. To add variety and to ensure currency one of the strengths of the course are the regular visits to a range of libraries across the sectors and guest lecturers who bring a wealth of experience from all aspects of library services. The course is closely mapped to CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base and as such we hope to be one of the first to succeed in getting professional accreditation under the new framework.

Please read the full FDSc press release for more: FDSc Press Release

Both courses are recruiting for September 2013 so if you or any of your staff  want to be part of this exciting new way to train LIS professionals please get in touch either with Paul Jeorrett or Nicola Watkinson

WHELF Shared Library Management System – job opportunity

The Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) is developing a major programme of work to procure and implement a shared Library Management System for all Higher Education Institutions in Wales, plus the National Library of Wales, and the Welsh NHS Libraries, following production of a successful business case for a shared system. We are now seeking to appoint an experienced Programme Manager to lead this strategic initiative.  The post-holder will be based at Cardiff University, but will work closely with all of the Higher Education Institutions in Wales. This is a leadership role which will require vision and a keen awareness of the requirements and implications of shared services in Higher Education.  You will work with a wide range of stakeholders from across   the institutions and will need to have a keen awareness of the external IT   environment which will shape the future delivery of library services.    The initiative will also have a high profile nationally.

For further information please visit: (managerial, admin and support link). Closing date is 30th July.

Tracey Stanley
Deputy University Librarian and Assistant Director, Information Services, Cardiff University,

European Sources Online – the way ahead

Subscribers in Wales will be pleased to know that ESO will continue to be freely available to all public organisations and individuals for the rest of 2013 using the current access arrangements.

From 2014 we are changing the business model and editorial strategy of ESO so that it will become a free access service to anyone throughout the world.  At that point we will stop authentication procedures to gain access to ESO so there will be no need to notify us of IP addresses or request password access.

To discuss some of the thinking behind the changes taking place with ESO and to refresh you on what ESO can offer to seekers of European information within Wales, we are holding a short training session in Cardiff Central Library at 09:30 to 10:30 on Thursday 9 May 2013 in the Central Training Suite.

This session is part of an exciting day for Cardiff Central Library as they will be formally launching a new Europe Direct Information Centre on 9 May 2013 (Europe Day) and you are invited to take part in this event. To reserve your place both at the ESO Seminar and the wider event please email The Information Department at Cardiff Central Library or ring 029 2078 0963 / 0964.    Even if you cannot attend the ESO Seminar at 09:30 Ian Thomson, Executive Editor of ESO will be manning a Cardiff EDC stand in the Central Library all day and can answer any queries you might have.

Ian Thomson, ESO Executive Editor
European Sources Online
Information Services, Cardiff University

Walk-in Access Wales Toolkit now available

The Walk-in Access Wales toolkit, funded by CyMAL: Museums Archives Libraries Wales, is now available to read, in English or Welsh, via the links below:

Walk-in Access Wales Toolkit

Pecyn Cymorth Mynediad Cerdded i Mewn Cymru

The toolkit has also been added to the Walk-in Access Wales blog on a separate page, entitled, “Walk-in Access Wales Toolkit“.

Thank you to all the steering group members for their contribution to the toolkit and to the project as a whole.

Bronwen Blatchford, Walk-in Access Wales Project Officer

Welsh Higher Education Electronic Library (WHEEL)

Welsh Higher Education Electronic Library (WHEEL)
A new steering group has convened to look at further development of collaborative purchase of e-resources in Wales:

  • Mark Hughes (Swansea – Chair)
  • Janet Peters (Cardiff)
  • Sue Hodges (Bangor)
  • Gillian McDonald (Cardiff)
  • Julie Neenan (Cardiff Metropolitan)
  • Mieko Yamaguchi (Bangor)

Welsh Higher Education Libraries Shared LMS Services

Link to the full report here:

In July 2012 WHELF successfully obtained funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to explore the potential for a shared Library Management System across all higher education institutions and the NHS libraries in Wales.

The Library Systems Shared Services Feasibility Study (Wales) would provide a practical vision and roadmap for a shared model; exploring opportunities for integration and collaboration across the WHELF community.

The project was part of the JISC Library Systems Programme; which is exploring the significant changes in the Library systems market; including the development of ‘next-generation’, unified library systems which are seeking to bridge the gap between print and electronic resources, and the emergence of open source and community systems in the library market.

Given the complexity of the programme across all WHELF institutions, and the limited timescale associated with the project, the group concentrated on the most prevalent and practical issues for a shared all Wales HE library management system in broad terms:

·     A set of high-level agreed consortium requirements for a shared LMS.

·     A proposed governance model for the consortium.

·     High level recommendations on integration requirements for local systems; map communications standards which are applicable to the project against standards in use by suppliers.

·     A business case for a Wales-wide consortium LMS, including cost matrices for the different approaches presented.

·     Recommendations on the most cost-effective approach for software, hosting and ongoing management of the LMS.


The project took the approach of engaging with all project partners to understand their requirements and strategic goals for the development of their LMS.  The project manager visited each partner site and conducted interviews with key staff – including Systems Librarians and IT staff, senior managers and other library staff.

The project has also engaged with LMS suppliers (including open source ‘vendors’) to understand their likely range and scale of costs for the provision of next generation systems, either hosted by the supplier or hosted at an institutional on behalf of the consortium.

Project outcome and next steps 

In February 2013 the final report of the project including recommendations was presented to WHELF at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

The report was accepted in its entirety and WHELF have agreed that they want to pursue the option of developing a shared LMS inline with the reports recommendations.

Moving forward a Task and Finish group is being set up to agree the outline timescales  and decision-making process for the tender process. It will also firm up on likely overall costs and governance approach.

Recommendations taken forward

The Project has recommended that setting up an All-Wales Consortium with formal governance is the best option for provision of a shared service.  This in practice will require the consortium to formally agree which processes, working practices and configurations will be adhered to by all members as a whole.   A cloud solution hosted by a vendor (or open source vendor) is the preferred option, because this will provide the most cost-effective resilient solution.  A clear vision statement on the vision for shared LMS services in Wales will be required in order to ensure clarity of purpose and to provide a compelling statement of intent for senior stakeholders and staff to achieve buy-in to the strategic direction proposed.

The diversity of the institutions is recognised and acknowledged.  Additionally institutions are at various stages of their LMS lifecycle.  Therefore it is understood that the timing of any tender process undertaken by WHELF may not fit with other strategic priorities of individual institutions.  It will be essential to identify this prior to the commencement of any tender exercise, as misleading suppliers as to the size of the contract could lead to compensation claims.

Given the immaturity of the current next generation market it is recommended that the tender exercise commences in Jan 2014 at the earliest.  This provides both time for the market to continue to develop and also the preparation of a single set of requirements and tender documentation between now and this date. This time will also be required for obtaining institutional buy-in and developing governance structures.

A phased approach to implementation. It is anticipated that the first implementations will be no sooner than Summer 2014.

A task and finish group should be convened to quickly put together a high level plan, costs and cost allocation (i.e. funding) for the establishment of a project team for delivery of the tender and governance stages.

WHELF Walk-In Access Wales Event

The Carmarthen Campus of University of Wales Trinity Saint David played host
to an excellent event reviewing progress and experience gained in providing
walk-in access to members of the public to subscription electronic resources
within university libraries. A wide range of librarians, mostly from higher and
further education and public library authorities, attended the event providing
lively and informed debate.

Thanks to Stephen Gregory of CILIP Wales for this excellent blog post:

On behalf of WHELF, huge thanks to Alison Harding (Project Manager) and Bronwen Blatchford (Project Officer) for organising the event, to Vicky Stallard and Julie Neenan for their presentations, and to everyone for their contributions.