WHELF Representatives met at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden on Thursday 30th April 2015 to Friday 1st May 2015.
We welcomed Megan Wiley representing the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to her first WHELF meeting. Megan replaces Judith Agus who retired from the RWCMD at the end of last year.
Some of the topics for discussion at the meeting were:
WHELF Shared LMS:
Progress update: Cohort 1 started implementation immediately following the Christmas break and the project teams from Swansea University, Aberystwyth University, the University of South Wales and the National Library of Wales have been working with Ex Libris to keep to a tight and demanding implementation schedule. Implementation remains on schedule and the first institution Swansea University, will go live in the next few weeks. The National Library of Wales is also leading and making progress on the Welsh language interface. There has been a lot of activity around communicating the project’s achievements and ambitions, both within institutions and externally including presentations in Glasgow, Dublin and online presentations to the Ontario Council of University Libraries in Canada and a digital libraries conference in Slovakia. The project has also been shortlisted in the “Outstanding Library Team” category of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Managements Awards (THELMAs) for 2015.
Programme Manager of the WHELF Shared LMS, Gareth Owen had also prepared a paper for discussion by WHELF on future governance options as it progresses from governing implementation of the shared LMS to governing business as usual and will help develop the work on benefits realisation.
WHELF Archives and Special Collections sub-group
Sally McInnes, Head of Collection Care, National Library of Wales, has been appointed as Chair of the WHELF Archives and Special Collections Group. As there are key areas in the WHELF Action Plan that fall within the role and remit of this group, it was felt that a Vice Chair is also needed and WHELF is pleased to welcome Sian Williams, Librarian, South Wales Miners’ Library to take on this role.
WHELF Action Plan
The implementation of the Shared LMS is the key priority of the WHELF Action Plan but much good work continues in other areas of the Action Plan. Aim 1 (Student Experience) has completed a review and scoping exercise of access and borrowing schemes across WHELF institutions and the findings will inform a web page on the WHELF website. Aim 2 of the Action Plan (Research and Enterprise) has convened a Research sub-group to progress the key priorities in this area. The sub-group has representation from all WHELF institutions and will hold its first meeting on 5th June. An event will be held in the autumn of this year to explore the themes of Aim 3, International and globalised University. A discussion at the meeting around Aim 4 of the Action Plan, Workforce Development has lead to the convening of a working group of WHELF Reps to develop training objectives for WHELF.
The annual WHELF/HEWIT Colloquium programme has been finalised and booking is now open for the event on 15th-19th June 2015. The theme for this year is “Partnership and Collaboration”
The Academic Book of the Future
We welcomed Dr Sam Rayner (Director of the Centre for Publishing and Senior Lecturer in Publishing at UCL) as our guest speaker on Friday morning to talk to WHELF Reps about the AHRC/BL collaborative project on the Academic Book of the Future. The project’s starting point is to look at the many issues and themes surrounding academic books including how to define what an academic book is, what do scholars want from academic books, how do we make academic books more accessible, how do we preserve them for the future, what are the new challenges facing publishers, librarians, scholars. The project will make provision for a number of mini research projects within its remit along with workshops and events. Academic Book Week will be run from 9th-16th November showcasing academic book excellence.