WHELF Quarterly meeting update

WHELF Representatives met at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden on Thursday 30th April 2015 to Friday 1st May 2015.

From left to right: Julie Hart (Aberystwyth University) WHELF Treasurer, Megan Wiley (RWCMD), Sue Hodges (Bangor University) Vice-Chair of WHELF, Janet Peters (Cardiff University), Emma Adamson (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Andrew Dalgleish (University of South Wales) Mark Hughes (Swansea University), Steve Williams (Swansea University), Paul Jeorrett (Glyndwr University), Aled Gruffydd Jones (NLW) Chair of WHELF, Alison Harding (UWTSD: Carmarthen & Lampeter), Anne Harvey (UWTSD: Swansea), Jo Parker (OU).

From left to right: Julie Hart (Aberystwyth University) WHELF Treasurer, Megan Wiley (RWCMD), Sue Hodges (Bangor University) Vice-Chair of WHELF, Janet Peters (Cardiff University), Emma Adamson (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Andrew Dalgleish (University of South Wales) Mark Hughes (Swansea University), Steve Williams (Swansea University), Paul Jeorrett (Glyndwr University), Aled Gruffydd Jones (NLW) Chair of WHELF, Alison Harding (UWTSD: Carmarthen & Lampeter), Anne Harvey (UWTSD: Swansea), Jo Parker (OU).

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:


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.

Gregynog Colloquium

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.

Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden


From Dylan Thomas Day to CILIP Cymru Wales #CILIPW15: why Thursdays can be great!

I hope you don’t mind but as it has been such an uncharacteristically fantastic end to a week, I thought I might share some of the happenings…

What do a statistician, an artist, three poets and a ‘colloquy’ of historians have in common?

To begin, we were delighted on Thursday 14th to gather some such examples of academic character, rigour, weight and impact together to formally open the inaugural International Dylan Thomas Day at an event celebrated by Hannah Ellis – granddaughter of Dylan Thomas, Ken Skates – Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture Tourism and Sport, and other guests.

Hannah Ellis with the Dylan Thomas notebook

Hannah Ellis with the Dylan Thomas notebook

The Dylan Thomas notebook, shown left with Hannah, which we purchased at auction last autumn, has since been assessed and digitised. Following the launch event a series of viewings of the notebook was arranged – the first time it has ever been seen publicly.

Professor John Goodby, our delightful Dylan Thomas expert and editor of the centenary edition of his poems refers to the notebook as “the holy grail of Thomas scholars” and our next step will be to create a replica for educational outreach work with schools and others. The notebook itself is housed within our Richard Burton Archives and we will be rolling out Turning the Pages versions of this and other material over the coming year.

BBC News coverage – with video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-32736769

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanseauniversity/sets/72157652377795778

Following the Launch of Dylan Day, we were delighted to take two musicians, one of the aforementioned poets, and other guests to visit the early stages of the interior fit out of the ‘Great Hall’ concert venue (below) being built on our new £450million Bay Campus – as well as the almost complete Bay Library.

Bay Campus Great Hall

Bay Campus Great Hall

To end the day, as events really are like buses and all come along at the same time, still on Thursday (it was quite a long day) we were busy with the CILIP Cymru Wales #CILIPW15 conference at the Marriott Hotel in Swansea. The CILIP Wales team did their usual great job organising and getting speakers that covered everything from library philosophy to ‘friends of’ public library groups, and also the (THELMA shortlisted) WHELF Shared Library Management System currently being rolled out across Wales to all university and NHS libraries, as well as the National Library of Wales.

To round off a great evening, we were thrilled that CILIP Cymru Wales awarded Mark Hughes, Swansea University Libraries’ Head of Collections, the honour of being the Welsh Librarian of the Year 2015.

Each of these activities have over the past year(s) involved support from a range of libraries, archives, museums and other services in Wales and across the UK – for which we are always grateful.

Swansea Bay and the Mumbles from #CILIPW15

Swansea Bay and the Mumbles from #CILIPW15


Event: Research Data Management 1st July 2015 at Cardiff Metropolitan University

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UKeiG banner1


A WHELF / UK eInformation group event
Research Data Management for Information Professionals
Andrew Cox
To be held at Cardiff Metropolitan University
Wednesday 1st July 2015 09.30-16.30

There is an increasing understanding that data collected during research needs to be managed more carefully.  It is in researchers’ own interests to do so, and increasingly funders also mandate data planning.  The scale, diversity and fragility of digital data make this challenging.  Universities are beginning to develop a support infrastructure that will help improve research data management.  Some libraries are already beginning to play a key role in defining and delivering this infrastructure.

The course encompasses the skills require by librarians and information professionals to support all stages of the research process, offering an introduction to Research Data Management (RDM) and the role of librarians and information professionals.

Programme covers:

  • The nature of research and of research data
  • The digital curation lifecycle
  • Practical data management
  • Library roles in supporting RDM
  • Roles of other professional support staff
  • First steps in RDM for libraries
  • Job descriptions for RDM roles
  • A guide to resources and further learning materials

Who should attend?

  • The course is open to all WHELF  information professionals, librarians and research officers with an interest/responsibility for supporting research, especially RDM
  • Any professional wishing to keep their skills up to date

Cost = £100 +VAT. For more information and to download the booking form please click here. Booking closes 24th June 2015.

WHELF/HEWIT Gregynog Colloquium June 15th-20th 2015


The annual WHELF/HEWIT Gregynog Colloquium will be held from Monday 15th June- Friday 20th June 2015. The conference is an opportunity for IT and library staff to discuss recent developments and to share experiences. This year’s conference has been organized jointly by Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cardiff University with a theme of “Collaboration and Partnership”. 

Booking for the conference is now open and will close on 22nd May 2015. For more details of the programme and how to book, click here.

Welsh librarian of 2015 award open

Originally posted on Alyson's Welsh libraries blog:

Gold trophy Not the actual award. (Image CC free from Pixabay.)

It’s almost May so that can only mean one thing – the CILIP Cymru Wales 2015 conference is nearly here! The event is still open for bookings but I mainly want to highlight the third Welsh Librarian of the Year award 2015.

Organised by CILIP Cymru Wales the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award “recognises and celebrates the contribution of librarians and information professionals to the profession and society”. Nominations have been extended to 5th May so you have exactly one week from the time of writing to nominate someone! There are separate categories for nomination:

  • Public (local authority, government, health)
  • Academic and research (FE, HE, research, National Library)
  • Schools and youth
  • Other (including commercial and charity)

Nominations must demonstrate achievements in: positive impact on community or sector; use of innovation; benefit to the profession and must be a…

View original 29 more words

WHELF Shared LMS shortlisted for THELMAs Award 2015


The WHELF Shared LMS project has been shortlisted in the “Outstanding Library Team” category  of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Managements Awards (THELMAs) for 2015. Led by Cardiff University the project is groundbreaking in its procurement of a single cloud based next generation Library Management System for all 10 Welsh Higher Education Institutions, the National Library of Wales and the Welsh NHS Libraries.

Congratulations also to Aberystwth University, Swansea University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cardiff University who have all also been shortlisted for awards in other categories. The winners will be announced on 18th June 2015 at the Grosvenor Hotel, London.

Arthurian Collection donated to University Library and Archives at Bangor University

Bangor University can now boast the largest collection of Arthurian books in Wales and the north of England, following an agreement with Flintshire County Council, who have donated a rare and valuable Arthurian Collection to the University’s Library and Archives.As well as providing a valuable resource to students studying the ever-popular Arthurian Literature undergraduate modules or the University’s MA degree in Arthurian Literature, the only one available anywhere on the globe, the collection will also interest anyone who wants to discover Arthurian studies more generally, for example those who want to discover how these tales have been re-used and re-told in different guises and formats over the centuries.

Dr Raluca Radulescu said:
“People have been fascinated with the Arthurian tradition down the centuries, whether for academic study or simple storytelling, and whether in book, film or comic form. We’re planning to use this donation as an impetus to start both new collaborations with partners locally and internationally and draw more academic interest in the study of Arthurian literature to Bangor. We are hoping to reach out to the local community as well by developing Arthurian-themed activities, such as story-telling events, and some school talks planned for June.”

The frontispiece of an edition of La Mort D’Arthur published in 1816. The frontispiece of an edition of La Mort D’Arthur published in 1816.

Sue Hodges, Bangor University’s Director of Libraries and Archives commented:
“This is a fantastic collection which will support Arthurian Studies research, teaching and learning within Bangor University and internationally and it augments and enhances our existing collection. We are very grateful to Flintshire County Libraries for this acquisition. Working closely with Dr Radulescu, we will manage, conserve, promote and digitise some of the collection so that it can be opened up further for the public and communities within Wales.  Members of the public can arrange to come in and consult the collection and we will hold a series of events which will promote the collection.”

Cllr Chris Bithell, Flintshire Library Service, said: ‘We are very pleased that this unique collection of Arthurian Literature has been relocated to Bangor University Library. The collection can now be expertly managed and preserved by the University Library and Archive Service, who have existing links with Arthurian scholars and who plan to widely promote the collection. The collection will be accessible to anyone who wishes to read about or study the subject. Details of how to arrange a visit to use the collection will be available on the Flintshire Libraries website after 16th April.”

The collection was originally donated to Flintshire County Libraries in 1952 by E. R. Harries, a former librarian of the county. Flintshire and Clwyd library services then added further stock and the collection now consists in over 2,000 items, representing a significant addition to Bangor’s collection, which is already of major interest to scholars and general readers alike. The Flintshire Harries Arthurian collection also contains some rare early printed books and deluxe editions of the nineteenth-century Arthurian revival. It now enhances Bangor University’s existing collection, and will be curated, preserved and managed by the University’s Library and Archives Service.

To celebrate the arrival of the Collection, the University is hosting a public lecture and exhibition. The public lecture ‘Arthur: the King that Never Left Us’, is to be delivered by Dr Roger Simpson and will take place in Lecture Room 2 in the Main University Building, Bangor University, at 5.00pm on Thursday  16 April. The Exhibition will be on display in the  Council Chamber corridor in the University’s Main Building between 13-27 April. These areas are open to the public.

Taken from: Bangor University news and events