Redevelopment of the WHELF website

WHELF is currently in the process of updating its website. Please bear with us in the meantime whilst this process takes place.  I will update you as soon as the new website is available.

Thank you

Developing digital literacies

rachael whitfield:

Thank you to Alyson Tyler (MALD) for this review of the recent “Developing Digital Literacies” event at Cardiff University.

Originally posted on Alyson's Welsh libraries blog:

‘The librarian’s role in developing digital literacies’ was the title of a day event in Cardiff University which I was fortunate to attend the other week.

The programme was geared towards academic library staff in university settings, although was also applicable to college libraries: “The intention is to not load the day too heavily with theoretical debate but to focus on identifying and sharing workable solutions. … The aim is for people to go away with a least one idea they feel they can try out in their own institution.” (See blog post with link to full programme.) Even as a non-practising librarian, I came away with some ideas and things to ponder.

I particularly liked the discussion (and practical!) led by Lis Parcell of JISC. She introduced us to the ‘digital visitor and digital resident’ continuum, and the enhanced version with personal/organisation aspects added in. This concept…

View original 1,129 more words

Book launch: Art Researcher’s guide to Cardiff and South Wales

A new handbook describing the major collections of libraries, archives, and museums where you can research culture, art, and design in Cardiff and South Wales will be launched at the ARLIS (Art Libraries Society) Annual Conference on Wednesday 15th July at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

art researcher's guide

The handbook is edited by Lousie Carey (National Museum of Wales), Kristine Chapman (National Museum of Wales), Jenny Godfrey (Cardiff Metropolitan University), and Peter Keelan (Cardiff University) and contains contributions from  nearly 20 institutions and their collections across south Wales, ranging from classical art through modern design and architecture.

It is the fifth book in a series  of pocket-sized books aimed at visual artists, academics, art teachers, art students and local researchers, and published by the Art Libraries Society, UK & Ireland (ARLIS/UK & Ireland).  An introduction by Professor Judi Loach ‘captures the visual art scene in recent years and navigates the complex Welsh topography of  its historical and contemporary collections.’ (Copies can be pre-ordered via the ARLIS website:

The Art Researchers’ Guide to Cardiff and South Wales will receive its official launch on Wednesday, 15 July at 6.15pm, at the School of Art, Llandaff Campus of Cardiff Metropolitan University, at the ARLIS Annual Conference.  The conference will run from Wednesday, 15 July to Friday 17 July. See –

Event: Librarians developing digital literacies

Librarians developing digital literacies
10am to 4pm Friday 17th July 2015
Hadyn Ellis Building
Cardiff University, Cathays Park, Cardiff. CF24 4HQ
(Map –
n.b. There is no public parking available near the venue.

A free event (refreshments and lunch provided) kindly sponsored by CILIP Cymru Wales and CILIP Information Literacy Group.

We are pleased to invite you to attend this exciting event organised by librarians from Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) and the Great Western 4 libraries. This will be an ideal opportunity to share ideas and expertise with colleagues from across Wales, the South-West and further afield on the theme of developing digital literacies (

The purpose of the event is to create an opportunity for librarians to learn from each other about approaches to developing staff and student digital literacies. This is an area where many libraries and librarians are still thinking through, and coming to terms with, varied terminology, ambiguous concepts and challenging logistical issues. The intention is to not load the day too heavily with theoretical debate but to focus on identifying and sharing workable solutions. No doubt questions will arise throughout concerning different interpretations and understandings of skills, literacies, capabilities, competencies and proficiencies, but hopefully common ground will emerge through considering the kinds of digital practices people perform. The aim is for people to go away with a least one idea they feel they can try out in their own institution.
If you are interested in contributing to the Teachmeet session (this could be on any aspect of technology use for either staff development within the library or provided for students and academic staff) please contact Joe Nicholls (, Tel: 02920870266) for more details.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be an informative and enjoyable day. You can book your place by registering through Eventbrite ( Alternatively, contact Joe Nicholls.

n.b. Places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first -come first-served’ basis.

The programme for the day includes a number of invited speakers who are librarians with direct experience of working to develop library services specifically to enable the development of staff and student digital literacies.

9.30 am – Registration
10.00 – Preliminaries
10.05 – Welcome. Janet Peters, Director of Libraries and University Librarian at Cardiff University
10.20 – Activity: Digital visitor or resident?
10.30 – ‘Digital literacies and libraries – setting the scene’ – Lis Parcell, Jisc Subject Specialist: Libraries and Digital Resources
11.00 – ‘Developing Œdigital confidence in library staff’ (provisional title). Nicole Hinton, Assistand Director – Workforce Planning and Development National Library of Australia
11.30 – Coffee/Tea – Networking
12.00 – Teachmeet session
13.00 pm – Lunch – Networking
13.45 – ‘Librarian heal thyself – building staff digital literacy training from scratch: The Newcastle approach.’ Aimee Cook, Assistant Liaison Librarian with the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Team at Newcastle University
14.15 – Activity: Idea generation and exploration
14.45 – ‘Digital literacy for distance learners: the OU story’. Katherine Reedy, Digital and Information Literacy Specialist at Open University Library Services
15.15 – ‘Looking to the future: The librarian’s role in developing digital literacies’ Joe Nicholls, Principal Consultant: Digital Enablement in the Library Service at Cardiff University
15.45 – Wrap up
16.00 – Close.

If you have any queries about the day please contact Joe Nicholls (, Tel: 02920870266).

Swansea University goes live with WHELF Shared LMS

WHELF Shared LMS project reaches major milestone

The 23rd June 2015 will be a landmark achievement in the WHELF Shared LMS project as the first institution, Swansea University, goes live with implementation of the latest generation library management system Alma, and the resource discovery service Primo, from Ex Libris. The project has adhered to a rigorous and demanding implementation schedule to reach this milestone.  Andrew Brown, Collections Services and Systems Librarian at Swansea University commented that, “It’s been a real team effort at Swansea University with so many staff involved, and we’ve enjoyed strong support from Gareth Owen, the WHELF programme manager and the ExLibris implementation team”. The remaining institutions from cohort 1 of the project including Aberystwyth University, the University of South Wales and the National Library of Wales will also all be going live within the next few months and the system will be operational across all 11 WHELF institutions and the Welsh NHS Libraries (via Cardiff University) by the end of 2016.

Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism met colleagues working on the WHELF Shared LMS project at the recent CILIP Cymru Wales Conference. He said “Working collaboratively on a shared library management system will bring significant benefits for students, lecturers and library staff, along with financial savings. I am impressed that this excellent example of Welsh institutions working together has received international attention, and I’m pleased that the Welsh Government has been able to support this initiative.”

A shared library management system operating across all WHELF institutions will have far reaching benefits including better service delivery through a single search across all institutions along with the potential to share data and services to increase the value, visibility and relevance of collections. The value of the project has already been recognised with WHELF winning the “Outstanding Library Team” category at the recent Times Higher Education Leadership and Managements Awards 2015 (THELMAs).

Aled Gruffydd Jones, Chief Executive and Librarian, National Library of Wales

Prosiect LMS ar y cyd WHELF yn cyrraedd carreg filltir bwysig

Bydd 23 Mehefin 2015 yn gyflawniad pwysig i brosiect system rheoli llyfrgell (LMS) a rennir Fforwm Llyfrgelloedd Addysg Uwch Cymru (WHELF) wrth i’r sefydliad cyntaf, Prifysgol Abertawe, roi’r system ddiweddaraf, Alma, a’r gwasanaeth darganfod adnoddau, Primo, gan Ex Libris, ar waith. Mae’r prosiect wedi cadw at amserlen lem a throm er mwyn cyrraedd y garreg filltir hon. Dywedodd Andrew Brown, Llyfrgellydd Gwasanaethau a Systemau Casgliadau ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe, “Mae wedi bod yn ymdrech tîm llwyr ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe, yn cynnwys llawer o staff, ac rydym wedi mwynhau cefnogaeth gref Gareth Owen, rheolwr rhaglen WHELF, a thîm rhoi ar waith Ex Libris.” Bydd y sefydliadau eraill yng ngharfan 1 y prosiect, gan gynnwys Prifysgol Aberystwyth, Prifysgol De Cymru a Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, hefyd yn mynd yn fyw o fewn yr ychydig fisoedd nesaf, a bydd y system yn weithredol ar draws 11 sefydliad WHELF a Llyfrgelloedd GIG Cymru (drwy Brifysgol Caerdydd) erbyn diwedd 2016.

Cyfarfu Ken Skates AC, Dirprwy Weinidog dros Ddiwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth, â chydweithwyr sy’n gweithio ar y prosiect WHELF LMS a Rennir, yng Nghynhadledd CILIP Cymru Wales a gynhaliwyd yn ddiweddar. Dywedodd “Bydd gweithio ar y cyd ar system rheoli llyfrgelloedd a rennir yn cynnig buddion sylweddol i fyfyrwyr, darlithwyr a staff llyfrgell, ynghyd ag arbedion ariannol. Rwyf wedi fy mhlesio fod yr enghraifft wych hon o sefydliadau Cymreig yn cydweithio yn cael sylw rhyngwladol, ac yn falch bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi medru cefnogi’r fenter hon.”

Bydd llawer mwy o fanteision i system rheoli llyfrgell a rennir ar draws holl sefydliadau WHELF, gan gynnwys darparu gwasanaethau yn well drwy un chwiliad ar draws pob sefydliad, yn ogystal â’r potensial i rannu data a gwasanaethau i gynyddu gwerth, gwelededd a pherthnasedd casgliadau. Mae gwerth y prosiect eisoes wedi ei gydnabod wrth i WHELF ennill y categori ‘Tîm Llyfrgell Gorau’ yng Ngwobrau Arweinyddiaeth Addysg Uwch a Times Higher Education 2015 (THELMAs).


Prif Weithredwr a Llyfrgellydd, Llyfrgell Genedalethol Cymru

WHELF wins at THELMAs 2015

WHELF are the proud winners of the Outstanding Library Team Award, announced on Thursday June 18th at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2015. The awards, now in their seventh year recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.

The Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) – comprising the National Library of Wales, all 10 Welsh higher education institutions and Welsh NHS Libraries – is a groundbreaking partnership to deliver a library management system for the whole country. A single identity now allows users to access and borrow material from every higher education library, while both physical and digital services are being transformed.

The judges described WHELF as an “ambitious project” that “shows great trust, ability to develop a shared vision and achieve impressive cross-organisational alignment and coordination”. “As well as cost savings on procurement and infrastructure, the partnership approach will improve discovery and ultimately access to library resources for all users in Welsh universities, the National Library of Wales and further afield,” the panel said.

Members of the WHELF Shared LMS team with their award. Image courtesy of THE

Members of the WHELF Shared LMS team with their award. Image courtesy of THE

The WHELF project, the first of its kind within UK higher education, has secured funding through Jisc and CyMAL (Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales).

Facilitated by Cardiff University, which chaired both the working and the steering groups, it has been a genuinely collaborative process, with all the member libraries playing a full and active part. Given their geographical distribution, this has involved video-conferencing and shared online spaces for storage and real-time production of essential documentation. Chair of WHELF, Aled Gruffydd Jones (Chief Executive and Librarian, NLW) commented that ‘this award is a tribute to the excellent collaboration that has been developed between library teams in very different kinds of institutions across Wales. The mutual trust and respect on which it is founded not only enhances the services we offer to our users, and at a lower cost, but also provides a very strong basis for further joint working in the future.’

Janet Peters (Cardiff University) collecting the award on behalf of WHELF. Photo courtesy of THE

Janet Peters (Cardiff University) collecting the award on behalf of WHELF. Photo courtesy of THE

Winners attended a black-tie event in at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jack Whitehall, where over 1,000 guests gathered to celebrate outstanding performance in the competitive world of UK higher education.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David McBeth, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange Services at the University of Strathclyde, and Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education at the British Library.

SWAMP conference 2015: Keeping libraries relevant

SWAMP Libraries Together

South West and Mid Wales Regional Library Partnership SWAMP Staff Conference 2015

Thursday 9 July, Media Resource Centre, Llandrindod Wells

 Keeping Libraries Relevant

We live in a challenging time for libraries.  Digital access to information is in a seeming constant state of evolution, providing challenges for our users and ourselves, as library staff, to keep pace. Buildings, space and services are under pressure as the social context in which we provide them and the expectation around them alters.  The knowledge we as library staff need to do our jobs effectively shifts and develops in ways that make just keeping core skills up to date a demanding task.  At times, it seems the continuing need for libraries to exist is under question, such have been the changes to the environment we operate in and the scope of the challenges being faced.

Within this context, the theme for the 2015 SWAMP Staff conference is ‘Keeping Libraries Relevant’. During the day colleagues from all sectors will come together to explore how libraries can develop services, support the use of digital technologies and develop our own skills to remain in the place we need to be – at the centre of the communities we serve, providing the services that can make a difference to people’s lives, throughout their lives.

The conference is aimed at frontline staff and middle managers.

‘Staying relevant, becoming sustainable: challenges in a time of change’
Peter Gaw, Head of Libraries, Archives, Arts, Information & Learning Services, Nottinghamshire

‘Advocacy and professional development – how CILIP can support you’
Mandy Powell, Head of CILIP Cymru Wales
‘Working together to benefit our communities’
Communities First

Jane Purdie and Bethan Rogers, Audience Development Team,
All Wales – Libraries, Archives and Museums
The New LMS
Gareth Owen, Programme Manager WHELF Shared LMS
Engaging with Children: Storytelling
Cat Weatherill, Professional Storyteller, Author and Library Veteran

Download the full Programme SWAMP Staff Conference 2015

Download a booking form