Category Archives: shared services

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.

WHELF Shared LMS announces chosen supplier

Welsh Universities, the National Library of Wales and the NHS Libraries in Wales select a shared Library Management System

We are pleased to announce that a consortium of Welsh Universities, including the National Library of Wales, and the Welsh NHS Libraries, have selected the Ex Libris Alma unified resource management system and the Ex Libris Primo unified resource discovery and delivery system to provide a new shared Library Management System for the sector.

Jayne Dowden, Chief Operating Officer at Cardiff University, signing the contract for the provision of the shared LMS by Ex Libris on behalf of the WHELF consortium

The WHELF (Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum) Consortium has decided on the Alma and Primo next-generation solutions following a rigorous selection and assessment process. The 10 Libraries are Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Glyndwr University, the National Library of Wales, Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of South Wales and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, plus the Welsh NHS Libraries represented through the AWHILES Consortium.

Aled Gruffydd Jones, Chief Executive of the National Library of Wales, and Chair of WHELF commented that: “all WHELF members expect to realise transformational benefits from our collaboration on a shared Library system, including the provision of a single bilingual search interface for Wales Higher Education and research, plus the potential for deeper collaboration around collection development and management”.

Members of the WHELF Consortium currently employ a variety of standalone Library Management Systems, and several different discovery systems. With the selection of Ex Libris as a single provider, the Consortium will deliver a single cloud-based next generation library system, delivered on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis.

Alma and Primo will provide unified resource management and discovery, and enable the WHELF members to adopt shared, streamlined workflows whilst expanding opportunities for collaboration across the Consortium.

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

For further information, please contact:
Gareth Owen
Programme Manager
WHELF Shared LMS / 029 20874014

Datganiad i’r Wasg: Prifysgolion Cymru, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru a Llyfrgelloedd GIG yng Nghymru yn dewis System Rheoli Llyfrgelloedd a rennir

Rydym yn falch o gyhoeddi bod consortiwm o Brifysgolion Cymru, gan gynnwys Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, a Llyfrgelloedd GIG Cymru, wedi dewis y system unedig rheoli adnoddau Ex Libris Alma, a system unedig ar gyfer darganfod a chyflwyno adnoddau Ex Libris Primo er mwyn darparu System Rheoli Llyfrgelloedd newydd a rennir ar gyfer y sector.

Mae Consortiwm WHELF (Fforwm Llyfrgelloedd Addysg Uwch Cymru ) wedi dewis systemau Alma a Primo, yn dilyn proses dewis ac asesu drwyadl. Y 10 llyfrgell yng nghonsortiwm WHELF yw Prifysgol Aberystwyth, Prifysgol Bangor, Prifysgol Abertawe, Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant, Prifysgol Glyndŵr, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, Prifysgol Caerdydd, Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd, Prifysgol De Cymru a Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru a Llyfrgelloedd GIG Cymru drwy Gonsortiwm AWHILES .

Meddai Aled Gruffydd Jones, sef Prif Weithredwr Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru a Chadeirydd WHELF: “mae holl aelodau WHELF yn disgwyl gwireddu buddion trawsffurfiannol yn sgil ein cydweithredu ar system Llyfrgelloedd a rennir, gan gynnwys darparu rhyngwyneb dwyieithog unigol ar gyfer Addysg Uwch yng Nghymru ac ymchwil, yn ogystal â’r potensial ar gyfer cydweithio mwy dwys o ran datblygu a rheoli casgliadau ”.

Ar hyn o bryd, mae aelodau Consortiwm WHELF yn defnyddio amrywiaeth o Systemau Rheoli Llyfrgelloedd unigol, a nifer o systemau darganfod gwahanol. Wrth ddewis Ex Libris fel darparwr unigol, bydd y Consortiwm yn darparu system llyfrgell unigol seiliedig ar gwmwl, y genhedlaeth nesaf, wedi’i chyflwyno ar sail meddalwedd fel gwasanaeth (SaaS).

Bydd Alma a Primo yn darparu system unedig ar gyfer rheoli a darganfod adnoddau, ac yn galluogi aelodau WHELF i fabwysiadau llifoedd gwaith a rennir, wedi’u symleiddio, wrth ehangu cyfleoedd ar gyfer cydweithio ar draws y Consortiwm.

Aled Gruffydd Jones
Prif Weithredwr a Llyfrgellydd, Llyfrgell Genedalethol Cymru

Am fwy o wybodaeth, cysylltwch â:
Gareth Owen
Rheolwr Rhaglen
System Rheoli Llyfrgell a Rennir WHELF (LMS) / 029 20874014


RLUK and OCLC partner for shared collection management and visibility goal

CC Unsplash

CC Unsplash

SHEFFIELD, UK, 14 November, 2014—OCLC and Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a consortium of the largest research organisations in the UK and Ireland, today announced an expanded partnership that will help RLUK achieve key strategic objectives for shared collection management and resource discovery.

Building on existing OCLC cataloguing arrangements, the new agreement offers RLUK members the opportunity to load their bibliographic metadata into WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library holdings and services. This data will then be used to facilitate better understanding and visibility of these resources for both RLUK as a group, and for individual members of the consortium.

“Our membership is made up of some of the world’s leading research institutions with unique resources,” said Stella Butler, RLUK Chair. “Using a unique, global library resource like WorldCat is a perfect fit for RLUK. We will have a much more precise understanding of our collective assets, and where we can act to deliver better research impact and more effective management for their collections.”

Loading the bibliographic data of RLUK library collections into WorldCat will enable analysis and streamlined collection management across the group. “For many of our members this will allow them to free up space and time to concentrate on the many other priorities of research libraries, and also develop a more acute sense of individual collection strength and uniqueness amongst our group,” said John MacColl, RLUK Vice Chair.

In addition, OCLC’s partnerships with the world’s search engines will result in greater exposure, impact and access of these research resources online.

“OCLC is delighted to broaden our participation with RLUK,” said Eric van Lubeek, Vice-President, Managing Director, OCLC EMEA and APAC. “Collaborative collection management is central to the work of OCLC. RLUK libraries will find greater efficiencies in collection management and increased visibility through WorldCat.”

RLUK will also have access to a variety of services available through the OCLC WorldShare Platform, the open, cloud-based infrastructure that supports integration of applications from OCLC and other library service providers.

Cardiff University and the National Library of Wales are members of this group.

[Press release courtesy of OCLC]


The WHELF Shared LMS project is entering the final stage of the tender process, with the top 3 ranking suppliers from the ITT stage to be evaluated through reference site visits and supplier presentations over the course of the summer. The supplier ranking in first place on completion of this stage of the tender process will be recommended to the WHELF Shared LMS Working Group to be awarded the contract.

The WHELF Shared LMS project was established to procure, as part of a consortium of institutions including all higher education institutions in Wales, the National Library of Wales and the NHS libraries in Wales, a cloud hosted next generation library management system.

The participating consortium institutions are:

  • Aberystwyth University
  • Bangor University
  • Cardiff University (and NHS Libraries in Wales)
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Glyndwr University
  • National Library of Wales
  • Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
  • Swansea University
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Wales Trinity St David

It is anticipated that the WHELF Shared LMS will bring benefits to participating institutions. These benefits are financial and non-financial.


  1. The project is expected to deliver cost savings, through:
  • Sharing the cost of the EU procurement (e.g. programme manager post is funded by a grant from Welsh Government and contributions from all consortium partners)
  • Suppliers have indicated that there will be a discount for buying a system as part of a consortium
  • Reduced hardware costs through operating a cloud hosted system
  • Long-term potential to share collection development and services


  1. The project is expected to deliver improved user experience, through:
  • Potential to search across collections of participating institutions in Wales from a single point of entry
  • Fewer system outages from using a more resilient cloud-hosted system
  • Improved workflows leading to service improvements
  • Enabling opportunities for further collaboration through use of the shared system, which could include
    • reciprocal arrangements for borrowing and licence management
    • shared management information and real-time analytics leading to improved service delivery

Repository and Research Support seminar, Swansea University 21st July 2014

To book your place at this event, please email Rebecca  Please note that some places are still available.


Time Topic Speaker
9:30-10:00 Arrival/ tea and coffee  
10:00-10:15 Welcome and introduction to the day Steve Williams, Swansea University
10:15-10:55 Welsh Repository Network, WWI Project, What Next?


Lorna Hughes and Jake Henry, National Library of Wales
10:55-11:35 Digital Heritage


Glen Robson, National Library of Wales & Sian Williams, Swansea University
11:35 – 11:45 Tea/coffee  
11:45-12:30 The Role of Repositories,

followed by a discussion


Andrew Prescott, King’s College London
12:30-13:15 Lunch  
13:15-13:35 REF and Open Access Steve Williams, Swansea University
13:35-14:05 Research Data Amy Staniforth, Aberystwyth University
14:05-14:35 Bibliometrics for repositories and the REF Kate Bradbury, Cardiff University
14:35-14:50 ORCID Alex Roberts and Rebecca Kelleher, Swansea University
14:50-15:05 Tea/coffee  
15:05-15:50 Panel Discussion

Pulling together issues arising from the morning and afternoon sessions

15:50-16:00 Conclusion Steve Williams, Swansea University

Diwrnod Seminar Ystorfeydd Cymru / Welsh Repositories Seminar Day

Neges ddwyieithog yw hon – Gweler isod ar gyfer y fersiwn Saesneg
This is a bilingual message – Please see below for English version

Annwyl gydweithwyr –
Bydd Prifysgol Abertawe yn lletya digwyddiad i drafod dyfodol ystorfeydd Cymru, mynediad agored, rheolaeth data, y Fframwaith Rhagoriaeth Ymchwil ac ORCID.   Mae’r digwyddiad yn agored i bawb o staff mewn sefydliadau Addysg Uwch.  Bydd gennym siaradwr o Lyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru i’n helpu i lywio’r drafodaeth.

Os dymunwch fod yn bresennol/cyfrannu/rhannu/awgrymu pwnc ar gyfer trafodaeth yn y digwyddiad hwn, anfonwch e-bost i Rebecca  erbyn 15 Gorffennaf.


Digwyddiad – Diwrnod Seminar Ystorfeydd Cymru

Dyddiad – Dydd Llun, 21 Gorffennaf 2014

Amser – 9:30 cyrraedd a choffi er mwyn dechrau am 10:00– gorffen am 16:00

Cost – RHAD AC AM DDIM, darperir cinio a the/coffi

Man cyfarfod – Prifysgol Abertawe, Ystafell Seminar SURF yn Nhŷ Fulton

I archebu eich lle, anfonwch e-bost i Rebecca i ddechrau a dim hwyrach na’r 15 Gorffennaf.  Sylwer, os gwelwch yn dda, fod cyfyngiad ar y nifer o leoedd.

Anfonir agenda manwl am y diwrnod i chi wythnos cyn y digwyddiad.

Dear colleagues-

Swansea University will be hosting an event to discuss the future of Welsh repositories, open access, data management, the Research Excellence Framework and ORCID.   This event is open to all staff in HE institutions.  We will have a speaker from the National Library of Wales to help direct the discussion.

If you would like to present/contribute/share/suggest a topic for discussion at this event, please email Rebecca  by the 15th July.


Event – Welsh Repositories Seminar Day

Date – Monday, 21st July 2014

Time – 9:30 arrival and coffee for a 10:00 start – 16:00 finish

Cost – FREE, lunch and tea/coffee is provided

Venue – Swansea University, SURF Seminar Room in Fulton House

To book you place please email Rebecca in the first instance and no later than the 15th July.  Please note that places are limited.

A detailed agenda for the day will be forwarded to you the week before the event.

Dymuniadau gorau/Best wishes-

Rebecca Kelleher (BSc, PGCE)
Deputy Subject Librarian | Dirprwy Lyfrgellydd Pwnc
Information Services and Systems | Gwasanaethau Gwybodaeth a Systemau
Swansea University | Prifysgol Abertawe
Singleton Park | Parc Singleton
Swansea | Abertawe
Wales | Cymru
Phone | Ffôn 01792 602556
Email | Ebost

WHELF/HEWIT Gregynog Colloquium 2014

This was my first return visit to the Colloquium for approximately 5 years. It was a great opportunity for me to meet with colleagues “old” and new and establish new connections with librarians since I’ve become the WHELF Development Officer.

I attended the sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon began with a session on the theme of: Digital Literacies and a presentation on “Upcycling: the challenges of bringing old resources to a new audience” by Sue Burnett from the University of South Wales. Sue detailed their experiences of upcycling an online MA module in Research Methods via iTunesU. The next stage in this process is to release the whole module as a Multitouch iBook. In preparation of this the module content was completely reviewed and videos and new content was added. All 3rd party materials had to be recleared by copyright and the references all updated and this will be published in Autumn 2014. Sue said that they are also exploring open badge accreditation as a means of adding assessment to the online module.

This presentation was followed by Joe Nicholls from Cardiff University also discussing the digital literacy theme with, “ Developing staff and student digital literacies: a progress report on putting theory into practice”. Joe’s previous role was as Project Director on the Jisc Digidol project and is now Principal Consultant: Digital Enablement. As his job title suggests Joe sees his role as an enabler in developing learning literacies. This enablement focuses on the what the learner wants to achieve and not just what the service provides. Success in the embedding digitial literacies relies upon them being placed in a meaningful context , blended learning and building partnerships, i.e. a “with” not “for” attitude. Joe also referred to Beetham and Sharpe’s (2010) pyramid model of digital literacy as a way to structure engagement with learners.

Beetham and Sharpepyramid model of digital literacy development model (2010)

Wednesday morning’s session opened with a theme of collaboration. John Dalling, UWTSD and Mark Hughes of Swansea University gave a presentation on the “WHELF Shared LMS Project: an overview”. The project is building on the collaboration, sharing and openness that has long been a part of institutions working together in Wales, e.g. the consortial purchase of Voyager in 1999 and the work of the WHELF sub-group WHEEL in negotiating shared procurement of electronic resources.

The Library Management Systems currently being used in Welsh institutions are reaching the end of their useful life; these systems are rooted in print resources and not managing our electronic resources as well as we would like. The project is ground-breaking and has attracted interest worldwide. The project has 11 partners including the National Library of Wales and NHS Libraries and will incorporate 88 libraries/sites. All of these partners have varying needs and differences in their requirements, so there are some difficulties to overcome. To address these issues there is an appointed Project Manager, Gareth Owen working with a Project Working Group and this group reports to the WHELF Steering Group. The Working Group found using Google Docs very useful for the project in terms of collaboration. The group have also regularly met face to face at Gregynog. An ongoing governance structure has been proposed to deal with the upgrades and updates to the shared LMS beyond the life of the project. The timescales are tight as a contract is due to be awarded at the end of Summer 2014 with some institutions going live mid 2015 and all participants live by the end of 2016. However , the project is making great progress and continues to run on schedule with great enthusiasm for the success of the project providing momentum.

Steve Williams next got us thinking laterally with session 2: Wicked Problems  “The well-known solution: neat, plausible and wrong”. Steve encouraged us to take time out from our day to day work life (even though it is hard to do this) to try to understand and develop awareness of other areas; “my job today is to think about what we need to do tomorrow”. It can be useful to write the problem down to decide upon our goal formulations. Many times it is not the problem that is “wicked” but the complexities surrounding it, e.g. a lack of funding.

Image credit: Unsplash

I liked Steve’s analogy that in order to solve problems we have to get into the swamp, we can’t stay on the high ground we have to get it and deal with it. He also mentioned that the most interesting problems, and the ones that will lead to transformations can usually be found in the “swamp”.

We returned to the digital literacy theme following coffee with a presentation from Marianne Shepherd and Lis Parcell, Jisc “Strategic approaches to digital literacies” outlining the Jisc Developing Digital Literacies programme (2011-2013) involving 10 universities and two FE colleges. Marianne stressed the importance of digital literacy being embedded in the curriculum in order to make it meaningful to students. Attendees divided into small group to discuss how our services currently support the development to student’s digital literacies. Some of the key points that emerged were:
–          Making students aware that digital literacy skills are transferable and enhance their employability
–          To help students develop e-safety in order to avoid problems
–          To make sure students are aware of their online profile

The rest of the sessions in this part of the morning shared the useful practical experiences of colleagues at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales. Louise Wallace, (UofSW) talked about the setting up and manning a virtual chat service and then managing and developing that through a period of great change as the University merged. Jamie Finch (Cardiff Metropolitan) discussed his experiences of “Developing digital literacies in Endnote: train the trainer pilot” to teach Endnote to students in a way that they would remember as part of Cardiff Metropolitan’s strategic aim to improve research output quality. Finally, Jenny Godfrey (Cardiff Metropolitan) entertained us with many interesting images in demonstrating how to teach visual literacy to first year undergraduates.

As we approached Wednesday afternoon the Colloquium began to welcome our colleagues from the IT sector and I stayed for two more presentations on that day before having to leave. The theme changed to Business Analytics and Planning with Nia Ellis describing her experiences of working on the Digitisation Benchmarking Project at Aberystywth University. 13 institutions from the UK participated in evaluating their existing methods for digitising materials for a VLE and sharing methods of best practice. The project report can be accessed here. Finally I listened to Marianne Shepherd “Data analytics and BI to add value: a view from Jisc”. Business intelligence is a broad umbrella term which includes the infrastructure and tools to access to and analysis of data. Marianne highlighted the JiscLAMP project (Library Analytics and Metrics Project) which aims to enable libraries to support students, improve satisfaction and increase retention through analysing the data they have collected.

There is also an interesting blog post about Gregynog from Susan Ferguson, Aberystwyth University on the Cadarn Learning Portal.

by Rachael Whitfield, WHELF Development Officer