Wednesday, 20 March 2013

News from WHELF

WHELF have recently issued a news update and this includes content  that will be of interest to colleagues not working in HE Libraries. Their email distribution list WHELF on has recently been opened for all to join. 

WHELF: Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum
March 2013: an update  

WHELF actively promotes the work of higher education libraries in Wales and provides a focus for the development of new ideas and services.
At our recent meeting in February, these were some of the topics under discussion:

1. WHELF Strategy and Vision

A working group led by Sue Hodges is developing a new strategy and vision for WHELF. The purpose of this new strategy is to outline a clear vision for WHELF over the next two years and to set a new direction and culture following recent changes within Wales and within the HE sector generally. We are all working within an environment where there is a constant need to deliver innovative services within financial constraints.
This new strategy is an opportunity to reposition WHELF within Wales as a collaborative partnership: one which will help us meet the current political agenda and demands from our own institutions and one which will help us realise cost benefits via potential shared services and collaborative e-resource deals.

2. Welsh Higher Education Libraries Shared LMS Services 

The final report of the Library Systems Shared Services Feasibility Study (Wales) has been presented to WHELF. It explores the potential for a shared Library Management System across all higher education institutions and the NHS libraries in Wales.
It has recommended that setting up an All-Wales Consortium with formal governance is the best option for provision of a shared service. 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.  The report was accepted in its entirety and WHELF have agreed that they want to pursue the option of developing a shared LMS in line with the report's recommendations.
A summary of the report is available on the WHELF website. 

3. Walk-in Access Wales

WHELF’s project to enable walk-in access to electronic resources in Welsh HE libraries is almost complete.  A toolkit will be published shortly and a walk-in access solution has been implemented at the pilot site at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, as well as at Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
On 1st February over 30 librarians from public, further education, national and academic libraries and staff from JANET UK and CyMAL came together to discuss walk-in access to electronic resources. Following the excellent presentations there was a lively debate, followed by workshop sessions on advocacy and marketing together with technical solutions and access management. Presentations and detailed notes from the discussions and workshops can be viewed here.

4. 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. Find out more.

5. The Welsh experience of World War One 1914-1918

The WHELF WW1 digitisation project, led by the National Library, is going well and is on schedule for completion in July. Most printed and paper archival material has been scanned. There are some very interesting stories and photos on the blog, including how the materials are being used for teaching students. The digital collection will be available online and People’s Collection Wales, a project partner, is currently inviting the public to become a part of the project by bringing their materials along to one of a series of events where staff will be on hand to scan letters, photographs, certificates, postcards, diaries and any other documents or memorabilia.
Find out more here

6. WHELF News

Members of WHELF past and present met at the National Library of Wales on 7th February. The occasion was to celebrate and mark Andrew Green’s forthcoming retirement from the National Library and his huge contribution to WHELF over the many years he has chaired the group. His energy, expertise and commitment to WHELF will be very sadly missed. Photo
In the interim it has been agreed that Janet Peters will take on the role of Chair, so WHELF is still in safe hands!
Thanks were also expressed to Rebecca Davies who has been looking after WHELF finances very ably for the past few years as Treasurer. We are grateful to Julie Hart who has now taken on the role of Treasurer.
Finally ... this is my last bulletin for WHELF as I am leaving in April to spend more time on our B&B and holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire. I have very much enjoyed working for WHELF, especially as it has given me a wonderful  opportunity to meet so many of you over the last few years. I will always be grateful for your friendship and support. If you would like to find out what I'm doing, please have a look at our Facebook page (all "likes" welcome!) or our website

Sue Mace
Development Officer
WHELF: Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum

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