Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Welsh Librarian of the Year announced

Photograph courtesy of Dan Staveley 
Lori Havard, Head of Academic Services, Information Services & Systems at Swansea University has received the CILIP Cymru Wales Welsh Librarian of the Year Award for her work changing the perception of librarians and promoting the University library’s services.

Bethan M Hughes, Reading Services Manager at Denbighshire Public Libraries has won the public sector category for the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award. The judges were especially impressed with Bethan’s achievements successfully engaging readers.

This new award recognises and celebrates the contribution of librarians and information professionals to contemporary society in Wales and beyond. Awarded to an individual librarian or information professional, this award champions the achievements, impacts and innovation of those who make a significant difference to either the communities which they serve or to the profession in Wales. The Award was kindly sponsored by Sirsi Dynix, the library technology specialists.

Welsh Librarian of the Year Award – Overall Winner

Lori (centre of picture) is Head of Academic Services, Information Services & Systems, Swansea University and a member of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP). At Swansea University Lori has helped librarians become essential and valued partners in the education and research processes.

Lori has created strong partnerships with the Students Union and Students Newspaper, used social media to effectively promote the library service, to engage users, and to receive valued feedback.

Lori was praised for her initiative to celebrate Swansea University’s authors - academics who have written or contributed to key textbooks and works in their field. This initiative celebrates lecturers who have reached the pinnacle of success in providing new teaching and learning publications, who unlike their research colleagues would not otherwise gain wider recognition within the University.

“Lori is an inspirational leader and professional librarian, adapting to the changing shape of libraries and their services to make a difference, where it matters, with students and staff.” Steve Williams (Deputy Director of Information Services & Systems, Swansea University).

Lori was also winner of the Academic and Research Libraries Category within the award.

"I am very proud to have received the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award from CILIP Cymru.  Librarians do so much for the communities in which we serve, and  it was a great night to take time to recognise the value of our profession.  The stories and achievements of all the nominees were very inspiring to me, and I feel very excited for the future of libraries in Wales." Lori Havard, Welsh Librarian of the Year, speaking after the event.

Welsh Librarian of the Year Award – Public Sector Category Winner

In awarding the Public Sector Category Winner, CILIP Cymru Wales were also delighted to celebrate the achievements of Bethan M Hughes, Reading Services Manager, Denbighshire Public Libraries (far right of picture).

Bethan, a Chartered Member of CILIP, through partnership working has contributed to the highest participation rates at primary school level in the annual Summer Reading Challenge, developed and maintained a highly effective Writing Squads programme for children and supported Denbighshire in achieving highest average reading age for school leavers in Wales, as judged by Estyn – the Schools Inspectorate.

The judges praised Bethan’s work to bring children’s authors together with readers through inspiring events as a model of excellent practice. Bethan is passionate about promoting bilingualism and in working with less advantaged communities. She has represented the interests of libraries, librarians and readers on a wide variety of Welsh bodies, organisations and panels. She is also the Welsh representative on the UK-wide Summer Reading Challenge Steering Group.

Key Role

Speaking at the Award Ceremony on behalf of the sponsors, Sirsi Dynix, Barbara Pacut, Europe Middle East and Asia Sales Director, said,

 “The librarian plays a key role in the function of libraries in our communities, a fact that can often be overlooked in discussions and debates around buildings and cultural resources.  It is the librarian who shapes the character of a library, and who drives for its success. SirsiDynix is delighted to sponsor the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award in its first year, recognising the important contribution of an individual and as an advocate for the profession.”

Photograph courtesy of Dan Staveley 
“All of the judges have particular nominations which stuck in our minds. If we could have rewarded all of them I think we probably would have.  All five nominees need to be commended on the very real impact they have had on the library sector. This award proves that librarian and information professionals in Wales are doing great things!” Karen Gibbins, Chair, CILIP Cymru Wales and Chair of the Judging Panel.

Stars of the Welsh Library World

All five nominees are worthy of this praise and recognition. Bethan, Carole, Lori, Preeti and Rebecca have all demonstrated achievement, innovation and impact, providing exemplars of good practice and role models for others to follow within the profession. Information about each of the nominees will be shared in forthcoming blogs, so that we can all learn from their successes!

Thank you!

Our heartfelt thanks go to all:
  • nominees - for agreeing to participate in the Award
  • line managers, colleagues and associates - for making your superb nominations
  • the judges - Guy Daines (CILIP), Hywel James (Gwynedd Libraries, representing SCL Wales), Paul Jeorrett (Glyndwr University, representing WHELF), Andrew Green (former National Librarian of Wales) and Karen Gibbins.
And the last word goes to the judges: 

 “It was an invigorating, stimulating and occasionally moving read”

 “It has been a real pleasure and priviledge to take part in the judging,”

“It gives one enormous hope and encouragement to see so many exceptional people contributing to Welsh libraries and the interests of their users” 

"I have been inspired”

Photo credits.

The headline photograph shows all shortlisted nominees for The 2013 Award. (Là R) Rebecca Mogg (Senior Subject Librarian, Cardiff University), Preeti Pathak (Ethnic Services Librarian, Cardiff Libraries), Lori Havard (Overall Winner – Head of Academic Services, IS&S, Swansea University), Carole Morgans (Welsh Department Librarian, Cardiff Libraries), and Bethan M Hughes (Public Sector Category Winner – Reading Services Manager, Denbighshire Libraries). 

The lower photograph show Barbara Pacut (Sales Director, EMEA, Sirsi Dynix), Lori Havard and Karen Gibbins (Chair, CILIP Cymru Wales and Chair of the Judging Panel).

Photographs courtesy of Dan Staveley 

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