Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum wins Outstanding Library Team award

19.06.2015

Cardiff University on behalf of the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum, which includes the Library and Learning Resources at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, won the Outstanding Library Team Award at the 2015 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.

THELMA

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.

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

Although led 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.

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.

As a result of this innovative project, University of Wales Trinity Saint David will move to the Ex Libris Alma library management system and Primo resource discovery service in March 2016.  More information is available on our library catalogue change web page.

Further Information

Contact Us