Times Higher award for library service

30 June 2015

A partnership featuring Aberystwyth University library services is celebrating victory after winning the Outstanding Library Team category at the recent Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2015.

The Welsh Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF), which brings together the National Library of Wales, all 10 Welsh higher education institutions and Welsh NHS Libraries, has developed a groundbreaking initiative to deliver a library management system for the whole country.

The project is the first of its kind in the UK and was supported by funding from MALD (Museums Archives and Libraries Wales Division) and Jisc (Joint Information Systems Committee).

Judges at the Awards described the project as “ambitious” and were impressed by its potential to improve discovery and access to resources, while reducing procurement and infrastructure costs.

The new library management system will be rolled out across the country in phases with Aberystwyth University going live on 20th July 2015 and the system will be operational across all WHELF institutions and the Welsh NHS Libraries (via Cardiff University) by the end of 2016.

Ms Julie Hart, Head of Library Services, at Aberystwyth University said: “Service to users will be improved due to enhanced functionality of the system, improved efficiency and streamlining of services. Once the system is fully rolled out there will be many opportunities for further collaboration.”

Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates AM, has welcomed the development. 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.”

The Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards recognize excellent management and leadership amongst higher education institutions in the UK.