Shared LMS news update


Update on the proposed shared library management system for university libraries in Wales and the National Library of Wales. Things are moving!

Originally posted on WHELF:

Another big step forward has been taken in the procurement process on the WHELF Shared Library Management System project.  Following an assessment of PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) responses a short-list of suppliers has been issued with the tender (ITT).  They will submit their responses by the end of May.

The WHELF shared LMS project seeks to procure and implement a library management systems for all higher education institutions in Wales, together with the National Library of Wales and the NHS Libraries in Wales.

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Culture, poverty and libraries: new report

Three children sitting reading books

Children reading at Tredegar library. (C) Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has received a (77 page*) report addressing how the arts, culture and heritage can promote social justice and tackle poverty. It includes many references to libraries. (*If that sounds all TL;DR for you, just skip to the recommendations on pp 4-5 or read the press release.) (The report is also available in Welsh.)

Written by Baroness Kay Andrews it contains 33 recommendations for future work, actions etc., some of which are for the Welsh Government, some for cultural organisations etc. In compiling the report Baroness Andrews undertook many visits and there were consultations with a range of stakeholders. There are several case studies in the report including two library ones (Caerphilly and Denbighshire).

The directly relevant recommendations for libraries are:

  • support for public libraries to transform into community cultural hubs (#3)
  • every child to be a library member programme (#13)
  • working with Communities 2.0 to increase ICT training sessions in public libraries (#26)

There’s also lots on literacy, skills development, joint working, increasing focus on children, and improvements to the cultural infrastructure. It’s definitely worth a look if you are involved with communities, culture, heritage, libraries, children, learning, skills or social justice.

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Every child a library member: launched!

Minister with two children and library cards

(c) Welsh Government

Today (Wed 19th March 2014), the Minister for Culture and Sport in Wales, John Griffiths AM, and Dr Rhys Jones, wildlife expert and TV presenter,  launched a new scheme to start the automatic sign up of primary school children in Wales to their local library service. There’s a video here from the launch, press release with more info and pic, and exciting pics to come soon.

The project is starting with Year 4 pupils (aged 8-9 yrs) in six local authorities (Blaenau Gwent, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Powys and Swansea) and involves the library service, primary schools and our Wales library marketing team working together on the automatic registering of pupils.

Why bother? Well, lots of research points to the benefit of reading for pleasure on improving literacy skills/level, other research highlights the significant percentage of homes who don’t have books, and also we know that with public library ‘active borrower’ figures around 25% of the population in Wales, there are a lot of children and families who are not in the reading or library habit.

Logo with images of books, tablets etc

By targeting children who are just about old enough to go to a library on their own or with friends (if they live near one), the project seeks to break cycles of poverty by enthusing all children, regardless of background or those with library habits, to enjoy reading and to use the library.

The library services and primary schools have been working together to invite the children to the library where they will find a special branded library card, goodie bag, plus all the usual fare in a library!

During the launch in Wales the Minister emphasized how important it is for children to enjoy reading for pleasure and encouraged the children present to make the most of the library.

Year 4 pupils from a local primary school (Bryn Bach Primary School) came to the launch. Teacher Sam Jones said: “Getting the children out of school and into the library enabling them to pick their own books and hearing them discuss their favourites is wonderful. If we can encourage all children to use the library it will no doubt have a beneficial effect on how they perform in class too.”

Each of the local authorities in the pilot will be holding special events with local authors to create plenty of excitement and encourage children to use the library again.

The campaign, a joint ministerial campaign with the Minister for Education and Skills also compliments the Welsh Government’s ‘Make Time to Read‘ campaign which promotes 10 minutes of reading a day.

There is some project information on the Welsh Libraries portal. If the pilot is a success (evaluation will take place over the summer) we hope to roll it out to the remaining authorities in Wales, and then to expand it to other age groups in primary schools. The organising and co-ordinating work is being led by the all-Wales marketing team based at Wrexham and is part of the Libraries Inspire strategy for Welsh libraries.

The idea for it came from Killay library Swansea, who created the ‘six school challenge’ where they signed up all children in each of the six primary schools in the Killay library catchment area. You can read about that in issue 10 of CyMAL magazine (winter 2010).

England announced a similar scheme with 22 pilots in winter 2012, although the links go to a dead page on the Arts Council website so use this link instead. As yet I’ve not heard about the outcomes of the projects but it will be very good to see how their projects have worked, as some of them have taken different approaches eg targeting babies, reception stage children etc.

Posted in CyMAL, Libraries, Libraries Inspire, Literacy, Public libraries, Reading, Wales | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Could you be the Welsh librarian of 2014?

Nominations are now open for the second Welsh Librarian of the Year Award.

The award recognises and celebrates the contribution of librarians and information professionals to contemporary society in Wales and beyond. It 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.

Deadline for submission of nominations is Thursday 04 April 2014, and the announcement will be made in the CILIP Wales conference on 15th May. For nomination forms and T+Cs, check the CILIP Wales page.

The Award is administered by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Wales, and is sponsored by SirsiDynix.

You can read about last year’s winners on my blog or the CILIP Wales blog.

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Extending PLR to e-books: a consultation

Poster of e-book covers coming out of a tablet deviceYou may recall in the Seighart review of e-lending in public libraries in England, that one recommendation was the extension of PLR (public lending right) to e-books and audio books in the UK, with the necessary increase in funding to facilitate this.

Well, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has just launched a public consultation on such a proposal, for e-book and audiobook downloads on public library premises. The consultation is open until 13th March 2014, and anyone can respond. There is more information on the pages. The document contains background information as well as contact details for your response.

Note that the Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA 2010) amended the PLR Act 1979 so that the term ‘book’ includes audio and e-book. And that although the DEA would enable PLR to be extended to on-site downloads (section 43), it would require other legislation to take account of remote downloads. This is noted in the Government’s response to the Seighart review: “Extending the PLR to incorporate remote lending will require primary legislation, and is an amendment the Government will seek to pursue in future parliamentary sessions, subject to considering whether that would be compatible with the Copyright Directive.”

In case you’re wondering why this is so, the explanation is in the Government’s response document:

“The reason that the e-book provisions in the DEA only allow downloading from library premises is because under the Copyright Directive authors are provided with the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works.  This includes making a work available to the public by electronic transmission in such a way that members of the public may access it from a place and time of their own choosing. This is provided for in section 182CA of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.” (DCMS, 2013)

For more about this, you may be interested in the EBLIDA  ebook campaign “The right to e‐read: an e-book policy for libraries in Europe“. They are “calling on the EU Commission for a clear copyright framework that allows libraries to acquire and lend e-books with an adequate remuneration to authors and other rights holders.

To note, in Wales the most popular time for downloads of e-books from the consortium scheme is between 7-9pm. This is when 95% of libraries are shut. I would imagine therefore that authors will therefore wish to see PLR being extended to remote downloads as well as on-site downloads.

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Update from Welsh university libraries

word cloudHere’s an update from WHELF, the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum, written for this blog by Rachael Whitfield, the new WHELF development officer. Thanks Rachael!

WHELF has produced its Annual Report for 2012-2013 and it is now available online. It details the many events that have occurred within higher education libraries in Wales during the year and changes within the WHELF organisation itself  with the appointment of a new chair and a new written constitution and strategy. The full report can be accessed on the WHELF blog and it is also available in Welsh from the website.

It looks to be an exciting year ahead too for WHELF with the project to procure an all-Wales shared library management  system in higher education libraries, the National Library of Wales and NHS libraries. The project is progressing well and has just announced the publication of an EU notice and pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) for interested suppliers.

If you would like to keep up to date with WHELF developments you can subscribe to the WHELF blog via the WHELF webpage.


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Expert panel for review of Welsh public libraries announced

Today (13th Feb 2014)  the Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, announced the panel for the expert review of public library services in Wales. This was announced in a written statement and at a Welsh Local Government Association seminar where he was speaking. There is also a press release with additional Ministerial quotes (available in English and Welsh).

The panel will be chaired by Claire Creaser, Director of LISU, Loughborough University, and also includes Dr Steve Davies from Cardiff University, Peter Gomer from the Welsh Local Government Association and Professor Hywel Roberts, library expert of Wales.

The panel will review local authorities’ delivery plans for public library services across Wales,  consider alternative service models that provide a more efficient and effective library service, based on collaboration and joint procurement, seek information from each local authority on their proposed changes and commission research on the likely impact of changes.

The expert panel’s conclusions will be included in a report that will be published in the summer.

The full press release can be found on the Welsh Government website and includes more information about the panel members and the Minister’s announcement. The Minister initially announced the review in December 2013.

Incidentally, over in England, DCMS and DCLG (Dept for Communities & Local Government) have also announced a report into library service in England. This announcement was made on 8th Feb 2014, National Libraries Day. They have produced a  consultation page which is open until 21st March 2014.

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