Welsh Library Team of the Year Award winner named for 2022

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CILIP Cymru Wales is delighted to announce the winner of the Welsh Library Team of the Year Award 2022: Training group, NHS Wales Library & Knowledge Service/NHS Wales e-library. Jason Thomas, Director, Culture, Sport & Tourism, Welsh Government, made the announcement during the CILIP Cymru Wales AGM and Team of the Year Award event on Thursday 10 November 2022. Second place was awarded to the Academic Engagement team at Aberystwyth University.

Being agile in NHS libraries across Wales

Training group, NHS Wales Library & Knowledge Service/NHS Wales e-library, nominated by Susan Prosser, is the winner of the Welsh Library Team of the Year Award 2022. The NHS Wales Library & Knowledge Service (NHS WLKS) is a network of 24 libraries based in hospitals across Wales serving all disciplines and health sectors.

Like many, NHS Wales library staff have been working under difficult conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many healthcare staff needed more flexible training opportunities as they were unable to leave their workplaces. The NHS Wales Library & Knowledge Service (NHS WLKS) rose to the challenge and developed a new remote national training programme from scratch for their diverse users. With its flexible approach recognising that clinicians have to fit the training around their demanding schedule, the training programme received a high level of attendee satisfaction and feedback.

The Welsh Library Team of the Year Award was presented by Jason Thomas, Director, Culture, Sport & Tourism at CILIP Cymru Wales’ Open Day and AGM on Thursday 10 November 2022 celebrating outstanding professional achievements by teams working within library and information services in Wales.

CILIP Cymru Wales Chair Lou Peck adds “Every year I am reminded what an incredible and valuable library community we have here in Wales. The Welsh Library Team of the Year Award is an opportunity for library teams across Wales to shout about their successes and even lessons learned. It’s an amazing opportunity to have a peep into projects that go on, that we otherwise would not hear about. Huge congratulations to all taking part in this year’s Award demonstrating agility, innovation and sustainable approaches to future-proof essential library services.”

The 2022 CILIP Cymru Wales Welsh Library Team of the Year Award judging panel

The 2022 judges were impressed by all four nominations, demonstrating excellent work across libraries in Wales:

  • Robin Armstrong Viner, Associate Director: Head of Libraries, Swansea University
  • Andrew Eynon, Library & ILT manager, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai
  • Helgard Krause, Chief Executive, Books Council of Wales

The judges comment, “NHS libraries staff in Wales have been working under challenging conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and this was a strong nomination making a compelling case for why the team deserve this award. The team developed a new training programme from scratch, during challenging times for NHS staff, and delivered this to a diverse group of users. The nomination included examples of user feedback demonstrating that the training content and mode of delivery met user needs and resulted in high satisfaction from attendees. The success of the programme was the flexibility of the timing and dates recognising the need for clinicians to fit the training into a busy schedule, as well as the live demos and interaction with attendees.

Upskilling students with bite-sized student friendly bilingual resources

The judges awarded second place to the Academic Engagement team at Aberystwyth University, nominated by Lloyd Roderick, who will receive £350.

The practice of providing accurate citations and references for university assignments can be a daunting prospect for many students. To raise awareness of both the theory and the practice of proper citation and referencing, the Academic Engagement team has built a bilingual (Welsh and English) library guide where a comprehensive array of bite-sized, student-friendly resources aims to take some of the anxiety out of referencing.

The judges commented “The team designed a new training resource on referencing. The resource is interactive and fully bilingual, is integrated into student learning systems and can be tailored to different student needs. The success of the development of these new training resources was the recognition that successful delivery relied on getting the users involved. It was clear that the team had a real understanding how students would relate to the content and what would reduce referencing-anxiety. The nomination describes how the team collaborated well across the university. The new resource was a successful project output, but the other positive result was the partnerships that were developed across the university which will raise the profile of the library.”

Nominations not shortlisted

The 2022 CILIP Cymru Wales Welsh Library Team of the Year Award judging panel would like to commend the teams not shortlisted for their excellent work:

  • Library and Learning Resources: Academic Services Team, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, nominated by Sarah Jones. The judges recognised the excellent application of best practice in setting up the new Digicentre. The team should be commended for the way they were able to use the initial funding to create new permanent posts in the Library and Learning Resources team.
  • WHELF+ Inter-Lending Team, nominated by Tracey Stanley. The judges recognised the significant impact in cost savings that this project has delivered for all those members of the scheme. This project is recognised as being innovative and Wales is leading the way. The project also brought staff together from several different organisations to collaborate effectively.