Welsh Librarian of the Year Award 2017

nominees and winners WLYA 13-16

 This award recognises and celebrates the contribution of library and information experts to the profession and society.The 2015 winner Mark Hughes summed up the award beautifully by saying "What we provide through Libraries really matters to the communities we serve – and The Welsh Librarian of the Year award is a wonderful way of recognising the vital contribution individuals make to providing that service through their dedication and work."

Wendy Foster was the deserving winner of the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award for 2017.  Wendy has made an outstanding  contribution in her field of health information, and beyond through her engagement with national bodies, including CILIP. More details can be found on her nomination here.

In addition, Thomas Hywel James received a special lifetime achievement award in recognition of his career in developing and shaping public library services.

The award reinforces that value that CILIP places  on professional library, information and knowledge workers.   Achieving the shortlist is no mean feat’.

The seven shortlisted nominees (in no particular order) were:

  • Allie Cingi, Library Manager. Pencoed Library
  • Thomas Hywel James, Principal Librarian. Gwynedd Library Service
  • Isabel Puscas, Senior Evidence & Knowledge Analyst. Observatory Evidence Service, Public Health Wales
  • Stephen Gregory, Legal and Digital Librarian & Team Leader. Information and Archive Services, Welsh Government
  • Sue Hodges, recently retired from the post of Director of Libraries and Archives, Bangor University and Chair of WHELF
  • Wendy Foster, Knowledge Services Manager. Glangwili Library, Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Nia Gruffydd, User Services Manager. Gwynedd Library Service

Award criteria

Nominations for Welsh Librarian of the Year should demonstrate achievements in the following areas:

  • Positive impact on community or sector
  • Improving library services
  • Commitment to the profession

During the first WLYA ceremony in 2013 Barbara Pacut representing the awards sponsor SirsiDynix said that “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."

The award was presented during the CILIP Cymru Wales conference dinner at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

The Award is administered by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Wales, and is sponsored by SirsiDynix – worldwide library technology specialists.

Why is it important?

2016 Welsh Librarian of the Year Award winner Dylan Hughes here reflects on receiving the award last year:

"As professional librarians, we all endeavour to be committed to our roles and motivated to be the best we can be. Being nominated for the Welsh Librarian of the Year is a tremendous honour. It reflects esteem and appreciation by hugely respected colleagues and, for me personally, the 2016 award was the pinnacle of a long and varied career. This year’s CILIP Cymru Wales conference gives us the opportunity to recognise those who have made a difference to a library in Wales so I urge you to nominate a colleague who is deserving of this award."


Image credit: top left photograph in collage by Dan Stavely.