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Welsh Library Team of the Year

02 December 2020  
Posted by: Amy Staniforth
Welsh Library Team of the Year

NHS Wales Library and Knowledge Service

NHS Wales Library and Knowledge Service and Newtown Area Library have been recognized by CILIP Cymru Wales, the Library and Information association in Wales, for their incredible commitment and innovative services during a turbulent 2020.

The Award, presented by Lord Elis-Thomas MS, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism and Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP at CILIP Cymru Wales’ Open Day and AGM on Thursday (3rd December) celebrates outstanding professional achievements by teams working within Library/Information Services in Wales.

As a presenter of the awards, the Deputy Minister, said: “Covid ' 19 has had a major impact on libraries and the communities they serve, but the innovation that libraries in Wales have demonstrated has meant that they have continued to be able to provide information, support and supported people’s wellbeing during this difficult time. I’d like to congratulate the winners and of course pay tribute to everyone for the outstanding work this year. Librarians are the heart of the library service and I am continually impressed by the excellent work to make libraries a welcoming place for all.”

Co-presenter Nick Poole said “2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone, but I am immensely proud of the way in which the library, knowledge and information sector has risen to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and delivered outstanding services and support for our users and communities. The Welsh Library Team of the Year Award gives us an opportunity to reflect on this and show our appreciation for the incredible work that library teams in Wales have been doing this year. It is my pleasure to be able to present this award as a gesture of thanks for all that the NHS Wales and Library Knowledge Service team and Newtown Area Library team have achieved this year. Congratulations to both of our winners.”

The judges Andrew Eynon, (CILIP Cymru Wales), Steve Williams (WHELF & CILIP Board), Kristine Chapman (National Museum of Wales) and Amanda Bennett (Welsh Government) were impressed by all six nominations and pleased to hear about outstanding teams from across the sector in Wales.

Susan Prosser from Swansea Bay University Health Board nominated the NHS Wales Library and Knowledge Service, and praised how, “The network of 24 libraries based in hospitals has responded to the challenge of the COVID pandemic by supporting healthcare staff and keeping library services and spaces available for users.”

“As well as collaboratively developing a new single point of access for service provision” Susan added, “the libraries have also contributed to good practice for adapting workplaces and library spaces.”

The judges praised the NHS Wales Library and Knowledge Service’s achievements: “The website created by Velindre NHST Library is an excellent example of what library staff can achieve in a short space of time. This year has been a challenging environment for us all, and NHS staff are working in a particularly pressurised climate.”

From a more familiar library setting, Maureen Jones, of Powys County Council nominated the Newtown Area Library Team because: “Although they have always had a dynamic team, in Covid 19 they delivered many new services, from calling customers over 70 to online quizzes and creative writing and poetry competitions.” Maureen continued, “the challenging shift from advising readers to choosing for them was also embraced by the team…and all this while overcoming IT barriers and tremendous uncertainty.”

The judges said that, “the Newtown team nomination really brought alive what the service was doing. Although the challenges of trying to fulfil basic services during a pandemic might have prevented them from feeling like they were improving services, in truth the innovative and enthusiastic way they have adapted to remote working has no doubt reached new users.”

Newtown Area Library

Newtown Area Library, Powys County Council

As joint first prize winners both teams take £400 back to their service.

The Runners Up

The runners up team was The Welsh Higher Education Library Forum (WHELF) Cataloguing Team, nominated by Alan Hughes from Cardiff University. Alan says “the WHELF cataloguing Team has had a transformational and refreshing impact on the reinvention of cataloguing activities across Wales and beyond.

The all-Wales partnership of 14 higher education and research institutions - through modest confidence, expertise and professional connections - have been able to penetrate far wider and influential networks. Alan was blown over by their ability to rebrand a traditionally hidden and solitary activity into a front-facing force with Wales at the helm of the sector.”

The judges agreed, saying “It was nice to see an application from such a key team, often overlooked, but vital to providing core Library services. Their work supporting WHELF institutions, also has a wider impact due to partnership working both nationally and internationally.” As runners up the WHELF Cataloguing Team take £100 back to their network.

Press Contact
Amy Staniforth
Phone: 07970639675

About the CILIP Cymru Wales Library Team of the Year Award

This new award, sponsored by the Welsh Government and CILIP Cymru Wales, is about celebrating the achievements of Teams working within Library/Information Services in Wales.

Entries are welcome from all sectors, from Teams working across different organisations, & from Teams of all shapes & sizes. Nominations can describe special achievements, an innovative project, or resilience in the face of challenging circumstances.

About CILIP Cymru Wales

CILIP Cymru Wales is CILIP in Wales. It is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession in Wales. Our goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous Welsh society. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014.

Header image: photo of NHS Wales Library and Knowledge Service.

Published: 3 December 2020

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