The 23rd June 2015 will be a landmark achievement in the WHELF Shared LMS project as the first institution, Swansea University, goes live with implementation of the latest generation library management system Alma, and the resource discovery service Primo, from Ex Libris. The project has adhered to a rigorous and demanding implementation schedule to reach this milestone. Andrew Brown, Collections Services and Systems Librarian at Swansea University commented that, "It's been a real team effort at Swansea University with so many staff involved, and we've enjoyed strong support from Gareth Owen, the WHELF programme manager and the ExLibris implementation team". The remaining institutions from cohort 1 of the project including Aberystwyth University, the University of South Wales and the National Library of Wales will also all be going live within the next few months and the system will be operational across all 11 WHELF institutions and the Welsh NHS Libraries (via Cardiff University) by the end of 2016.
Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism met colleagues working on the WHELF Shared LMS project at the recent CILIP Cymru Wales Conference. 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."
A shared library management system operating across all WHELF institutions will have far reaching benefits including better service delivery through a single search across all institutions along with the potential to share data and services to increase the value, visibility and relevance of collections. The value of the project has already been recognised with WHELF winning the "Outstanding Library Team" category at the recent Times Higher Education Leadership and Managements Awards 2015 (THELMAs).