Shared services digitisation project by HqQpQT6



Annual Report 2008-2009

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                                 Table of contents

Section                                                                     Page

1   Executive Secretary’s foreword                                             3
2   NoWAL membership, structure and governance                                 4
    2.1 Board and sub-groups                                                   4
    2.2 Annual General Meeting 2008-2009                                       4
    2.3 NoWAL Office                                                           5
    2.4 NoWAL Action Plan                                                      5
    2.5 Location of NoWAL Office                                               6
    2.6 Office staff training                                                  6
3   Website                                                                    7
    3.1 Twitter                                                                7
4   Staff Training and Development                                             7
5   Access and Borrowing Group                                                 7
6   Promotion and Communications Group                                         7
7   Diversity Group                                                            7
8   Procurement                                                                8
    8.1 NoWAL and partners periodicals contract                                8
    8.2 Joint Consortia Contract for books, standing orders, e-books etc       8
    8.3 NoWAL monographs contract                                              9
    8.4 E-books                                                               10
    8.5 NetLibrary                                                            10
9   Special projects                                                          10
    9.1 Shared services digitisation service                                  10
    9.2 Workforce Development Project                                         12
    9.3 ‘Up close and personal’: our changing roles in a digital learning
    age                                                                       12
    9.4 NoWAL cross-search utility                                            12
    9.5 NoWAL at IFLA                                                         14
10 Liaison with regional and other bodies                                     15
    10.1 Libraries North West                                                 15
    10.2 NoWAL graduate trainees                                              15
    10.3 OCN North West Region                                                15
11 Financial matters                                                          15
    11.1 Financial reporting                                                  15
    1.2 General                                                               15
Appendix 1 – Membership of NoWAL Board, sub-groups and project
groups 2008-2009                                                              16

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1.      Executive Secretary’s foreword

The year under review has seen the effects of the global financial crisis, the scale of
which first became known in 2008, filter their way into the real economy. Universities
and, inevitably, our information and learning services, found it necessary to search
ever more diligently for ways of ensuring absolute best value was delivered from
budgets which, in many cases, had been substantially reduced. All the forecasts
seem to suggest that we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, there is much to celebrate in the years’ work, and I set out below a
number of NoWAL’s more notable achievements in the period. Members should
congratulate themselves that, even in a period of financial constraint, the collective
will of consortium, and our willingness to work collaboratively, continues to enable
NoWAL to deliver benefits both to constituent libraries and their users.

    NoWAL launched the UK’s first regional digitisation initiative, two years after first
     responding to HEFCE’s invitation to submit expressions of interest for possible
     shared services.

    The NoWAL Office welcomed the secondment of Helen Kenna, from the
     University of Salford, as the Project Manager.

    Building on the success of our first conference in 2006, we held the second
     NoWAL-badged event which was equally well received. ‘Up close and personal’:
     our changing roles in a digital age focused on the themes of working together in
     the context of digital learning, and was held in September 2008 at Edge Hill

    We welcomed Alison Mackenzie as our new Chair in January 2009, and at the
     same time bade farewell to Jacqueline Whiteside who had been Chair since

    Gil Young began an ambitious project to research the skills which current NoWAL
     Senior Managers look for in professional library and information workers, and
     then to compare/contrast these with the skills which recent entrants to the
     profession possess. This has become known as the Workforce Development
     Project, and it will be reported to Board next year.

    The NoWAL Office moved its location to the Geoffrey Manton Building of MMU at
     the end of March. This was the culmination of a process to find NoWAL a new
     home which had taken over two years, and puts our relationship with MMU on a
     formal landlord and tenant footing.

    NoWAL embraced social networking by opening an account on Twitter. We have
     attracted a steady number of followers, who often repost our tweets more widely.

    After more than 3.5 years with us, Laura Barber, the NoWAL Support Assistant,
     announced her intention at the end of July to take up a new post with ITV in
     Leeds. Our search for her successor will begin in autumn.

I commend the Annual report 2008-2009 to the NoWAL Board.

Peter M. Wynne
Executive Secretary

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2.     NoWAL membership, structure and governance

The membership, structure and governance of the consortium remained unchanged
during the year.

2.1    Board and subgroups

The total number of institutions represented in the consortium remained at 13.

At the University of Lancaster, David Summers continued in his position of Acting
Librarian, as Jacqueline Whiteside had become unwell during 2007-2008. In May
Jacqueline announced her retirement 2009 on the grounds of ill-health.

Tony Lewis announced at the end of June 2009 that he would stand down as
Director of Information and Learning Services at the University of Salford with effect
from the end of the academic year. However, he also announced that he would
continue with his NoWAL and Net North West responsibilities until October 2009.

The first Board meeting of the year, held in October 2008, was followed by a lunch
for Board members and their guests to celebrate NoWAL’s five years as the lead
body for HE library collaboration in the North West. This was held at the University of
Central Lancashire. To further mark this anniversary, a journal article by the
Executive Secretary highlighting the consortium’s achievements was published later
in the academic year (‘NoWAL’s fifth: a symphony of success’. SCONUL Focus, 45,
Spring 2009 pp. 108-13).

The May 2009 Board meeting was followed by an expert briefing session for
members. The NoWAL Board was pleased to welcome Heather Powell, Head of BBC
North Information and Archives, whose session was entitled The BBC at Media City -
new ways of working.

The number of NoWAL’s working parties and task and finish groups increased by
one during the year, with the creation in autumn 2008 of a working group to explore
the possibility of a NoWAL-badged cross-search utility (see section 8.4 below).
Furthermore, the Shared Services Working Party was dissolved and replaced by the
Digitisation Project Steering Group (see section 8.1 below).

2.2    Annual General Meeting 2008-2009

The purpose of the NoWAL Annual General Meeting is to elect officers, agree the
annual budget and subscriptions for the forthcoming year and to approve the annual
report and accounts. In the year under review, the Annual General Meeting was held
in the library of the University of Liverpool on 23 January 2009.

In accordance with the principle established by the Board resolution at the meeting
held on 8 June 2005, the Executive Secretary presented the proposed budget for

The Executive Secretary reported that in addition to planning the proposed 2009-
2010 budget, revisions had also been made to the 2008-2009 budget already
agreed, and these were summarised. The Executive Secretary also summarised the
main considerations which had information the preparation of the 2009-10 budget by
him and by the Vice-Chair/Treasurer.

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The Executive Secretary further explained that, in rebuilding an uncommitted reserve
following the demands to be made on it by the digitisation project (see Section
below 8.1), he and the Treasurer had applied increases to the subscriptions of 1.5%
and 3%, and asked members to choose between them. He further explained that a
1.5% increase would match H.M. Treasury’s forecast for the likely level of inflation,
while a 3% increase would provide a modest defence, should the predicted inflation
rate prove to be overly optimistic and NoWAL finish the year in deficit. It would also
reduce slightly the subscription shortfall for the year, and make available a
commensurate increase in the rebuilding of the uncommitted reserve. The Executive
Secretary and the Vice-Chair/Treasurer recommended that Board approve the
proposed 3% increase in subscriptions.

However, the Board voted not to accept the proposed increase, and instead asked
the former to recast the proposed 2009-2010 budget on the basis of a 0% increase in
members’ subscriptions. This was completed after the meeting and approved by the

As the NoWAL Board meeting held on 24 October 2008 had noted Jacqueline
Whiteside’s intention to stand down as Chair of NoWAL with effect from the 2009, the
Executive Secretary had subsequently invited seconded nominations for this office.
He reported that he had received one nomination: that of Alison Mackenzie, which
had been made by Maxine Melling and seconded by Phil Sykes. It was agreed by the
Board that Alison Mackenzie be elected unopposed as Chair of NoWAL with
immediate effect.

The Executive Secretary presented the Annual report and the accounts for 2007-
2008. These were accepted.

The Board also noted with thanks Tony Lewis’s willingness to serve a third year as
Vice Chair/Treasurer in that one instance, in order that the posts of Chair and Vice-
Chair did not fall vacant simultaneously.

2.3    NoWAL Office

Helen Kenna joined the NoWAL Office on a temporary contract as Digitisation Project
Officer with effect from 1 June 2009 (see section 8.1 below). Laura Barber, the
NoWAL Support Assistant, was successful in her application for a post at ITV Leeds,
and resigned with effect from 28 July. Her last working day will be 21 August.

The remainder of the NoWAL Office personnel remained unchanged during the year.

2.4    NoWAL Action Plan

In the late spring of 2009 the NoWAL Office started to prepare an Action Plan 2009-
2010 for inclusion on the website. The thinking behind this initiative was that it would
offer a tabular representation of all NoWAL’s activities showing, for each separate
target or desired action, the timescale, relevant contact person and a note of recent
progress and/or outcome achieved. The layout of the plan was finalised and added to
the website in July 2009. It will be continuously updated throughout the forthcoming
academic year. The plan is available at:

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2.5    Location of the NoWAL Office

In late summer 2008, the Executive Secretary learned from the Professor of
Information and Communications at MMU that the long-sought relocation of the
NoWAL Office from Minshull House (MMU) to the Department of Information and
Communications (Geoffrey Manton Building, MMU) had been provisionally agreed at
faculty level. Two offices had been identified in the department which would suit
NoWAL’s purposes admirably.

Discussions continued between NoWAL and MMU‘s Facilities throughout autumn
and winter 2008 as to precisely what NoWAL wished to move, and its requirements
for its new premises. Ultimately, a meeting took place in January 2009 of the
Executive Secretary, the Vice-Chair/Treasurer (representing the University of Salford,
which would be the tenant), and MMU’s Director of Facilities and her colleagues to
discuss the principal provisions of the lease. It was agreed that the NoWAL Office
would move in the last week of March.

The NoWAL Office moved into its new home of Room 212, Geoffrey Manton Building
on 31 March 2009 without a single hitch. The lease, which is between the University
of Salford and MMU, is for five years in the first instance. Phone, fax and email
contacts remain unchanged, and all paper stationery was reprinted, and the website
updated, immediately the move was complete. The NoWAL archive remains in its
secure storage in Minshull House until alternative accommodation can be found for it.

The move to the new premises has enhanced NoWAL’s profile considerably. The
office’s new location is much more easily visible, and NoWAL is far closer to the
heart of the member institution in which it has its home. Furthermore, NoWAL now
has the first permanent sign in its history. A further advantage of the move is that
NoWAL is able to make frequent use of the excellent facilities in the Board Room,
Seminar Room and Meeting Room of the LearnHigher Suite closely adjacent to the
new office.

2.6    NoWAL Office staff training

NoWAL Office personnel undertook and successfully completed the following training
and development activities during the year:

NoWAL Executive Secretary
     Demonstration of Primo vertical search solution by Ex Libris, Liverpool John
     Moores University, 21 November 2008.
     The changing face of consortia, Association of Learned and Professional
     Society Publishers seminar, British Institute of Radiology, 26 February 2009.
     Understanding your organisation, NoWAL General Programme, 8 June 2009.

NoWAL Support Officer
     Completed first year of the MSc Human Resource Management (CIPD
     Graduate Membership) Fast Track for Graduates at the University of Salford.
     This is a 3 ½ year part time course.

NoWAL Support Assistant
     MA Library and Information Management – 3rd year (MMU).
     Training & learning skills unit, NoWAL CLIP Programme.
     Voice production course, NoWAL General Programme.
     Enquiry desk skills course, NoWAL General Programme.

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3.     Website

The website continues to be the principal communication tool used by the
consortium. In 2008-09 there were 16,182 visits to the website of which 8,747 were
unique visits. Full statistics for website usage can be found on the Intranet. These are
updated on a quarterly basis.

Pages added to the site in 2008-09 include a jobs page which is regularly updated
with NoWAL member vacancies and a glossary of commonly used library terms
(compiled by the Diversity Group).

3.1    Twitter

NoWAL now has a Twitter account - This is used
sparingly to announce NoWAL news. The account routinely attracts c.70 followers.

4.     Staff Training and Development Group

The STDG was responsible for overseeing a wide variety of training and
development opportunities including the General Programme, CLIP (Current Library
and Information Practice), the Middle Management Theme and a number of
Exchange of Experience events.

For a full review of staff training and development activities see NoWAL Statistics &
Review 2008-2009: Staff training & development. This will be available via the
NoWAL intranet at:

5.     Access and Borrowing Group

This group did not meet formally in 2008-09.

6.     Promotion and Communications Group

The main focus of the Group for 2008-09 was celebrating NoWAL’s fifth birthday. A
lunch was held after the Board meeting in October at UCLan and Peter Wynne wrote
an article for SCONUL Focus which appeared in the Spring issue.

The Group is currently awaiting a formal response from Neil Clatworthy, Research &
Knowledge Transfer Officer, NWUA, about the proposed approach to NWDA for
funding to extend access to and use of electronic products by Small and Medium-
Sized Enterprises (SME).

The next meeting of the PCG will take place in the Autumn of 2009 at which the role
and remit of the Group will be reviewed.

7.     Diversity Group

The Group met twice in 2008-09. The main focus of the work was upon revising the
remit of the Group. The new remit can be found on the Diversity Group web page:

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The Group has also produced good practice guidelines on assistive technology for
the NoWAL website and a glossary of commonly used library terms. See

8.     Procurement

8.1    NoWAL and partners periodicals contract

The periodicals contract continued to run smoothly during the year under review.

In August 2008 NoWAL and its partners entered into the first of two available
extension years to the original contract; agreement to this having been obtained from
all three suppliers before the end of 2007/8.

In spring 2009, the Executive Secretary consulted with all NoWAL partners whether
they wished to request a second 12 month extension to the contract. NoWAL
members agreed to a further extension and, by July 2009, Shaun McDonald
(Purchasing Officer, LJMU) was in the process of contacting the serials suppliers to
extend the contract.

8.2    Joint Consortia Contract for books, standing orders, e-books and
related materials

During the summer of 2008 NoWAL began participation in the preparation of the
multi-regional monographs tender at the invitation of the umbrella forum Procurement
for Libraries (as reported last year). NoWAL was represented on the Working Party
for the tender by Sue Hodges and Bernie Mellody (MMU) with support from the
Executive Secretary.

The text of the invitation to tender was completed at the end of November 2008, and
forum for prospective suppliers was held in London on 7 January. This was very
successful and gave the suppliers an overview of the proposed tender. It also
included an outline of the tendering timetable and a question and answer session.

The tender was thereafter renamed as the Joint Consortia Specification for Books,
Standing Orders, E-Books and Related Materials. The specification and tendering
documentation was sent out for consultation via NoWAL’s named library
representatives, with responses required by the end of January.

Prominent among the issues raised by NoWAL members were concerns about the
different lots, the selection of suppliers from within the contract and the possible need
for “mini tenders”. Guidance was received from SUPC (the consortium leading the
Working Party) that it will be possible, within each lot, to vary criteria within certain
percentages, to reflect the needs of a particular library.

Final tender documents were then produced and the notice was placed in the OJEU
in mid-February with a return date for tender responses of 27 March 2009. The JCC
Working Party then began shortlisting the 17 responses received.

In May 2009, Bernie Mellody stood down from the team representing NoWAL on the
tender, in advance of her forthcoming maternity leave. NoWAL continued to be
represented thereafter by Sue Hodges and the Executive Secretary.

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Following a thorough evaluation of the tender responses, on-site visits to book
suppliers and a further meeting with e-book suppliers, the JCC Working Party
completed their evaluation. All the questions for each criterion and each lot were
scored on a master spreadsheet and the contract was awarded on this basis. A
Tender evaluation report was subsequently produced by the Working Party which
summarised the evaluation methodology and listed the successful suppliers for each
lot. This document was circulated to NoWAL member libraries in June, and
recipients were invited to indicate whether or not they wished NoWAL to continue to
be involved in the contract. A unanimous response in favour was received.

The Joint Consortium book agreement summary and guidance notes was then
distributed to all libraries in all participating consortia. This gave details of the
evaluation scores of all the successful suppliers for each lot, and of the commercial
terms offered by each supplier. After libraries had received this document, two
seminars were arranged in Leeds and London for 3 and 6 August respectively. The
Working Party recognised the need for seminars near the date of the award of
contract in which participating libraries could be briefed about the process and, in
particular, about the concerns around the selection of suppliers from within the
contract which had been raised earlier in the year.

At the same time Sue Hodges and the Executive Secretary met with Gill Barry to
discuss NoWAL’s position with regard to any resulting new contract. It was noted that
as NoWAL’s monographs contract does not expire until summer 2010 there is no
need to take up immediately any offer of participation. However, it was
recommended that NoWAL should assess the benefits or otherwise of moving more
rapidly towards the new contract once the outcome of the tender process was known.

8.3    NoWAL monographs contract

A monitoring exercise was conducted at the end of January for the period August
2008 to January 2009. The results of this exercise demonstrated that libraries were
experiencing several problems with regard to the services provided by Holt Jackson.
These included problems with processing, communication, shelf-ready books and
part and non-part supply of books.

In order to address these issues, Sue Hodges and Peter Wynne held a meeting with
David Fisher of Holt Jackson on 28 April. Holt Jackson had recently re-structured and
had been acquired by the library supply conglomerate The Little Group Ltd. Holt
Jackson moved to new premises in Preston in March of this year and there have
been several problems resulting from this move. David Fisher gave assurances that
some of the difficulties experienced by libraries would now be resolved. He agreed
that more communication was needed in future and that he would re-examine the
issue of part and non-part supply of books. One of the main concerns for member
libraries is the length of time taken for Holt Jackson to try and set up shelf-ready
books. David Fisher’s response to this was to ask that all libraries should send him
their specifications again. He apologised for the delay and felt it was better to start
this process once more from the beginning.

A review meeting for all suppliers and participating libraries was arranged for 17
February at JRUL, there having been no review since 2007. The day was very
successful and productive with attendance from all member libraries and all
suppliers. Questions and concerns from member libraries were received and
discussed on the day. These concerns were noted and followed up afterwards by
the Executive Secretary. The suppliers also outlined their development plans for their
respective solutions and databases. All suppliers were later asked to give an

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indication for the costs for a) affixing RFID tags in books etc and b) affixing and

8.4    E-Books

It was reported last year that, following negotiations by the Executive Secretary, Gill
Barry and Julie Berry, NoWAL had been able to secure unconditional and non-
exclusive preferential terms from Coutts and Dawsons for access to, MyiLibrary and
Dawsonera. These terms were put in place for a period of one year by both
companies from 1 April 2008.

In March 2009, Sue Hodges and the Executive Secretary reassessed NoWAL’s
position in respect of access to e-books. The probability of NoWAL’s joining the
forthcoming Joint Consortial Contract in a matter of a few months was noted, as was
the likelihood of the contract providing for the procurement of e-books. The Executive
Secretary accordingly approached both Dawsons and Coutts and asked if their
terms, advanced to NoWAL for one year, could be extended until such time as the
scope of the Joint Consortial Contract had become clear. The Executive Secretary
made it clear that, were either company not to be represented in the contract,
NoWAL would accept that negotiations for terms with that company would have to
begin afresh.

NoWAL received indications from one supplier that they were prepared to extend
their temporary terms unchanged to cover the interim, and revised terms acceptable
to both sides were agreed with the other.

8.5    NetLibrary

Discussions took place with OCLC in spring 2009 regarding the cost of retaining
access to the NoWAL NetLibrary collection for 2009/10, and it was established that
the cost to would be unchanged from that for 2008/9. Following a consultation with
all member libraries it was recommended to the NoWAL Board at the May 2009
meeting that the agreement be renewed, and this proposal was endorsed by

9.     Special projects

9.1    Shared services digitisation project

NoWAL’s digitisation project, which had been in preparation since late 2006,
underwent thoroughgoing revision in the summer of 2008. This revision became
necessary because of two developments.

The UK Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and its US counterpart the Copyright
Clearance Center announced a bi-lateral agreement which provided an easier, more
streamlined process for most HE institutions in seeking permissions for the
digitisation of US material. This agreement had the effect of removing most of the
process savings and discovery of the rights information which were to have been
made possible by the project’s proposed shared database of metadata.

During the project consultant Liz Hart’s initial consultation with MIMAS about the use
of the JORUM service as a repository for objects digitised by the shared service, the
JORUM team suggested that their costs for configuring the software as required
would be modest. At the same time that the CLA/CCC announcement was imminent,
it became clear that MIMAS’s costs for the necessary work would be of the order of

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£35k to £42k. This development substantially increased the implementation costs of
the proposed service.

Faced with these developments, the Shared Services Working Party quickly realised
that HEFCE would no longer support a full business plan as two of the major planks
supporting the feasibility study had been removed. Consequently, the consultant was
asked to prepare a revised feasibility study, concentrating on the features which
remained viable, and which could be resourced from NoWAL’s internal budget.

The revised feasibility study concentrated on the following outputs:

   Partnership procurement of digitisation services;
   Shared training and development in digitisation and related areas (particularly
   Knowledge exchange and networking using Web2 tools (especially wikis and
   Creation of shared advocacy and marketing materials;
   Full and current information concerning e-licensing, particularly where licensing
    automatically allows digitisation;
   A value for money comparator of existing UK services.

In October 2008 the NoWAL Board voted to run the revised project. In order to do so,
the Board agreed to dissolve the Working Party which had led the feasibility study
since its inception, and instead to ask Alison Mackenzie to be Project Director of the
revised project, which was to have a strong operational focus. The Board also agreed
the necessity of appointing a Project Officer on a temporary contract.

The job description and person specification for this new post were agreed in early
2009, and an appointment was made towards the end of April. The successful
candidate was Helen Kenna, who was seconded to the project from the University of
Salford where she had been working as Institutional Repository Development officer
and Metadata Officer. Helen joined NoWAL on 1 June 2009, and on a 0.5fte basis
initially, until cover was found for one of her Salford posts. She took over the project
on a full time basis with effect from 1 August.

Early in 2009 the Project Director recommended that a small Steering Group be
convened to oversee the project under her direction. This was approved by Board.
The committee consists of the Project Director, The Project Officer, the NoWAL
Executive Secretary and two co-opted members: Martin Snelling (University of
Manchester) and Lisa Peters (University of Chester).

The focus of the first two months (June to July) was to hold meetings with NoWAL
members to gather information about the digitisation activity of their institution. A
number of tasks were initiated during this time, most of which were scheduled to run
beyond 31 July and were therefore carried over into August and September 2009.

The tasks were:

       Familiarisation with the project objectives and feasibility report;
       Hand over meeting with Liz Hart of Liz Hart Associates;
       Creation of a project plan;
       Meetings with NoWAL members to gather information on digitisation activity
        and plans;
       Distribution of an online survey to NoWAL members;

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         Development of a blog to document and publicise the project;
         A digitisation area set up on the NoWAL website.

The last digitisation data collection from NoWAL libraries took place in November
2007. From the initial meetings with NoWAL members it was evident that the project
would need to be re-scoped in some way in order to meet the new requirements of
NoWAL and in order to benefit both operational staff and senior managers. The re-
scope of the project would be discussed at the first steering group meeting to be held
in September and the objectives presented at the NoWAL Board in October. The
project will continue until the end of April 2010.

9.2       Workforce Development Project

The Support Officer has agreed to carry out a project researching the skills which
current NoWAL Senior Managers look for in professional library and information
workers, and then to compare/contrast these with the skills which recent entrants to
the profession possess, and the ones they rate as important. The final report will
include proposals to address any identified differences between the two skillsets, with
particular emphasis as to how NoWAL and the North West undergraduate and
postgraduate library and information course providers can address the gaps.

9.3       ‘Up close and personal’: our changing roles in a digital age

The second NoWAL conference, on the themes of working together in a digital
learning age, and the new roles and teams involved in content production, took place
on Friday 5 September 2008, in the Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University,
Ormskirk. The event was organised by Margaret Weaver and Alison MacKenzie with
assistance from the NoWAL office and staff working for Edge Hill University

The conference consisted of the keynote speeches and 7 breakout sessions
(delegates chose any two of these sessions to attend). There were plenty of
opportunities for networking. MIMAS was represented at the event by a stand in the
foyer during the registration and lunch periods.

In total 71 people from 24 institutions booked to attend the conference. Of these 56
(79%) were from NoWAL institutions and 15 (21%) from other institutions. Delegates
came from all over the UK with the majority drawn from the HE Library sector. There
were a small number of representatives from the NHS and FE sectors.

Based upon the feedback received the organising committee felt that the conference
had been a success, both in its own right and as an advertisement for the NoWAL
consortium. The conference maintained the high quality standards attained by the
first NoWAL event in 2007, entitled Designing spaces for learning. A more detailed
report on the conference can be found at

9.4       NoWAL cross-search utility

At the NoWAL Board meeting held in October 2008, members received a report of
the Exchange of Experience event focusing on vertical search solutions/resource
discovery platforms which had been held at Liverpool John Moores University in

In the ensuing discussion some frustration was expressed that no across the board
evaluation of these products had been undertaken, as it was felt that the market for

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them was still too immature. It was then suggested that an appropriate response to
the uncertainty surrounding the future development of vertical search solutions, and
also to the limited functionality of existing products, would be for NoWAL itself to
develop some sort of cross-searching utility, which could then act as a NoWAL-
badged front end to all members’ OPACs.

The Board agreed that the Executive Secretary would convene representatives from
a small number of members in order to prepare a set of requirements for such a
utility. Margaret Weaver agreed to chair the group, and the members subsequently
added were Henry Blackman (University of Chester), Sue Hodges (Liverpool John
Moores University) and Mandy Phillips (Edge Hill University).

At its first meeting on 19 January 2009, the group concluded that two practicable
options were available to enable the group to discharge its remit. Either:

    Co-operation with a supplier of an existing product (most likely a vertical search
     platform) with a view to securing consortial terms, NoWAL badging and possibly
     the development of additional bespoke functionality;


    Co-operation with a company outwith the library sector (e.g. Goole or Microsoft)
     with a view to developing a new product to meet the terms of the group’s brief.

As regards the former option above, the meeting noted that members already knew
of a number of libraries which had gone out to tender for a vertical search product, or
were in the process of doing so (both badged to them and not). The meeting further
noted that sight of as many requirements documents and/or tender documents as
possible would be helpful to NoWAL, if either option or option was selected for further

The group agreed that members would separately attempt to secure requirements
documents and/or tender documents from colleagues in appropriate libraries drawn
from among their network of personal contacts.

The Executive Secretary subsequently summarised the group’s discussions at the
Board meeting held on 23 January. The Board determined that securing sets of
existing requirements, and/or tender documents, issued by libraries procuring vertical
search products should be the priority in order to assist NoWAL in framing its own

Soon after the Board meeting, the Executive Secretary learned (through attending a
meeting of the Promotions and Communications Group) of the existence of the
cross- searching product called Summon, designed by Serial Solutions (part of
ProQuest), for which the University of Liverpool had been chosen as a beta test site.
The Executive Secretary alerted other members of the group that Summon could be
of relevance to NoWAL because it appeared genuinely to offer one-shot, non-
federated cross-searching, provided all rights issues had been resolved in advance
with all the necessary rightsholders. This was achieved by the pre-indexing of
commercially-available datasets where rightsholders agree.

David Backham and Terry Bucknell, who would oversee the beta test of Summon at
Liverpool, were invited to the group’s meeting in June 2009. They confirmed that
Summon did offer the functionality which had interested the Executive Secretary, but
warned that Liverpool had given no commitment to purchase; they will make a

                                      Page 13 of 19
decision whether or not to commit in about six months after commercial release
(expected before end 2009).

At the same meeting, Mandy Phillips circulated a requirements specifications
document which she had secured from Queen Mary University. This included a
representation in the form of a diagram of the institution’s needs. The group agreed
that it would be useful to have a similar high-level requirements document for NoWAL
which could be fed back to the NoWAL Board for scrutiny. The Board’s response
would then inform the group’s future actions. Henry Blackman agreed to draw up the
document, once the group had received all the specifications requested from other
institutions. Documents were subsequently received and circulated from the
University of Cambridge and the University of Leeds.

The meeting also agreed that it would be useful to have the current ‘road map’ from
each of the suppliers of prominent VDPs so that the group can see the direction in
which they wish to take their products. The Executive Secretary subsequently
obtained and circulated responses from:

     Infor - Aquabrowser
     ExLibris - Primo
     Innovative - Encore
     OCLC - WorldCat:

The year ended before the high-level requirements document for NoWAL could be

9.5      NoWAL at IFLA

In June 2008, Professor Dick Hartley of MMU’s Department of Information and
Communications asked the Executive Secretary if he would be prepared to present a
paper at the World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA general conference and
assembly in Milan (23-27 August 2009). Professor Hartley explained that the
department’s Undergraduate Programme Leader had had a paper accepted some time
previously, but was now unable to attend the conference to deliver it. However, as the
place had already been booked, the Executive Secretary would be able to go in his
stead with no cost to NoWAL.

The Executive Secretary agreed, not least because IFLA represented the opportunity to
publicise the work of NoWAL to a truly international audience. Furthermore, the paper
described an initiative which could be of direct benefit to NoWAL members libraries by
enabling their personnel to take up training and development opportunities offered by
MMU’s membership of the WISE distance learning scheme for librarianship and
information science. (

After examining the paper submitted by the DIC Undergraduate Programme Leader, the
Executive Secretary concluded that its professional and scholarly impact could be
enhanced by the inclusion of data gathered from NoWAL member libraries, and from a
small number of public library authorities as a comparator. He therefore designed an
online questionnaire in consultation with the Undergraduate Programme Leader and, in
the weeks before the end of the academic year, collated the data received from
respondents and redrafted the paper to include these findings.

The final version of the paper which would be given at the conference was
consequently based on a much more secure scholarly foundation than the accepted

                                    Page 14 of 19
draft, and also gave far more prominence to the activities of NoWAL than had
previously been the case.

10.    Liaison with regional and other bodies

10.1   MLA North West

NoWAL continued to be represented on the Board of MLA North West throughout the
year by Kevin Ellard (University of Central Lancashire).

10.2   NoWAL Graduate Trainees

On 11 March 2009 the Executive Secretary gave a presentation to the NoWAL
graduate trainees as part of an event entitled A day in the life… The aim of the event
was to offer the trainees an insight into the work of a variety of colleagues working in
very different roles within NoWAL library and information services.

The Executive Secretary gave an overview of the consortium’s activities, and
described the challenges and rewards encountered by his own role and those of
NoWAL Office personnel in meeting NoWAL’s objectives.

10.3   OCN North West Region

The Office continues to work closely with the OCN North West Region in delivering
and managing the CLIP programme. The NoWAL Support Officer has had regular
meetings with Gaynor Thompson-Clarke, Business Development Officer to discuss
the updating and development of the CLIP programme.

11.    Financial matters

11.1   Financial reporting

The year under review continued the arrangements made at the end of 2006-2007;
i.e. NoWAL now pays an annual fee of £2820 to Salford ISD for the accounting and
financial reporting services it receives. Furthermore, the service level agreement
between NoWAL and Salford ISD provides for a monthly meeting, if this is deemed
necessary, between the NoWAL Executive Secretary and the Finance Assistant. The
year under review began with the Finance Assistant absent on maternity leave, as
recorded in the last annual report. Her temporary replacement, who was a qualified
and experienced accountant, continued to provide an outstanding level of service to
NoWAL until the end of his contract in November 2008. The Salford ISD Finance
Assistant has sustained this level of service since her return to work in January 2009.

11.2   General

A financial projection produced by the Executive Secretary and Treasurer in January
2008, and based on the expenditure incurred in 2007-2008, indicated that NoWAL
would need to raise £170,000 for 2008-2009, taking into account the necessity to
revise the NoWAL agreed reserve to retain it at the agreed level, and to provide for
increased staff salaries resulting from the final phase of the Pay Framework.
Furthermore, the setting of the budget at this level was only feasible if almost all
operating costs except staff costs were pegged at 2007/8 values. Rather than
increase members’ subscriptions, the NoWAL Board voted, at the Annual General
Meeting held in January 2008, to retain subscriptions at 2007/8 levels and to absorb
the budget shortfall in the NoWAL surplus over and above the agreed reserve.

                                     Page 15 of 19
Appendix 1 – Membership of NoWAL Board, sub-groups and project groups

NoWAL Board

Jacqueline Whiteside (Chair to Jan 09)   Lancaster University
Gill Barry                               Manchester Metropolitan University
Kevin Ellard                             University of Central Lancashire
Brian Fitzpatrick                        University of Chester
Tony Lewis                               University of Salford
Alison Mackenzie (Chair from Jan 09)     Edge Hill University
Maxine Melling                           Liverpool John Moores University
Karen Senior                             University of Bolton
Phil Sykes                               University of Liverpool
Linda Taylor                             Liverpool Hope University
Margaret Weaver                          University of Cumbria
Jan Wilkinson                            University of Manchester
Anna Wright                              Royal Northern College of Music
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)        NoWAL Office

Staff Training and Development Group

David Summers (Chair)                    Lancaster University
Jeremy Andrew                            University of Central Lancashire
Janet Dennis                             University of Bolton
Jayne Evans                              Manchester Metropolitan University
Wendy Fiander                            University of Chester
Ian Jackson                              University of Liverpool
Julia Knight                             Royal Northern College of Music
Maria Mirza                              Edge Hill University
Susan Murray                             Liverpool Hope University
Charlotte Nunn                           University of Manchester
Amy Platt                                University of Salford
Will Reid                                Liverpool John Moores University
Sarah Ruston                             University of Cumbria
Gil Young (Secretary)                    NoWAL Office

                                   Page 16 of 19
Access and Borrowing Group

Susan Murray (Chair)                      Liverpool Hope University
Bridgid Badger                            Liverpool John Moores University
Kate Coulling                             University of Central Lancashire
Anne Crowther                             University of Bolton
Michelle Elder                            University of Chester
Margaret Gill                             University of Cumbria
Angela Griffiths                          Liverpool Hope University
June Howarth                              University of Manchester
Helen Jamieson                            Edge Hill University
Lynne Pickles                             Lancaster University
Esther Platt                              University of Salford
Jane Simister                             Manchester Metropolitan University
Gabrielle Spillman                        Royal Northern College of Music
Gil Young (Secretary)                     NoWAL Office

Diversity Group

Jeremy Andrew (Chair)                     University of Central Lancashire
Liz Chinn                                 University of Bolton
Kate Coulling                             University of Central Lancashire
Ruth Keane/Angela Duckworth (job share)   Liverpool Hope University
Dawn McLoughlin                           Edge Hill University
Louise Makin                              Liverpool John Moores University
Laura Oldham                              University of Liverpool
Gavin Park                                University of Manchester
Lynne Pickles                             Lancaster University
Janet Savage                              University of Salford
Jane Simister                             Manchester Metropolitan University
Geoff Thomason                            Royal Northern College of Music
Lisa Toner                                University of Cumbria
Emma Walsh                                University of Chester
Gil Young (Secretary)                     NoWAL Office

Promotion and Communications Group

Kevin Ellard (Chair)                      University of Central Lancashire
Adele Barkley                             University of Central Lancashire
Rachel Bury                               Edge Hill University
David Clay                                University of Liverpool
Andy Holgate                              Lancaster University
David Orman                               University of Manchester
Gill Young (Secretary)                    NoWAL Office

                                 Page 17 of 19
Periodicals Contract Working Party

Sue Hodges (Chair)                         Liverpool John Moores University
Sue Bate                                   University of Manchester
Sean McDonald                              Liverpool John Moores University
Fiona McLean                               University of Chester
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)          NoWAL Office

Monographs Contract Working Party

Sue Hodges (Chair)                         Liverpool John Moores University
Jan Disley                                 University of Manchester
Ian Jarvey                                 University of Manchester
Helen Miles                                Edge Hill University
Charlotte Sing                             University of Manchester
Christine Smith                            University of Bolton
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)          NoWAL Office

NoWAL representatives on the Procurement for Libraries Working Group for
the Joint Consortia Tender for Books, Standing Orders, E-books and Related
Material (OJEU ref: 32/2009-46749)

Sue Hodges                                 Liverpool John Moores University
Bernie Mellody                             Manchester Metropolitan University
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)          NoWAL Office

NoWAL Shared Services Working Party

Maxine Melling (Chair)                     Liverpool John Moores University
Tony Lewis                                 University of Salford
Jacqueline Whiteside                       University of Lancaster
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)          NoWAL Office

NoWAL Digitisation Project Steering Group

Alison Mackenzie (Chair)                   Edge Hill University
Helen Kenna                                NoWAL Office
Martin Snelling                            University of Manchester
Lisa Peters                                University of Chester
Peter Wynne                                NoWAL Office

                                    Page 18 of 19
NoWAL E-book Monitoring Group

Julie Berry (Chair)                        University of Salford
Terry Bucknell                             University of Liverpool
Annette Coates (to May 2009)               Manchester Metropolitan University
Julie Hitchen                              University of Central Lancashire
Joanna Shepherd                            University of Chester
Shirley Ward                               University of Bolton
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)          NoWAL Office

NoWAL Cross-search Utility Working Group

Margaret Weaver (Chair)                    University of Cumbria
Henry Blackman                             University of Cheshire
Sue Hodges                                 Liverpool John Moores University
Mandy Phillips                             Edge Hill University
Peter Wynne (Executive Secretary)          NoWAL Office

                                    Page 19 of 19

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