The University of Cumbria played host to librarians from across the north of England when they met for a conference at the university’s Fusehill Street campus on Tuesday 4 September 2012.
North West Academic Libraries (NoWAL) is a consortium made up of university and higher education college libraries in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside and aims to enhance the delivery of library services to its users in a number of ways, including staff training courses, reciprocal access to services and the procurement of library materials.
The conference was entitled ‘Beyond the library: student transition and success’ and addressed issues around supporting and developing students from first contact with the university to post graduation. Around 70 delegates took part in a full day of activities which included keynote speakers, presentations, workshops and networking opportunities.
Margaret Weaver, head of library and student services at the University of Cumbria is also chair of NoWAL and commented:
“This cross-university conference presented best practice from a range of professional teams and helped position academic libraries as major forces in their institutions. It also demonstrated the value of our services and the importance we place on supporting students through their entire journey into higher education.
“Increasingly libraries are using web-based formats such as electronic books and social media tools to deliver library materials, information and advice direct to mobile devices. This means we can maintain close links with students and develop new ways for them to engage with their university experience from the outset.”
As well as sharing knowledge across the region, one of the main aims of NoWAL is to offer staff development and this year four sponsored places at the conference were offered to first-time delegates and presenters.
One of the recipients was Claire Stewart, Learning Adviser at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. Claire explained:
“It was fantastic to have the opportunity to attend such a high-profile conference especially on ‘home turf’. Having worked here for six years, I appreciate the chance to extend my knowledge and meet professionals from other higher education institutions.”
Pictured are the four recipients of a sponsored conference place and the chair of NoWAL (from left to right): Claire Stewart (learning advisor at the University of Cumbria), Paula Dalziel (outreach support advisor at Edge Hill University), Sarah George (subject librarian at the University of Bradford), Julie Ann Burns (learning resource officer at the University of Central Lancashire) and Margaret Weaver (head of library and student services at the University of Cumbria and chair of NoWAL).
Posted on Thursday 6 September 2012