Swansea University Librarian recognised as the ‘best’ in Wales

American writer Shelby Foote is quoted as saying that “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library”. Whilst Shelby recognised that libraries play a key role in our communities it is the librarian that is the key to shaping the character of a library.

Swansea University is therefore delighted that Lori Havard, Head of Academic Support, Information Services & Systems, has been awarded the CILIP Cymru Wales Welsh Librarian of the Year Award for her work changing the perception of librarians and promoting the University library’s services.

‌Lori (pictured centre) has helped change the perception of librarians to being essential and valued partners in education and research processes. She has created strong partnerships with the Students Union and Students Newspaper, used social media to effectively promote the library service, to engage users, and to receive valued feedback.

Lori Havard

Lori was praised for her initiative to celebrate Swansea University’s authors - academics who have written or contributed to key textbooks and works in their field. This initiative celebrates lecturers who have reached the pinnacle of success in providing new teaching and learning publications, who unlike their research colleagues would not otherwise gain wider recognition within the University.   In making his nomination for Lori, Steve Williams, Deputy Director of Information Services & Systems described Lori as “an inspirational leader and professional librarian, adapting to the changing shape of libraries and their services to make a difference, where it matters, with students and staff.”

Lori was also winner of the Academic and Research Libraries Category within the award.

Speaking at the Award Ceremony on behalf of the sponsors, Sirsi Dynix, Barbara Pacut, Europe Middle East and Asia Sales Director, said, “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. SirsiDynix is delighted to sponsor the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award in its first year, recognising the important contribution of an individual and as an advocate for the profession.”

Karen Gibbins, Chair of CILIP Cymru Wales, and Chair of the Judging Panel said, “All of the judges have particular nominations which stuck in our minds. If we could have rewarded all of them I think we probably would have. All five nominees need to be commended on the very real impact they have had on the library sector. This award proves that librarian and information professionals in Wales are doing great things!”