Lifetime achievement award for Gwynedd librarian and dedicated Welsh language ambassador
25 May 2017 | 12:58 pm

Hywel James Lifetime Achievement award - picture by Vince Jones

Thomas Hywel James (known as Hywel), Principal Librarian at Gwynedd Library Service has been awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Award from The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals in Wales (CILIP Cymru Wales) as part of the Welsh Librarian of the Year Award.

Hywel has worked for the Library service in Gwynedd for over 30 years, initially as a Children's Librarian and then as Chief Librarian. He has represented Welsh public library services in many areas over the years, most notably contributing to Welsh Libraries strategies and Public Library Standards and the development and promotion of Welsh language library stocks and services including large print and audio books.

CILIP Cymru Wales Development Manager Kathryn Parry said “Hywel’s reputation has been built on solid foundations of good librarianship and these foundations of equality of access to a Welsh bi-lingual culture and way of life has not only strengthened the core skills of the library service for which he has responsibility but of the community the library service serves. By organizing large print and audio books in the medium of Welsh on behalf of all authorities he has helped place libraries in a strong position to be part of a national support system which is able to contribute towards the Welsh Governments vision of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050. It is essential that Wales continues to provide the opportunities for librarians to be able to contribute towards building an inclusive and empowered society.”

Hywel is recognised as a proactive leader within the Welsh library community, closely involved with the Welsh Book Purchasing Consortium and the implementation of the Library Management system for Wales across the 6 North Wales authorities. He has been at the forefront of advancements in health and welfare, establishing joint projects with other Welsh counties including the Macmillan Libraries Health and Wellbeing Information and Support Service. He has actively participated in the Board of the North Wales Library Project Management System and served on several committees working with agencies such as the Job Center, CAB, and Language and Play Education Colleges, ensuring that the area’s libraries are considered multi-purpose centres within their communities. He is a member of Group Heads North Wales Library (HOLIS) and a valued member of the Society of Chief Librarians Wales executive.

Hywel will retire from his role at Gwynned Library Service this year. He was presented with the honour during the CILIP Cymru Wales conference at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Thursday 11 May. The 2017 Welsh Librarian of the Year prize was awarded to Chartered librarian Wendy Foster, Library & Knowledge Services Manager at Hywel Dda University Health Board based at Glangwili General Hospital.

Seven librarians working across a diverse spread of professional settings were nominated for the award. Their roles support Welsh Government, Wales Public Health’s Disease Control and NHS Wales, higher education, the promotion and preservation of Welsh heritage, and the development of public library services that improve local culture and life for families and children.

The Award is administered by CILIP in Wales, and sponsored by SirsiDynix, worldwide library technology specialists.

The seven nominees

  • Allie Cingi, Library Manager, Pencoed Library (Brigend)
  • Stephen Gregory, Legal and Digital Librarian & Team Leader, Information and Archive Services, Welsh Government
  • Nia Gruffydd, User Services Manager, Gwynedd Library Service
  • Sue Hodges, recently retired from the post of Director of Libraries and Archives, Bangor University and Chair of WHELF
  • Wendy Foster, Library & Knowledge Services Manager at Hywel Dda University Health Board, Glangwili General Hospital
  • Thomas Hywel James, Principal Librarian. Gwynedd Library Service
  • Isabel Puscas, Senior Evidence & Knowledge Analyst. Observatory Evidence Service, Public Health Wales

Find out more about the nominees


Press contact

Kathryn Parry
Development Manager CILIP Wales
Rheolwr Datblygu CILIP Cymru
M: 07950945998

Notes to editors

1. CILIP: The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIP’s vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014.

2. CILIP Cymru Wales is the national office for CILIP in Wales. Our vision is that high quality library and information provision is a fundamental requirement for an informed, democratic, and bilingual society in Wales and through its members it seeks to make such provision available to all.

3. The Welsh Librarian of the Year Award recognises and celebrates the contribution of library and information experts to the profession and society.


Photograph by Vince Jones. Left – Right Kathryn Parry, Development Manager, CILIP Cymru Wales, Barbara Pacut Vice President of Sales and Operations for SirsiDynix (sponsor), Hywel James and Tracey Stanley, Chair of CILIP Cymru Wales. 

Visit to Royal Institute of International Affairs Library
25 May 2017 | 11:40 am

Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, was founded in 1920 as an independent policy institute, with the aim of promoting research & studies on all aspects of international affairs. It publishes a large number of reports, research papers, a journal of International Affairs, & a magazine, The World Today. The Library has one of the largest specialist collections in the UK, amounting to around 50,000 books, periodicals & electronic resources, which are supplemented by regular new acquisitions, & are all accessible through its online catalogue. The main subjects included are international relations, economics, security, & resource governance.


It is open to all members of the RIIA as part of their annual subscriptions, with reduced rates for students. Outside researchers may consult the collections, after contacting the library services manager in order to state their specific interests.


Our guided tour will be conducted by Mr David Bates, the Library & Information Services Manager, who will give us an introduction to the library collections, & a history of Chatham House. Ms Anna Brynolf, the Digital Resources Librarian, will then give us an account of their library management systems, & Mr Malcolm Madden, the Research Liaison Librarian, will explain their cataloguing procedures.


The visit will conclude with some refreshments, & an informal discussion session with the 3 library staff.

The visit is free and has a maximum of 15 people.

Please contact David Lass by July 15th to book a place

Thu, 27th Jul 2017 -
2:30pm to 5:30pm
David Lass

The Royal Institute of International Affairs

10 St James's Square the nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus
SW1y 4LE London

United Kingdom

Free Event: 

LHSG London Housebound (Libraries) Services Group and Bromley Home Library Service meeting
24 May 2017 | 7:23 pm

These meetings are a chance to share best practice with colleagues responsible for similar library services to housebound residents across London and surrounding areas.

1. Bromley Library Service: Brief background to library services in the London Borough of Bromley and the local community served by the library.

2.  Bromley Home Library service – how it is delivered, by whom, stock, budgets, etc.

3. How do we change our service for the future and manage customer expectations?

BREAK – Tea and biscuits will be provided.

5. Over to you! What can we do to raise the profile of our type of service and promote it to our local community? Customer numbers are falling across London.

6. Comparative data and benchmarking about home library services across London.

7. 2018 – Home Library service mini-conference. Ideas welcome - supported by CDEG.

8. Any Other Business. Round the table – how is your service performing?

9. Further 2017 meetings are as follows: Bromley – June 7th; Hackney – November (date to be confirmed).

Wed, 7th Jun 2017 -
10:00am to 12:00pm
Tom Berry

Bromley Central Library, Meeting Room, Floor 5

High Street
BR1 1EX Bromley

United Kingdom

Free Event: 

Mentor Training Day
24 May 2017 | 10:28 am

The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a background to mentoring, a basic framework for conducting mentoring both long and short term.

The focus of the event is to enable participants to develop effectively as mentors in the context of the CILIP professional registration scheme.

Mentor training is a requisite for becoming a CILIP Mentor and this course is suitable for all CILIP members who have recently registered as CILIP mentors or are thinking of registering. 

Venue in Wrexham to be confirmed. Bookings will open soon.

Wed, 30th Aug 2017 -
10:00am to 3:00pm
Andrew Eynon

Event Format


Free Event: 

More News from this Feed See Full Web Site