Special Interest Groups & Communities of Practice

Special Interest Groups - NoWAL has the following Special Interest Groups who meet two or three times a year, allowing for face-to- face discussions on specific current topics / themes, or matters beyond the scope of online discussions, and networking:

Academic Librarians' Group
The Group is a network for all Academic Librarians, Liaison Librarians, Subject Librarians or other appropriate members of staff, carrying out a liaison / subject librarian role based in NoWAL member libraries. It provides a forum for discussion and sharing of experience across the member institutions.  The Group is currently chaired by Sheila Murphy and Olwen Pennington of Edge Hill University.  

Terms of Reference


Copyright Group
The Group undertakes the following:

  • To brief and support the NoWAL board, including providing updates at committee meetings
  • To promote good practice and guidance to NoWAL members
  • To facilitate exchange of experience between members via events, training and the discussion list
  • To represent NoWAL on national copyright groups, such as SCONUL
  • To develop and maintain relevant webpages and resources on the NoWAL website.

Terms of Reference


Research Group
The Group aims to communicate, share ideas, questions and best practice relating to research support in North West academic Libraries. It is open to any member of NoWAL working in, or with an interest in, research support and research activities.  The Group's current Chair is Lucinda May from the University of Manchester, with Judith Carr, from the University of Liverpool, as Vice Chair.  

Terms of Reference
Blog Post - Meeting 18th July 2018


Special Collections Group
The Group aims to create a forum for librarians in NoWAL library special collections to share experience and best practice as well as provide a conduit for publicising their collections, services and special exhibitions.

Terms of Reference

Communities of Practice (CoP) - in 2018, NoWAL created the following Community of Practice groups as a reult of NoWAL events:

Academic Skills (ASCoP)

The NoWAL Academic Skills Community of Practice is chaired by Craig Morley from the University of Chester and is:

  • A community of all those involved in information literacy, academic literacy and wellbeing (regardless of job title!)  
  • An opportunity to share, reflect and develop
  • A showcase for new and innovative teaching and learning development practices
  • An opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues across the Northwest

Our group meets four times a year, and is open to new and established staff alike. 

The minutes of the CoP's first meeting on Friday 23rd November 2018 can be found here.  The next meeting is due to be held in March 2019 at UCLan.  Further details to follow.  

If you wish to join the ASCoP, please contact Nicky Freeman (n.freeman100@salford.ac.uk) or Craig Morley (c.morley@chester.ac.uk).

Buildings and Space Management
This small CoP met on 23rd October 2018 at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (chaired by Jackie Pearce) - notes from the meeting are available here.

The first NoWAL CoP has met twice so far with a blog post of the first meeting having been written by the Chair of the group, Neil Sprunt.  Nicky Freeman has also interviewed Neil - read here his thoughts on the CoP and what he has learnt so far - or find it in the latest NoWAL Newsletter.  

The Technology CoP met for the first on 29th October 2018 at Manchester Metropolitan University, the meeting chaired by Emily Shields.  The CoP is looking for additional members - if you would like to join or are interested in what kind of topics they are looking at, see the note from Emily following the first meeting.  

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