Critical Friends

The NoWAL Plan for 2013-2015 identified the ‘Critical Friend’ process as an approach that NoWAL libraries would find useful when reviewing or developing their services.   A pilot was established to explore the Digital Presence and Service Delivery at University of Cumbria, with Angela Walker from University of Salford as the Critical Friend.   Angela undertook a desktop review of the library webpages and a day visit with a brief to look at what was currently available and to identify good practice and areas where changes could be introduced.   Angela produced a written report in which she identified 5 key areas, she reported on Good Practice and Further Developments for each of these areas and a set of Further Recommendations were provided at the end of the report.  The report was provided to Margaret Weaver, Head of Library and Student Services at Cumbria. 

The NoWAL Critical Friend Pilot Review document provides further detail on the pilot, its outcomes and recommendations. 

Following the review, a NoWAL Critical Friend Review Process Flowchart was developed for use in future Critical Friends’ projects, as well as a NoWAL Critical Friend Request Form which can be used as a template in future discussions.

Further information on using the Critical Friends process in Academic Libraries North to follow.