About NoWAL

NoWAL is network of academic libraries based in the North West, and a subgroup of SCONUL. NoWAL benefits staff and students in member institutions by providing access to specialist skills and best practice. The group’s geographical proximity enables the provision of outstanding staff development and training, knowledge exchange and sharing of experience and expertise.

Our mission is:

  • to inspire excellence in the learning, teaching and research services of member libraries, supporting their strategic aims
  • to celebrate success through collaboration, innovation, influence and partnership

Since 2015, NoWAL has been a working partner of SCONUL. SCONUL provides administrative and financial support to NoWAL, as well as assisting with any HR requirements NoWAL may have. Further information on the agreement between NoWAL and SCONUL, which is reviewed annually, can be found in the NoWAL / SCONUL agreement (please contact the NoWAL Operations Officer for further information).

NoWAL Operations Group

NoWAL employs an Operations Officer who deals with the day-to- day activities of NoWAL and has responsibility for the administrative running of the reciprocal Training & Development programme; serves as secretary to the Board, Operations Group and Special Interest Groups; and has an overview of all the procurement activities undertaken by the consortium. The Operations Officer reports directly to the NoWAL Chair, is employed by SCONUL and is an ex-officio member of the consortium’s Operations Group.

The Group meets three times a year prior to the Board meetings to set the agenda for the Board, manage the progression of the NoWAL strategy and to monitor all activities of the consortium. The Operations Group consists of Chair; Vice-Chair; Treasurer; Training & Development Lead; and Senior Staff Group Link. For details of the current Operations Group, please visit the Contacts tab.

NoWAL Board

NoWAL is governed by its Board, which is made up of a representative from all member institutions, usually the Director of the Library Service or their delegate. The Board meets a minimum of three times a year, with hosting undertaken on a rotational basis around member libraries. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is also held annually in June.


Elections to Officer roles take place every two/three years. Candidates for the roles should be nominated by at least one member of the Board, and seconded by another. There is an expectation that the Vice-Chair will normally be elected Chair, at the end of their term of office, with agreement from the Board and with no requirement for an election. Should the Vice Chair choose not to take the role of Chair, this will trigger nomination and election for both posts from the NoWAL Board.