The College Ystrad Mynach was opened in 1959 to meet the needs of the local coal mining industry. Since the 1970s the curriculum has diversified to assist the diversification and development of the locality. The College has more than 13,000 students ranging from school leavers to adult mature students and offers both academic and vocational courses at entry and degree level. In 2013 it merged with Coleg Morgannwg to form Coleg y Cymoedd. 

What range of media do you hold in your library? Is it all catalogued on Heritage?
No, not all our media has been catalogued onto Heritage at present. We hope to have all our resources on the system by the end of next year. So far the catalogued stock consists of books, booklets, DVDs, videos, equipment, laptops and computers. Resources we haven't catalogued so far include journals (both hard copies and online), newspapers and support packs.
Can you remember where you first heard about Heritage? Did you look at our website before contacting us?
We made some enquiries of other colleges regarding their Library systems. Heritage came out favourable.
Do you remember how many library management systems you looked closely at?
Heritage was our first contact and we were happy that the system suited our requirements.
What were you looking for in a library management system? What were your priorities?
For our desk staff we wanted a system which is user friendly. Whilst dealing with customers in a very busy environment, we required the staff to have easy access to as much information possible on both readers and resources. Management and monitoring of the system analysis was high on our agenda. It is important for us to be able to create and store reports on the library stats.
Why did you choose Heritage over the other systems you were considering?
Heritage came highly recommended to us and suited our requirements.
What are your overall impressions of ISOxford staff (this includes Sales, Training and Support staff, plus any Developers you may have dealt with)?
I have found all the ISOxford staff which I have dealt with friendly, professional and supportive.
How did the initial installation process of Heritage go? Did you find it straightforward?
We installed the Heritage system over the summer period while the library was closed. I believe the Heritage team worked well with our ILT department, ensuring the new system was ready for the beginning of the new academic year.
What did you think of the Heritage training?
Training was good, but we felt that it would have been more beneficial to us if it had been in two parts. An initial induction to the new system, with hands on experience (Very much like the training session we had). Then, a follow up session a few weeks later, once the staff had the opportunity to use the system in a real environment. The staff could have then put some of the questions and issues we experienced in the first weeks, to the Heritage trainer.
Are you a member of Marvin, our list server? Do you find Marvin a useful service?
Yes, the site is very informative for sharing both problems and suggestions.
How has Heritage improved the day-to-day running of the library and services offered to your users?
The Heritage system is a vast improvement to the service we offer our students. With the Heritage system we can now offer our students’ better communication with the library; the students can now access our catalogue from any computer on campus or from home, also giving them accessibility to monitor their personal library account.
What are your favourite features in Heritage?
Many of the features in Heritage are good, but I particularly like the OPAC and its Amazon link. The images impress our students and they find the system easier to use rather than trawling through a boring list of titles. We introduce the OPAC in our library inductions and find many students are quite happy to search for resources themselves rather than ask at the library staff at the desk.
Have you got any suggestions for features that aren’t presently available in Heritage that you would like to see?
Oh now! At the moment we are just amazed by all the features we currently have which are new to us, but perhaps we can come up with a suggestion in the future.
Have you linked Heritage to any other systems in your institution, such as Moodle, Sharepoint, Aquabrowser, MyPC, Txtools, Screenreader software, a management information system or similar? If so, any comments about the integration process or success of the integration?
Moodle.
Do you have any other comments you would like to make about ISOxford or Heritage? Would you recommend it/us to other libraries?
Yes, I would definitely recommend both ISOxford and Heritage to other libraries, academic or public. The change over from our old ALS system to Heritage was quite painless and it has made an immense difference to our library performance. Changing over to Heritage has been to the advantage of both our staff and the library users.

Ystrad Mynach College have been using Heritage since 2008. They currently have two additional full access licences, the Quickcat Online Module, the Fines Module, the Heritage Connect Module and Heritage Online (Medium).

 
 

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