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Cardiff EDC Forum

The Cardiff EDC Forum was established in 2011 as a means of communication between the users of the Centre and the staff working in the Centre. It held its inaugural meeting on 19 January 2011.

The Cardiff EDC is part of the European Commission's network of 400 European Documentation Centres throughout the EU, part of the Europe Direct Information Network. It is acknowledged widely as one of the more high profile, active and innovative EDCs in the network. The activities of the Centre include:

  • offering expertise and help in a professional and neutral manner to those seeking European information from within Cardiff University and the wider community in South Wales as part of Information Services at Cardiff University
  • providing specific European information literacy training to students from a range of academic departments
  • compiling and publishing European Sources Online, the world's largest added value electronic information service that specifically focuses on Europe
  • hosting a series of Europe-related events at the EDC and participating in many other events in the Cardiff area each year
  • compiling a monthly Cardiff EDC newsletter and a series of information guides hosted on the Cardiff EDC website
  • developing special expertise on information about Wales and Europe
  • operating a successful internship programme
  • having close ties with a number of the leading European academic and training institutions.

We are keen to further develop the Cardiff EDC to ensure its continuing relevance to members of Cardiff University and the wider community in South Wales. The Centre also faces the major challenge in 2011 of moving to a new location.

The Cardiff EDC Forum offers us the opportunity to tell our users more about the work and aspirations of the Centre and to hear what they want from the Centre. Academic staff from a range of schools, administrative staff from relevant sections and anyone interested from outside Cardiff University are very welcome to join. Students are also welcome.

The Forum will meet twice a year for a short meeting of about 90 minutes. In addition, the Cardiff EDC will communicate with members of the Forum by electronic means to keep them informed of specific developments.

As of February 2011 the Cardiff Forum has 37 members.


Inaugural Meeting, 19 January 2011

Sixteen members attended the inaugural meeting, including the permanent staff and current interns at the Cardiff EDC and Andy Klom, Head of Representation of the European Commission in Wales.

Cardiff EDC Director Ian Thomson outlined the current activities of the Centre and instigated a discussion as to the way forward in terms of function, activities and location needs.

To view the presentation click on the link below.


The following questions were raised:

Q: Will the relocation be permanent and how will it affect the activities of the Centre?

A: We are working on the assumption that the move will be permanent. Although some of the Research Collection will have to be transferred to Scolar@Newport Road, which already holds much of our older material, we are taking the positive view that this will enable us to improve access to the more up-to-date material in the Core Collection. The move will also give us the opportunity to enhance the activities of European Sources Online by expanding our office space, which will allow us to take on more interns.

We intend to continue hosting events in the new premises. However our ability to hold larger events such as the Erasmus Reception and the Euro-Quiz will suffer. Although we can use other venues, this will not draw people to the Centre itself. The challenge is to find other ways of promoting the EDC.


Q: Would the Cardiff EDC be interested in taking part in more events?

A: Our priority is to serve the academic community, but as Cardiff University has a positive attitude towards wider community involvement and engagement we would be happy to consider taking part in more events. However, as an EDC we receive no funding for such activities. Currently, we have an extremely positive relationship with the Representation of the European Commission in Wales, which enables us to organise some of our events.


Q. Does the Cardiff EDC carry out any promotion in schools?

A. We continue to promote the Centre’s activities and services to schools, but we do not have the resources to actively go out and visit schools. With the support of CyMAL, European Sources Online is freely available to all schools in Wales, and we believe ESO would be particularly useful for schools participating in the Welsh Baccalaureate. However, we continue to find it difficult to raise awareness of this offer to relevant teachers.


The next meeting of the Forum will take place in the second half of 2011, when we hope to offer an early opportunity to view the new location of the EDC (see below).


Relocation of the Cardiff EDC in 2011

The Cardiff EDC has been located in the Guest Building since 1988 (prior to that it was situated in the Arts and Social Studies Library). For most of that time the EDC primarily made use of Room G25 while sharing other facilities with Information Services (INSRV) colleagues from the Aberconway Library, which serves Cardiff Business School (CARBS).

In 2006 our INSRV colleagues moved back into the Aberconway Building, and the EDC was able to expand into some of the other rooms. This extra space has, almost fortuitously, allowed us to create a welcoming European identity, offer more exhibition space, provide European satellite TV channels and host a series of events. The Cardiff EDC is probably the leading physically resourced centre in the Europe Direct Information Network in the UK.

Thus, it is a challenge that we will be leaving these well-resourced and well-loved facilities that have allowed the Cardiff EDC to assume its prominent and respected role. The chosen relocation site is the Guest Extension, an existing smaller building behind the Guest Building.

Refurbishment of the Guest Extension began in August and the expectation is that we will move into our new home at the beginning of October. For a period after the move we will need to use a temporary entrance while the Guest Building is being demolished. The new permanent entrance should be available from January 2012.

Hopes are that the new facilities will provide a pleasant working environment for staff, students and visitors to the Cardiff EDC. We are trying to ensure that there will be the flexibility to welcome visitors to the centre for events and receptions – the key challenge will be the smaller amount of space that is available.

To see the planned layout of the new Centre click on the link below.