Library shared services

Supplier for a single shared library management system for all welsh public libraries-- announced (September 2105) see below..

National Digital Platform for Wales - contract award
From the notice
"The National Digital Library Service will be a key feature on the website and will bring together some of the existing online resources already available via the website along with additional online resources which will enhance the offer.We are looking for a modern, fresh, dynamic website. We would like to improve the UX (user experience) and increase the online social engagement, re-creating the trusted, offline library experience in a new online public space.
The audience is both the public and library staff across Wales. The website functions not only as a virtual library e.g. access links to free e-books and e-magazines, search for a book across all Welsh library catalogues, but also as a place to find out about library campaigns and library news"
Estimated contract value £35,849

Unified Digital Platform for All Libraries in England

Stakeholder meetings were held on 14-15 September 2015. A preliminary version of the project report was discussed
"The Society of Chief Librarians is working to create a unified digital platform for public library resources aimed at increasing use of libraries b
y existing and potential customers
The project will work with SCL’s key partners and stakeholders who share an interest in providing content for a unified web platform. These groups include: The British Library, The Reading Agency, the Combined Regions, Collections Trust, OCLC and Library 21, a project which explores how, in a digital age, we can make the public library space the most thrilling place to go for readers and give the public access to an unprecedented range of digital content
As a result of a public tender for the work, SCL appointed BiblioCommons, a Canadian company that works to transform how libraries serve communities online. The initial phase of the project, which is funded by a £30,000 grant from Arts Council England, will research consumer and library sector needs and create a vision and roadmap for the unified digital platform. Work on stage 1 is expected to complete at the end of March 2015."
Stakeholder meetings were held on 14-15 September 2015. A preliminary version of the project report was discussed. A final report is awaited....(Dec 2015)

Sieghart on a national infrastructure for (English) public libraries

Future libraries, William Sieghart LGA website 19 June 2014

"It is possible to strengthen the service nationally without losing the local approach. My strong view is that part of the answer can be found through offering a digital network for libraries, which could include a single management system, one library card valid in all libraries in England,......Once set up, this network could also be a vehicle for improving the leadership of, and vision for, libraries; more joined-up procurement; the sharing of best practice and encouraging change – without conflicting with the need for local approaches. It could give users access to a much wider choice of materials..."

Libraries-a shared services success story

Libraries systems appear to be one of the success stories of shared services in local government. There is a national shared service (for discovering books and resources) and by 2015 over a quarter of UK *Library* authorities (representing a higher share of councils) share a library system. Some like the SELMS consortium are very large indeed. Some shared services, like the September 2015 contract for a library system for Wales, are national in scope. The Welsh initiative anticipates savings of 60-70%.

'The benefits of such a ‘shared service’ to citizens are clear. Better access to more resources and requests are met more quickly. The fact that the participating local authorities are also making significant cashable savings is the icing on the cake. The lead authority, Havering has already made savings in the region of £100,000 and expects similar saving this year (2006/07). Much is being re-invested in improvements to front line services. Issues have gone up 9% for the last two years. Stock procurement is now much more efficient and, in Havering, the cost of adding books to stock has fallen over eightfold.'

So writes Ann Rennie in her article about the experience in the London Libraries Consortium (LLC). Ann's article 'A Better Library Service Costs Less: Shared Services in London Libraries' is in the 'Personal Perspectives' section of this wiki

London Library Consortium
Shared services – a proven model for libraries. By Madeline Barratt. ( 25 July 2012
'Shared services are under the spotlight at the moment with the cost savings or lack of savings created by shared services centres under scrutiny. However, physically co-locating services is not necessarily the only or best model for sharing services'.

A national service for discovery and delivery of academic journal articles

Access to research

From January 2014, over 1.5 million academic articles are available, free of charge, in participating public libraries across the UK. Students, independent researchers and small businesses can now access many of the world’s best academic papers through their local libraries, a result of a unique collaboration between librarians and publishers, who have made their journal content available for free.

A national (UK public library) catalogue

See the 'National Catalogue'article for more information.

Bookmark your Library

This provides information on public libraries across the UK and includes a link to the national catalogue Fab Libraries launched in 2012

Fab Libraries

FABLibraries provides access to more than 149 UK public library catalogues in a single search. It will link you to the library’s own website, tell you if it is available so you can get your local library to borrow it for you, and will even show you library locations on a map and the distance from where you are.

OCLC and The Combined Regions (TCR) have announced plans to launch Britain's first freely accessible national public library union catalogue, the first of its kind in the country. (note this has morphed into fabLibraries -see above)

While the objective is to ultimately include all UK public libraries within the catalogue, initially, the project will provide a view of holdings contributed to WorldCat by the 149 local authorities with a current full package subscription to UnityUK. As the UK's only national network for resource sharing, UnityUK participants already provide regular updates of holdings records to WorldCat, which are intended primarily for inter-library loans purposes. This data, as it stands, will be used to provide an initial 'proof of concept' of the union catalogue for review by those UnityUK libraries with a full package subscription in spring 2011 (see timings below).

This preliminary version of the catalogue will then be extended to include other UK public libraries that do not currently have a full package UnityUK subscription and wish to join.

As a pre-requisite for the project, the holdings data of participating libraries will need to be made visible on the open Web through Having your collection discoverable virtually anywhere on the Web through was previously only offered to UnityUK participants as a chargeable service. Now, OCLC will provide this unique benefit as part of a full-package UnityUK subscription and has therefore been factored into the 2011 renewals with these customers.

UK public Library consortia/shared services

Scottish Consortium of Public Libraries (SCoPL)
  • Angus
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Aberdeen City
  • Aberdeenshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • High Life Highland
Following a procurement exercise carried out by Tayside Procurement Consortium on behalf of the Scottish Consortium of Public Libraries (SCoPL) consisting of, Angus, Perth & Kinross, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and North Ayrshire councils as well as High Life Highland, the consortium has awarded a contract worth £1.5 million for a new library management system to Civica


September 2015
The Welsh Government has announced plans for an all-Wales library card, which would allow users to access library services wherever they are in Wales.
Welsh Government has awarded a single-supplier framework contract to SirsiDynix, one of the largest library management system vendor. The move could also save local authorities up to 70% on current costs, with all local authorities adopting one single system rather than each having individual ones, as is the current practice.
Friday 04 September 2015
From the Tender notice (12 January 2015)
Supply and Implementation of Library Management System for Public Library Authorities in Wales.
Local authorities included:
  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
  • Bridgend County Borough Council
  • Caerphilly County Borough Council
  • Cardiff Council
  • Carmarthenshire County Council
  • Ceredigion County Council
  • City and County of Swansea
  • Conwy County Borough Council
  • Denbighshire County Council
  • Flintshire County Council
  • Gwynedd County Council
  • Isle of Anglesey County Council
  • Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
  • Monmouthshire County Council
  • Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
  • Newport City Council
  • Pembrokeshire County Council
  • Powys County Council
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
  • Torfaen County Borough Council
  • Vale of Glamorgan Council
  • Wrexham County Borough Council
  • Grwp Llandrillo Menai

Black Country Consortium

The Black Country sits at the heart of England and covers 356 sq. It is home to over 1.1 m people.
Local Authorities included:
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough
  • Walsall Metropolitan Borough
  • Wolverhampton City,
Selected the Sierra Library system for : Innovative Interfaces Global Ltd
Award notice: 12 February 2015
Initial estimated total value of the contract: £345,000 (GBP)
Presentation on the consortium- September 2015 given at the National Acquisitions Group (NAG) conference


(Use the Axiell (was DS) Galaxy Library Management System)
Bedford Borough
Central Bedfordshire
Luton Culture (left 2015?) and joined the London Libraries Consortium)


Selected SirsiDynix in May 2014)
currently consists of: (but is open to other authorities joining at a later stage).
All 5 authorities will migrate to the new system during 2014-15.
Nottinghamshire, "Inspire is a new, independent charitable organisation, set up to deliver great cultural services in Nottinghamshire from 2016".
Nottingham City "Inspire is a new, independent charitable organisation, set up to deliver great cultural services in Nottinghamshire from 2016".
Derby City
Rutland, but is open to other authorities joining at a later stage. All 5 authorities will migrate to the new system during 2014-15.

Gloucestershire and Swindon

(Based on the Capita -Chorus hosted system)
Gloucestershire County Council and Swindon Borough Council will use Capita’s library management software
(press release September 2013)

Greater Manchester

(Use the Civica Spydus Library Management System)
Blackburn with Darwen
With plans to extend to other authorities in 2015

Libraries West

(Selected SirsDynix Symphony in July 2015 -moving from Axiell)
Bath & N. E Somerset
Dorset (county)
North Somerset
Poole (borough of)
South Gloucestershire

London Library Consortium (LLC)

(Use the Axiell (was DS) Galaxy Library Management System)
Barking & Dagenham
Luton Culture
Richmond Upon Thames
Tower Hamlets
Waltham Forest


(Based on the Civica -Spydus- Library Management System)
Brighton & Hove,
Hammersmith & Fulham
Milton Keynes
West Berkshire
Windsor & Maidenhead


Scottish Consortium of public libraries
Based on the open source Evergreen library system -supported by PTFS-Europe)

Stirling (Founder member 2011)
East Dunbartonshire (Founder member 2011)
Western Isles library Service (Leabharlainn nan Eilean Siar) (Joined 2012)
Clackmannanshire (Joined 2012 )

South West Wales

(will be superseded by the single Welsh system -see above)
Based on the VubisSmart system from Infor


Selected Civica (Spydus library system) in 2012)


(will be superseded by the single Welsh system -see above)
Based on the Capita Alto/Prism library system

Tri-Borough (London)

SirsiDynix Symphony system . London Boroughs of:
Hammersmith and Fulham
Kensington & Chelsea