Black Country Libraries in Partnership sets innovative plans in motion to improve customers’ experience, by signing a joint deal with Capita Libraries to supply and host their library management system (LMS), in a recent announcement. The deal encompasses four local authorities in the Midlands – Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall
The library management system (LMS), will offer customers a greater choice of stock, while reducing the administration procedures involved in managing the four libraries. This will result in significant cost savings for the partnership, on back office management, as well as the maintenance of hardware and software.
Robert Johnson, chief librarian at Wolverhampton City Council Libraries, comments on the library management system (LMS): “Customers are our prime focus, and the joint library management system will enable the library authorities to move towards a combined Black Country catalogue, a refreshed online presence and a single borrowing card for customers to use in any of the authorities’ libraries.
“The hosted service means that the back-office maintenance is taken care of and routine administration is streamlined, which will free up staff and volunteers to spend more time helping customers get the most from their libraries. With the ability to use the LMS from any internet enabled mobile device, our staff can move away from the counters, get onto the library floor and out into the community, signing up new members and answering their queries in a few taps of a tablet screen.
“From the outset, Capita understood the needs of the library consortium and worked closely with us to deliver a cost-effective solution to achieve our shared service vision. BCLiP see this signing as a pivotal step towards a more vibrant, innovative and accessible library service for the Black Country.”
Improving the security and accuracy of data
Through a hosted LMS, the private sector partner manages and maintains the core system of a library, eliminating the need for onsite hardware and maintenance overheads. This approach enables libraries to run efficiently, while significantly reducing the total cost of ownership. All library management system (LMS) and information, are hosted at Capita’s data centres, thus improving the security and accuracy of data at a library authority.
Karen Reece, head of libraries, further and higher education software at Capita Libraries, says: “Today’s libraries are catering for a technically sophisticated customer base, with high expectations from their library service. A shared library management solution gives partnerships such as Black Country Libraries in Partnership, the flexibility to pool their expertise, resources and purchasing power to deliver a better service to their communities.”
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