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Civica selected to provide shared library services

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Civica, a market leader in specialist systems and business process services that help organisations transform the way they work, has formed multiple partnerships within the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) to provide a library management system shared across a number of local authorities.

After an initial tender exercise with Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Civica has been selected to help cut costs, increase efficiency and provide a better quality library experience for over 1.5 million citizens. Initially five authorities: Rochdale, Stockport, Oldham, Salford and Trafford are implementing the new system.

Through these multiple agreements, Civica will provide a comprehensive library management system for the authorities to share. This lays the platform for one area-wide catalogue of library resources and one library card in the future. The local authorities have already dramatically reduced costs by sharing Civica’s service and transferring, some of the maintenance and administration of the system. Having a single shared system will also improve efficiency and communication, improve access for citizens and open up opportunities for broader shared services in the future.

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council initially selected Civica as the provider of its new library management system in support of its new Central Library opening in 2013.This procurement exercise provided a framework for the rest of the AGMA consortium to share. Each of the five local authorities has appointed Civica, allowing them to share core services without compromising local individuality. Civica is one of the foremost library system suppliers, working with libraries around the world to develop improved services for the benefit of the community. The Civica Group has developed a strong position as prime contractor for IT-based modernisation programmes with an excellent record of large scale service delivery, including shared services for consortia such as the South East Library Management (SELMS) group.

AGMA libraries will use Civica’s Spydus software, a web-based, automated management solution, to boost the functionality and efficiency of library processes. The software automates the full range of library functions including circulation, cataloguing, public access and acquisitions, inter-library loans, stock rotation, home lending, and requests. The software will deliver enhanced online lending and search capabilities, while improving customer access to library resources and simplifying inter-library loans.

Janet Wood, Head of Libraries, Advice and Information, Stockport Council, explains: “This new shared services partnership has already helped all the local authorities involved to significantly reduce costs related to library systems and will improve the quality of library services. It lays the blueprint to realise our goal of one catalogue and library card across Greater Manchester, a step that is vital to broadening and simplifying library access. From here we are best placed to explore wider shared library services.”

Philip Cooke, Operations Manager :Customer Access, Rochdale Metropolitan Council, continues: “We decided to work with Civica because of its expertise in library management systems and other systems used in local authorities. It has an outstanding reputation for its work with library consortia, and this knowledge opens up the opportunity to connect further services within the wider area. We’re looking forward to seeing how our partnership develops.”

Simon Parkes, Director of Library and Learning, at Civica said: “We are delighted to be supporting the AGMA consortium to develop an environment of greater collaboration, and to help local authorities to maintain and improve services, including widening both the reach and services provided, while achieving savings.”


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