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Library users in Oxfordshire will be able to renew their books or place requests from the comfort of their own home...
Library users in Oxfordshire will be able to renew their books or place requests from the comfort of their own home or anywhere in the world via the internet by early 2004.

Oxfordshire CC's library service is putting the finishing touches to a brand new contract with expert library management system suppliers, DS Ltd, which will make these and other developments possible.

By April 2004, for the first time, all 43 branch and 7 mobile libraries will be computerised. This will mean users can check whether a book they want is available elsewhere in the county if it is not on the shelves in their local library.

It also means librarians will be able to manage the stock and book reservation services far more effectively, meaning users get a better service.

Neil Fawcett, Oxfordshire CC's executive member for learning and culture, said: 'This new deal will bring real changes to the way libraries operate.

'With the other improvements currently ongoing, such as the installation of broadband technology, with many more PCs and free internet access, our libraries are going to be at the cutting edge of 21st century developments before long.

'These are very exciting times for library users and staff in Oxfordshire. Our library service was recently judged by the Audit Commission as being fair with promising prospects for improvement. These developments show the people of Oxfordshire just exactly what some of those improvements will involve.

Oxfordshire county librarian Andrew Coggins said: 'The choice of DS Ltd as our preferred supplier for the replacement of the library management system represents a huge step forward for Oxfordshire's library service.

'This system will make a major contribution to the modernisation of the county council's libraries and, when completed will offer significant improvements to users county-wide.'

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