London Libraries Consortium represents 12 London Public Library Services, a third of London’s boroughs. The consortium is at the forefront of technology and 10 of its 12 members are already offering e-books to library customers ahead of the recommendation for free access to e-books outlined in The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: a Policy Statement (published today 22 March 2010).
However, the consortium also strongly believes in the value of books for knowledge and pleasure. Library resources are shared across London and library members can borrow from and return stock to any library within the consortium giving them access to over 100 libraries in London and effectively creating one card across a third of the Capital. The consortium believes measures such as these which are of genuine help to the public will work on reversing the decline in use of public libraries.
Established in 2004, the consortium uses joint working to improve innovation and back office efficiencies and to negotiate reduced supplier rates through joint procurement. The Review recommends consideration of a new strategic body for libraries.
Madeline Barratt, Libraries Strategy & Performance Manager, Enfield Libraries, says, “Since 2004 the London Library Consortium has offered joint leadership and development for a third of London Boroughs, ensuring they retain a local focus whilst benefitting from strong leadership and strategic direction. This has a real impact on the services the consortium delivers to its customers -- and on members’ efficiency.”
The consortium’s local offer includes keeping some monies in reserve for ‘local flavour’ titles. This helps to ensure that the libraries don’t just replicate bookshops but also stock popular out-of-print items – the service that no bookshop can offer - and maintain their educational and social role.
Notes to editors
1. London Libraries Consortium members: Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth.
2. The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: a Policy Statement (published today 22 March 2010).