Capita's library division announces it is to support the UK's first fully integrated university and public library. The Hive project, a library and history centre bringing together Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester, has selected Capita's library management system (LMS) to manage a range of library services. This will benefit over half a million citizens and over 9,000 students who will have access to more varied and numerous resources than ever before, including books and journals as well as local historic collections.
The LMS will allow the project to provide improved library facilities for users, with intuitive services such as a fully integrated catalogue and extensive self service features including payment of charges via kiosks. The single catalogue will allow citizens and students to join the service online, request items online and receive notifications via email and potentially SMS. It will also enable efficiency savings to be realised by automating some of the back office processes such as managing interloan requests or enabling individuals to join the library.
The project is a unique initiative in which the university and the public library share library services, hosted in a brand new state-of-the-art building. The two institutions will share over a quarter of a million books from their collections and bring over twelve miles of archive collections and 23,000 records into the centre of the city from the record office. The service will also offer 800 study spaces.
"The Hive is an incredibly ambitious and aspirational project, which will serve the people of Worcestershire for many years to come," said Paul Williams from the project's library and collection systems workstream.
"Bringing together the university and public library, alongside the record office, archaeology service and hub represented a real challenge and we needed a supplier who recognised and understood that ambition. Capita's experience in the market and commitment to developing the service alongside us makes them an ideal partner."
The university and local authority list, among their other aims:
- A ground-breaking new building, housing key services under one roof, with a single staff structure
- A fully integrated catalogue and book stock
- Combined IT infrastructure
- Shared management and vision for the service
Capita's solution will help maintain a range of fresh and exciting stock including books, journals and DVDs, assist in extending borrowing methods such as mobile and self service and enable libraries in the region to extend their reach within the community by making their services more accessible. The project will also benefit from back office efficiencies through the use of a single integrated system. This system incorporates the circulation, acquisition and cataloguing of stock, provides integrated access to 30 million bibliographic records and circulation tools which ensure reservation requests are met quickly and efficiently.
Jon Peart, associate director at Capita's library division, said: "This is a very exciting project and proves that shared services and consortia arrangements don't need to be restricted to single sector relationships. I am sure that this project will be viewed with interest across the industry to see how this can improve customer experiences and reduce the overall costs of providing the services. I am very pleased that we are able to provide the system at the heart of this project and look forward to working closely with The Hive to realise the benefits at the earliest possible opportunity."
The solution is currently being implemented and will go live in the summer of 2012 together with the opening of the project's shared main building.