Progressive and fast-expanding Liverpool City Library, which sought a technology partner rather than simply a library management solution, has selected Civica to accommodate its wide-ranging needs.
Civica's Spydus system will deliver functionality that makes life easier for staff, as well as integrating with the library's booking system, self-checking machines, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID and cashless system.
"We set our benchmark high when we went to tender," says Karen Celona, Co-ordinator of Library Operations. "Our selection team of professionals came up with a document so demanding that only four vendors responded. Of those four, only Civica fulfilled all our criteria."
Karen says the Civica solution will benefit library staff by streamlining workflows, making cataloguing work much smoother, more sophisticated and faster. As well as giving more choice and flexibility in cataloguing, Spydus will increase staff's ability to locate resources and information.
Spydus will also enable the library to introduce a blog, allow the Children's section to have its own web page, and deliver better services to Liverpool's 'virtual' library.
"We have about 700 virtual members who don't set foot in the library," says Karen. "Spydus will allow us to redesign our website, create a much better look and feel, introduce discussion forums, add a photographic database, use Syndetics book jacket displays and index our newspapers online."
She says the Civica solution will yield financial benefits by allowing the Library to install the Pharaos Uniprint cashless system. This will result in the library becoming an almost cashless environment, reducing the time staff spend counting money and delivering it to Council.
Library management are confident that the Spydus solution will permit the introduction of new initiatives as they arise. Already, Liverpool City Library has an online language learning centre currently accommodating six languages, and recently introduced wireless hot spots which give customers free online access to their notebook computers and PDAs.
Young customers have 'The.Space', an area with Internet access, PS2 games and a jukebox, while there is a coffee shop in the library foyer. The Heritage library collection is a contrasting attraction. Liverpool Library has begun to attract local business people and lawyers who use the premises for meetings.
Under a deal negotiated recently with Westfield, wireless hots spots in the Liverpool Shopping Mall and Whitlam Centre allow customers to look up the Library database, log information requests and initiate reservations and holds.
At present the Spydus Implementation team are converting raw data. Phase 1, comprising the extensive Circulation module, is due to go live in September, with Phase 2 (Acquisitions, Cataloguing and Clients) due to follow in October. A public launch of the new system is planned for December.
Karen Celona says use of the Liverpool City Library is growing at around 20 per cent a year, and rising. She is confident that the Civica solution will help in accommodating such rapid growth. Currently there are 65 PCs and about 72,000 borrowers, and circulation is around 820,000 a year.
Liverpool City Library is located in a rapidly growing Sydney metropolitan area 25km south-west of Sydney CBD. It is a large, modern library service with a strong focus on education and information, as well as being a venue for social and cultural interaction. Liverpool City Library has four branches: Moorebank, Casula , Green Valley and Miller.