London, March 15, 2007 – Portsmouth City Council's Library Service is to set up web-based lending for its 380,000 books and audio-visual items as part of a complete modernisation of its services beginning this year. The changes are being delivered through an agreement with Civica plc, one of the UK's most experienced providers of consulting, software and services for the public sector.
The lending services will be based on Civica's internationally successful Spydus library management software. Spydus is a web-based application that handles online information research and requests while improving the processing of existing counter-based and related back office systems. The Spydus platform will be implemented across the city's nine libraries from this year onwards.
Portsmouth City Council's Library Service decided to modernise its web-based lending platform with 24/7 service availability. In addition, it wanted to streamline administration and give branches greater service flexibility including putting more staff onto front desk duties at peak usage times.
In the longer term, Portsmouth City Council's Library Service envisages an integrated information gateway to all its museums and archive collections and online information. The department meets the needs of nearly 190,000 people, handling a total of 1,138,879 customer visits each year.
Civica's Spydus library management system enables organisations to set up a range of new customer service channels such as individual lending accounts accessed from any Internet connection. It can support customer contact centres to handle all types of telephone, e-mail and written enquiries. Spydus also enables transaction data to be connected to organisations' main financial systems.
Portsmouth City Council's Library Service selected Civica because of the company's successful library management programmes in the Asia Pacific region and Australia. The department's decision was also influenced by Civica's supply of software systems to a number of the council's departments in recent years.
Civica director Simon Parkes said: "Portsmouth is forward-thinking in its library and information service delivery for its residents. We are very excited about the programme's different online, counter service and learning possibilities, all of which can be built up and integrated using Spydus."