The London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley are to become the sixteenth and seventeenth members of the London Libraries Consortium when they join in January 2013, meaning that over half of London's 32 Boroughs will be members of the consortium. This will give residents of both boroughs access to the stock in both Bexley and Bromley with one library card, but also access to the stock from the other 15 members of the London Libraries Consortium: over 6 million items from around 170 library branches across London.
Merton, Lewisham and Kingston-Upon-Thames have also joined in the last 18 months. Members of the consortium collaborate on procurement, knowledge sharing and shared services, as well as jointly working on new service developments.
Cllr Don Massey, London Borough of Bexley's Cabinet Member for Leisure, said, "I am delighted we have joined the consortium. It will provide notable benefits for our residents. It allows us to share best practice with other boroughs, and should also lead to greater efficiency within the service."
Bexley and Bromley Boroughs will soon be merging their catalogues into the consortium database, via Axiell's OpenGalaxy Library Management System.
Cllr Morgan, Bromley's Portfolio Holder for Renewal and Recreation added, "Not only do we get access to the stock of the other 15 boroughs in London, and they ours, but it will mean that we have a shared computer system in place between Bexley and us, which means staff can work more effectively and efficiently across both boroughs."
The implementation process for the new Library Management System is now underway and is expected to be completed early in the New Year.
Bexley and Bromley back office Library services merged in January 2012.
When they complete the joining process in January 2013, the library branches of the new joiners will be added to the Google map (http://bit.ly/WL47Qm) showing LLC branches throughout London [jpeg of map attached].