A partnership between State and Local Government has selected global library software provider SirsiDynix for the innovative One Library project.
Under the project, a single card will give users anywhere in South Australia access to more than 4 million items from any of the State's 135 public libraries.
LGA President Mayor Kym McHugh said the initiative will provide benefits to library users, simplify networking between libraries and make substantial savings.
"Councils will save more than $3m on the costs of replacing their individual systems and their annual operating costs will also be significantly lower."
Savings will be reinvested in other public library initiatives as agreed in a recently negotiated 10-year funding agreement between the LGA and Arts Minister John Hill.
"I want to place on record my appreciation for the support of Minister Hill, the Libraries Board of SA, the staff of Public Library Services and the many Council staff and contractors who supported the project," Mayor McHugh said.
Minister Hill said, "This is one of the most innovative projects in libraries in Australia.
"I urge anyone with an image of dusty bookshelves in their minds to visit their local library - they will discover vibrant centres with online access and services for all ages."
The One Library Management System was originally estimated to cost $7.2m but will now cost $4.6m - a saving of $2.6m - including project management and implementation.
Final contract negotiations with SirsiDynix are expected to be completed within weeks.
SirsiDynix is the global leader in library technology solutions, serving more than 23,000 libraries in 70 countries.
The project will be rolled out progressively to libraries over the next three years with the first likely to be operating during the first half of 2012.
For further information contact Ruth Awbery on 0428 822 114 or Mary Ann Stenberg from the LGA on 0428 860 274.