Two of the UK's largest public library consortia, the London Libraries Consortium and LibrariesWest, announce a consortia conference to be held on Thursday 3 May in Bath. The day-long conference aims to equip delegates from local government and public libraries across the UK with the knowledge to set up their own consortium or to implement shared services or shared working on a smaller scale.
Five member strong LibrariesWest serves a population of 1.6 million people in 109 libraries and is a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire library services. Jon Scown, on behalf of LibrariesWest, explains, "We set up our consortium 15 years ago and have gained a great deal of experience which we feel would benefit other authorities looking at joint working. With the current climate of cuts, consortia working is an ideal way to be able to ‘do more with less'."
LibrariesWest has just issued its annual report (www.librarieswest.org.uk) where Cllr James Hunt, Executive Councillor: Communities, South Gloucestershire Council, says, "LibrariesWest is an essential part of the South Gloucestershire Library Delivery Plan; through working in partnership we are able to provide the best value for money to our residents and strive for the highest quality library service."
The London Libraries Consortium (LLC) consists of 15 London Boroughs and has grown dramatically since it was set up in 2004. It now caters for over 3.6 million Londoners who can use their library card at any of over 150 library branches. Madeline Barratt, on behalf of the LLC, adds, "The conference will demonstrate that there can be many flavours of shared working, all of which can be equally effective. We've learnt many lessons along the way and we'd like to share our experience with other library services."
Speakers from the two consortia will cover topics including:
- Consortium governance
- Integrated backroom services
- Online reference services
- Shared bibliographic services
- Shared enquiry services
- Value of consortium membership to individual authorities
Workshops will provide the opportunity for delegates to find out in greater detail the benefits of consortia working to staff and to library users.
The conference is priced at £75 per delegate, which includes all refreshments and a two course lunch. The event takes place at Bath's Guildhall, which is conveniently located in central Bath and easily reached by train or car.
For more information and to book, visit www.consortiaconference2012.com or contact Catherine Dhanjal on 0800 998 7990/0794 166 9925 or email@example.com.
LibrariesWest (www.librarieswest.org.uk) is one of the leading public library consortia in the UK, and is a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire library services. It is seen as an example of good practice where authorities work together to achieve savings and efficiencies, and to bring fresh thinking, new ideas and innovation to the service offered to customers. The consortium serves over 1.6 million residents across an area of 1,847 sq miles and through over 100 library branches.
London Libraries Consortium
The London Libraries Consortium has 15 members, almost half of London's Boroughs: Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Havering, Kingston Upon Thames, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth. It serves over 3.5 million residents and offers over 6 million items of stock through over 150 library branches.