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February 20th, 2012

Camden Council joins SELMS consortium to maintain and improve library services

North London libraries to benefit from Civica consortium’s unique know-how and shared IT functionality for library management.

Camden Council in North London has joined the South East Library Management (SELMS) consortium, in order to support and enhance front line services. Serving over five million people across the South East of England, the 11 member SELMS consortium benefits from a centrally managed service provided by Civica, a market leader in specialist systems and business process services that help organisations to transform the way they work.

Camden, which hosts over 2.2 million visits by the public every year, joined SELMS to share resources and expertise with other library authorities, underpinned by Civica’s Spydus library management systems. This move is part of Camden’s continuing drive to enhance its front line services, achieve wider and cross-boundary collaborative working and streamlined administrative processes.

SELMS was formed by six authorities in 2006, as a forward-thinking partnership with Civica to optimise resources and support for continual improvement of library services.  Through SELMS’ pioneering model and shared approach to working and resources, members operate under a common procurement framework, based on a common hosted systems platform. This enables all of the consortium members to develop new best practices, enhancing the services available to staff and the public while maintaining their local character. SELMS requested the system to be developed to allow interoperability of all authorities’ cards to enable greater flexibility. This innovative consortium functionality of the customer cards enables users to transfer between different authorities and have greater access to services.

Civica’s Spydus software is provided as a managed service to its members and improves their library management systems’ (LMS) functionality and ability to share resources and lending arrangements between all participants.  Spydus’ integrated and automated system can include web-based and mobile solutions. These can accommodate the growing traditional book and e-lending workload and optimise resources across all of the member libraries. This includes staff training, purchasing power, developments and available stock management.

Diane Chilmaid, SELMS chair and Business Support Manager for Kent County Council’s Library and Archives Service, commented: “Camden will be able to drive service enhancements using SELMS members’ expert know-how and the consortium’s common processes and system resources that have been developed and refined over a number of years.”

Simon Parkes, Director, Libraries and Learning, Civica, commented: “With libraries facing unprecedented change and pressures under the coalition, we are proud to be a part of SELMS’ ongoing development and drive for innovation. We are delighted that its scope continues to grow with library services, such as Camden, which are at the heart of their community. The consortium functionality allows all 11 members to operate across all boundaries in order to deliver greater services and resources to its end-users.”

SELMS members are Brighton and Hove City Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Kent County Council, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Medway Council, Milton Keynes Council, The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Slough Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, Hertfordshire County Council and the London Borough of Camden

Camden Council’s library visits data is available at: Click to view