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Improving public service experience with Civica’s Spydus Library Management System

Since 2007 Richmond Libraries had been part of the London Libraries Consortium (LLC), using Axiell’s OpenGalaxy library system, a product which they had been using since 1984.

Richmond Libraries reviewed their library services in 2011 creating a strong vision which identified the need to harness new technologies to develop modern virtual library services, deliver cost savings and improve customer service.

Along with advances in technology, customer needs were rapidly changing, austerity measures were putting pressure on costs and they had identified inefficiencies within the LLC itself. All of these were strong incentives to change their library management system.

A thorough review and tender process was undertaken to identify the right system that could deliver against their over-riding priority to improve library services for their customers.

"We were looking for a system which would enable us to deliver the vision outlined in our Connecting Communities Library Strategy - not just a Library Management System but one which would incorporate community information, digital images and archival records and an events booking system," says Steve Liddle, Library Strategy and Performance Manager of Richmond Libraries "we evaluated the systems available and Spydus was the one which came closest to meeting our needs." They also identified that by moving to Spydus and joining the SELMS (South East Library Management) consortium, they could benefit from savings of around £45,000 over 5 years.

A catalyst for change and improvements
Richmond used the change in library management system as an opportunity to improve the information they held about their library stock. Thanks to the functionality in Spydus, they were able to carry out a thorough stocktake across all 12 libraries. They can now rely on the data within their library management system to be accurate and up-to-date. Steve says "For the first time in many years we have been able to provide statistics for our CIPFA return that are an accurate reflection of our stock holdings."

Driving real cost savings and service improvements
Richmond had identified that around 40% of its consortium reservations were unnecessary and therefore carried significant transportation costs that could be greatly reduced if a more sensible approach to consortium loans was adopted.

Improving customer service is the most important priority for us and Spydus helps us do just that. "

By migrating across to Spydus we have seen very real cost savings, an increase in borrowing, massive reductions in consortium loans and consequently improved availability of library stock for local residents."
Steven Liddle Library Strategy and Perfomance Manager