Library users in Wolverhampton will be able to access a greater range of stock than ever before thanks to a new management system being introduced across the Black Country.
Black Country Libraries in Partnership, which comprises the library services of Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall, has signed a deal with Capita to supply and host the region-wide Library Management System.
It will offer customers a greater choice of books and other products and electronic alerts when books are due for renewal, while also reducing the administration involved in managing the libraries.
Robert Johnson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Chief Librarian, said: "Our customers are our prime focus, and this new system will enable the four Black Country library services to develop and share a single Black Country catalogue, improve our online presence and ultimately give our customers a single borrowing card for people to use in any of the Black Country's libraries.
“The hosted service also means that back-office maintenance is taken care of and routine administration streamlined, which will free up staff and volunteers to spend more time helping customers get the most from their libraries.
"With the ability to use the new system from any internet-enabled mobile device, staff will also be able to move away from the counters, get onto the library floor and out into the community to sign up new members and answering their queries at the touch of a button.
“In addition, we will be able to send our customers automated alerts, via text or email, to remind them when their books are due for renewal.
"We see this signing as a pivotal step towards creating a more vibrant, innovative and accessible library service, as well as being a key part of Wolverhampton's 10-year Transforming Library Services strategy to further improve services for our customers."
Karen Reece, head of libraries, further and higher education software at Capita Libraries, said: “Today’s libraries are catering for a technically sophisticated customer base with high expectations from their library service.
“A shared library management solution gives partnerships such as Black Country Libraries in Partnership the flexibility to pool their expertise, resources and purchasing power to deliver a better service to their communities.”
To find out more about Wolverhampton’s libraries, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/libraries or call 01902 552025.