The North Yorkshire County Council has appointed Capita, following a competitive tender, to deliver a library management system (LMS) to the region’s council operated libraries. Capita will deploy its cloud-based Chorus LMS, as well as its Soprano web-based staff interface. Through the LMS offering, the Council hopes to reduce infrastructure overheads and costs, while improving staff access to library resources and library member user experiences.
North Yorkshire County was established in 1974 and is the largest ceremonial county in England. Its largest settlements are York (153,717), Middlesbrough (138,400), Harrogate (73,576) and Scarborough (61,749). Much (40%) of the county is made up of National Parks. The council provides a range of services to the region’s residences, including library provisions.
As part of the delivery of its library service, the council recently put out a tender for a library management system (LMS). Following a competitive tender process, Capita’s offering was found to be the best available proposition. The offering provides the added benefit of reducing the level of training required to operate library services, increasing the pool of potential volunteers available for the Council’s plan to add more volunteer library staff; as well as further integration within the council’s financial system, allowing library members to pay library fines and fees online.
Capita’s solution, the fully-hosted cloud-based Chorus LMS, will be deployed at the region’s city council operated libraries. The solution reduces hardware and maintenance overheads, while also freeing library staff from routine administrative responsibilities, enabling them to engage library members with their queries. The Council will also utilise the firm’s Soprano web-based staff interface offering, which allows staff to access the LMS in real-time from internet enabled devices. Soprano will help staff improve the efficiency of back-end functions, including stock checking, circulation and picking efficiency, as well as allowing them to issue and return items, make reservations and answer enquiries from anywhere in the library.
The contract follows on an older contract awarded to Capita. Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Libraries, explains: “Since 2003 Capita has helped us deliver a library service that really benefits residents. It was clear from the competitive tender that Capita was best placed to further improve the Council’s libraries and help deliver the savings that are required over the next five years.”
Karen Reece, Head of Libraries at Capita’s Software Services Business, adds: “We are very proud to have been re-appointed by North Yorkshire County Council. It is testament to the service we have provided over the last 12 years and the confidence the Council has in our ability to generate savings and further improve the region’s library services going forward.”
Public services transformation
Capita has in recent years provided a range of government and local government services. Examples include the firm helping the London Borough of Havering improve its social housing services to residents; its appointment to Transport for London’s (TfL) new IT Solutions Framework; the winning of a contract to deliver a command and control platform to the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service in Wales; and a contract to help the UK Government improve public services in Scotland through the use of ‘design thinking’.