New software for South Gloucestershire libraries means better books and more variety on the shelves

New stock management software being installed this month in South Gloucestershire libraries will improve the service’s ability to manage their book stocks, meaning a better selection will be available to borrowers and the council will save money to spend on new materials.

South Gloucestershire council has invested £12,000 in the new system, called CollectionHQ, which will help library staff to help library users. Benefits will include:

  • Ensuring that overused, tatty books are more regularly withdrawn, to improve the physical appearance of the library shelves
  • It will save money by showing us how to make better use of our current stock and how to spend the resources we have more effectively
  • This will mean that more copies of popular titles will be purchased, which will cut down reservation waiting lists
  • Staff time will also be saved because the new software will make the selection and management of our collections much more efficient, meaning they have more time to help library users face-to-face
  • Finally, a part of the software will help staff to create eye-catching displays to promote top titles and authors to our customers.

Library users won’t notice anything different in the way they borrow or reserve books, all the changes are behind the scenes. The system works by analysing all the data collected when books are borrowed, to identify how often they have been taken out, their frequency of use and to identify based on other user data, the libraries where particular books will be most in demand.

South Gloucestershire already has one of the highest uses of stock in England, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) 2015-16 library statistics and this system will help maintain the standard and range of stock available.

Cabinet Member for Communities and Tourism, Councillor Heather Goddard, said: “Libraries in South Gloucestershire are already very well used and we are pleased to be able to invest to make our borrowers’ experience even better. This new software will help our library staff by freeing up more of their time to spend dealing directly with residents who use the service.

“It will also allow us to invest more of our resources on the books and other materials that people want, based on an even better understanding of people’s needs.”

The new stock software is just one of the changes currently taking place across South Gloucestershire libraries as the network gears up for the roll out of Open Access services in October. Open Access will allow registered users over 16, who receive an induction at their local branch, access to library services over extended hours, seven days-a-week.

To facilitate the roll-out of Open Access services, the nine libraries where it will be introduced will need to close temporarily to allow for the installation of new security and computer equipment. This programme of work is already underway and each branch will let their users know when they will be affected. More information is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/librarychanges

There is also a full programme of summer activities across libraries in South Gloucestershire. For more information call into your local library or go online to www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries

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