A consortium of five local authorities and a culture charity has awarded a contract for a new library management system.
The Scottish Consortium of Public Libraries (SCoPL) will be joined by a further four local authorities who will make use of the system.
Supplier Civica will receive £1.5m over the course of the three month contract – it says that its Spydus software will help improve services and reduce costs.
A statement on behalf of the consortium said: “SCoPL Consortium said: “We are confident that we have a shared platform which will enable us to deliver, individually or collectively, the world-class digital library services and robust back office a 21st century library needs.
“The integrated Civica solution is a significant milestone as we modernise our libraries by streamlining processes and improving the customer experience.”
SCoP consists of councils in Angus, Perth & Kinross, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and North Ayrshire, as well as charity High Life Highland.
Existing Civica customers who will join the contract include Argyll and Bute Council, Inverclyde Council, Leisure and Culture Dundee and South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, ensuring that more than 62% of the Scottish population will be covered.
The web-based system will enable the participants to automate services including public access, bookings, home lending, cataloguing, inter-library loans and stock rotation.
It also allows partners to share stock, but there are no immediate plans to do so
The digital system will go live in November and December for four councils, with the remaining two following next year.
The software is also being introduced in schools withinin some of the areas, starting with Aberdeenshire’s twelve academies. Students will only need a single library card to access services at either their school or the public library.
Lee Burley, managing director of Civica Education, said: “It’s widely known that libraries have faced an uncertain future.
“Against this backdrop, we’re delighted to be able to play a central role in the evolution of Scotland’s libraries, with a view to maintaining their valuable services in the local community.”