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UK's leading consortia organise 'Consortia Conference' - 3 May 2012

Two of the UK's largest public library consortia, the London Libraries Consortium and LibrariesWest, announce a consortia conference to be held on Thursday 3 May in Bath.

London  ()

The day-long conference aims to equip delegates from local government and public libraries across the UK with the knowledge to set up their own consortium or to implement shared services or shared working on a smaller scale.

Five member strong LibrariesWest serves a population of 1.6 million people in 109 libraries and is a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire library services.

Jon Scown, on behalf of LibrariesWest, explains, "We set up our consortium 15 years ago and have gained a great deal of experience which we feel would benefit other authorities looking at joint working. With the current climate of cuts, consortia working is an ideal way to be able to 'do more with less'."

LibrariesWest has just issued its annual report ( where Cllr James Hunt, Executive Councillor: Communities, South Gloucestershire Council, says, "LibrariesWest is an essential part of the South Gloucestershire Library Delivery Plan; through working in partnership we are able to provide the best value for money to our residents and strive for the
highest quality library service."

The London Libraries Consortium (LLC) consists of 15 London Boroughs and has grown dramatically since it was set up in 2004. It now caters for over 3.6 million Londoners who can use their library card at any of over 150 library branches. Madeline Barratt, on behalf of the LLC, adds, "The conference will demonstrate that there can be many flavours of shared working, all of which can be equally effective. We've learnt many lessons along the way and we'd like to share our experience with other library services."

Speakers from the two consortia will cover topics including:

  • Consortium governance
  • Integrated backroom services
  • Online reference services
  • Shared bibliographic services
  • Shared enquiry services
  • Value of consortium membership to individual authorities

Workshops will provide the opportunity for delegates to find out in greater detail the benefits of consortia working to staff and to library users.

The conference is priced at £75 per delegate plus VAT, which includes all refreshments and a two course lunch. The event takes place at Bath's Guildhall, which is conveniently located in central Bath and easily reached by train or car.

For more information and to book, visit or contact Catherine Dhanjal on 0800
998 7990/0794 166 9925 or


The Answer UK
Editorial Contact:
Catherine Dhanjal
0800 998 7990