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Auckland region libraries get ‘smarter’

Auckland region libraries get ‘smarter’

In what is a first for local government in New Zealand, 5 Councils of the Auckland region have signed an agreement to purchase a new state-of-the-art software system for their public libraries.

The new system will replace the existing library management systems, some of which have been in use for up to18 years.

Colin Dale the project sponsor and CEO of Manukau City Council says on behalf of the regional CEO Forum that “strong leadership demonstrated by the library managers of Waitakere, Rodney, North Shore, Manukau, and Auckland has really brought their shared vision of Smarter Systems, Better Libraries, Greater Auckland, to life”

After 2 years of investigation a unanimous decision of the 5 libraries and their councils has seen a San Francisco based company, Innovative Interfaces selected as the preferred supplier with their product ‘Millennium’.

This regional cooperation extends to the 5 IT departments of the participating Councils which will jointly support the system, with hosting services provided by Auckland City Council.

System implementation has begun and from mid 2005 the system will be rolled out in each of the libraries. It will deliver benefits for customers such as providing common search structures in each library’s catalogue, and enabling libraries to email customers of new books which match their reading interests (if customers chose to register for such a service).

The system will also help libraries manage and contain their overheads and costs. Beverly Fletcher, Manager of Libraries for Rodney District and the Chair of the project’s Board, has been impressed with the already realised short term benefits of working regionally. “It’s all about working smarter. We have vastly improved our buying power through this consortium and we’ve been able to share expertise too. I can also see it providing the impetus for other regional resource sharing in the future” said Ms Fletcher.

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