The Libraries Consortium has been able to grow and flourish thanks to each of its 23 members. There is power in a consortium partnership voice – it provides the strength to lead together under a unified plan, and reinforces the concept that each library contributes to the consistent drive needed to innovate, adapt, improve, influence and persuade. The consortium has demonstrated great determination and the ability to innovate – qualities key in forging a community driven library service that our customers deserve. Whilst some members report making savings as a result of being part of the consortium, for others, the consortium enables them to do more with less – providing access to facilities that they could not afford on their own; to the expertise and resources of all its members; and to savings each year.

The Libraries Consortium History

The London Libraries Consortium

The London Libraries Consortium (LLC) was originally formed of three authorities, Havering, Wandsworth, and Redbridge who, in 2004 came together to share resources and contracts to get the best value for money for customers and their authorities. The LLC was established in 2004 by the London Borough of Havering to procure a single supplier Framework Agreement for the supply of a library management system. This Framework Agreement governed the relationship between Havering and the library management system supplier.

Since 2004, the consortium has continued to grow with other London authorities signing up to this Framework Agreement which enabled them to purchase a shared Library Management System. 

Luton joins

In 2016, Luton Borough Council joined the London Libraries Consortium, changing the geographical makeup of the consortium. 

Sutton takes over as Lead Authority

The London Borough of Sutton became the Lead authority for the London Libraries Consortium in April 2017 establishing a new Framework Agreement for procurement and developing a new specification.

Competition held to identify the best supplier for a library management system that:
  • provides a system that is innovative
  • allows for the development of new service provisions
  • provides on-going adaptability to ensure that the library system can continuously interface with new technology
  • enhances connectivity with other organisations
  • increases the online visibility of public libraries
  • enables customers to interact online. 
New Library Management System goes live.
  • SirsiDynix was the preferred supplier and a new system went live in March 2019 across 16 authorities.
  • London Borough of Croydon joins
London Borough of Hounslow joins
Essex County Council joins
  • Borough of Thurrock joins
  • ESPO Framework for eStock agreed across Consortium.
  • Review of Transport contract underway.
Two more authorities join the consortium
  • London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham joins
  • London Borough of Haringey joins

How does the TLC operate?

  • TLC is a consortium of member authorities. It is not a legal entity. Each member authority takes responsibility for contractual arrangements with suppliers and providers.
  • TLC members become party to the Consortium’s Framework/s and can order (or ‘call-off’) the goods, works or services covered by the relevant Framework/s. Framework agreements are set up by public sector bodies with suppliers to provide goods, works or services according to certain requirements – e.g. price, quality, and quantity. For TLC, the Framework is arranged centrally by the London Borough of Sutton for use across the Consortium.
  • At the core of the consortium is the library management system but the consortium also procures contracts jointly for stock, transport and digital resources including eBooks. 

How is the TLC operated?

  • TLC has a clear governance structure made up of a Strategy group, a Board group and various working groups including User and Stock groups.
  • Groups and meetings are chaired by the London Borough of Sutton.
  • Each member authority has a voice on the Board Group and is able to influence the direction of TLC.

Board oversight and responsibilities:

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