Issue - meetings

Library Books Contract

Meeting: 15/03/2012 - Cabinet (Item 339)

339 North West Library Books Purchasing Consortium - Contract Extension pdf icon PDF 57 KB


A report by the Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Finance detailed the decision of the North West Libraries Consortium, of which Wirral was a member, to extend a purchasing contract for a period of twelve months up to 31 March 2013.


The Cabinet was informed that Wirral had been a member of the North West Libraries Consortium for a number of years.  There were twenty local authorities in the Consortium which was led by Stockport MBC.  There was also a Yorkshire Consortium made up of a number of Library services.  The main purpose was that by working as a much larger purchaser than any individual service, the Consortium was able to achieve economies of scale when tendering for purchasing contracts and subscriptions with suppliers which an individual local authority could not achieve.


The Consortium offered a joint book purchasing contract, framework agreements for periodicals and magazines, the E-Books service supplied by OverDrive, and the Smart SM software system.  There were also a number of on line resource agreements including Oxford University Press News and Who Else Writes Like service.


The current contract had been awarded for three years from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2012 and had been won by Bertrams a leading supplier to Libraries.  Between the North West and Yorkshire there were 33 local authorities using this service and the Consortia had agreed to extend the contract for one year to 31 March 2013.  The service was expected to go out to tender during 2012 with an award in late 2012 with the new contract in place for 1 April 2013.


The Wirral book budget was £509,000 of which £400,000 would be spent through this contract.  The suppliers had a sophisticated system, Smart SM, which assisted staff in ordering books, taking account of other local authorities’ preferences and purchases as well as Wirral Council’s own previous purchases.


Councillor L Rennie informed that she had visited a number of libraries during the week and spoken to the staff about this proposal.  They seemed happy with it as it allowed flexibility with the budget to purchase locally too.




That the extension of the contract be agreed.