Decision details

Decision to award a contract for Library Management System

Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Under the terms of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, Herefordshire Council has a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service, including the provision of ‘bibliographic and other information as may be required by persons using it’. The delivery of library services is managed via Herefordshire Libraries Library Management System (LMS).

Library Management Systems provide specialist IT services for library authorities including bespoke scripts and services specific to individual library authorities. It integrates with the council’s own IT systems, supplier and partners IT systems, as well as library service hardware.

The council has made a significant investment in the current LMS which has been crucial in delivering new online and digital library services and developing mutually beneficial relationships with local partners. The ongoing development of other library systems and services is dependent on the compatibility and reliability of the LMS.

The current maintenance contract for the LMS is on a one-year rolling arrangement ending 30 June 2020.

In March 2018 a Decision was taken to initiate a procurement process for a new LMS contract starting in 2020. This contract would be for a minimum of five years to support the current and future development of the LMS and give the potential for financial savings.

Following this Decision, a review of service requirements and procurement options was undertaken with the Herefordshire Council Commercial Services team. The review included an assessment of the current LMS and alternative products in the market place, as well as potential costs incurred should the service move to a new system (estimated up to £90k for additional library staffing, equipment, training, systems, project management, support, and resourcing).

The Framework Managed Services for Business Framework Agreement - Y16018 provides a compliant process for the procurement of a new LMS contract for the optimum term required which will enable the delivery of improved library services and reduce costs by an estimated £5k on the current annual service charge from year two of the contract (current value up to £395k over five years). It also offers the potential for further savings which will be reinvested to fund service improvements.

Based on the costs to move to a new system combined with maintenance costs of alternative systems, the best value solution was provided by Capita.

Contact: Jon Chedgzoy, Libraries Manager Email:

Publication date: 20/07/2020

Date of decision: 20/07/2020

Accompanying Documents: