What is happening and why
In April 2021, Essex and Thurrock Library Services will be joining The Library Consortium, a network of 18 library authorities across London and the South East. It is the largest public library consortium in the UK.
Joining The Library Consortium will provide Essex and Thurrock Libraries’ customers with access to over 6 million additional items of stock. It also means we will be upgrading our Library Management System (LMS), enabling us to provide a 21st Century library experience for our customers using new technology and easy to use features such as a modern library app, and a 24/7 renewal line.
So, how is this going to affect me?
As an Essex or Thurrock library customer, your libraries and your library card will look the same and you will still be able to borrow, renew and reserve your items as usual.
The main changes you will notice will be on the new library catalogue where you will get access to all the items available in all libraries that are in the consortium.
Some services will be unavailable during the changeover period (6 - 21 April) and full details about that are covered in other sections of this FAQ.
Items due on or from Monday 4 January have had their loan period extended until Friday 30 April to cover the period when the library catalogue will be unavailable
What is the LMS?
LMS stands for Library Management System. This is a library database which holds and manages library stock and customer information and enables us to deliver our services.
What happens when Essex County Council and Thurrock Council join The Library Consortium?
When we join The Library Consortium (TLC) you will be able to use your library card in any library within the consortium, as well as request stock from any of the libraries. This is because all the libraries in the consortium share the same LMS.
Library staff in the Consortium will be able to access your data when necessary, for example when you have a query on your library card or when you need to update your details.
Which other library authorities are in TLC?
The Libraries Consortium is made up of the following library authorities: Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Harrow, Havering, Hounslow, Kingston, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Sutton, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
What other benefits will I see?
Future developments to our LMS will include an interactive platform where users will be able to follow their favourite authors and find out about forthcoming titles, make recommendations based on user preferences and host virtual book clubs.
What data does the library service hold about me on the LMS?
We only collect the minimum personal data necessary - name, address, date of birth, gender, telephone number(s) and email address. We collect this information so that you can use the services on offer – for example, the public computers, the WiFi, the printing and photocopying facilities, and attend our events and activities. It also means you can borrow items of stock, use our e-resources and reserve or renew items.
Continue to Page 2: Services during the changeover period