Portsmouth libraries introduce web-based lending service

Portsmouth city council is to introduce a web-based lending service for its libraries, giving members of the public the ability to browse its collection and reserve books and audio-visual materials online.

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Portsmouth city council is to introduce a web-based lending service for its libraries, giving members of the public the ability to browse its collection and reserve books and audio-visual materials online.

The online lending service will be based on Civica’s Spydus library management software. The Spydus platform will be introduced across the council’s nine libraries, beginning later this year.

The service will allow members of the public to search the libraries’ 380,000 books and audio-visual items online, reserve the items they want and create their own web-based profiles. It is also designed to streamline back-office administration, allowing staff to spend more time dealing with the public face to face during peak hours at the libraries, which receive more than £1m visits a year.

Eleanor Scott, the council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “We wanted to modernise our services in line with the internet age. We will be making innovations such as individual lending and information searches over the web while making counter services more flexible.

“While the programme is at a very early planning stage, there is tremendous potential to create a complete learning and information portal covering books to newspaper archives.”

In the long term, Portsmouth council is hoping to create an integrated information gateway to all its museums, archive collections and online information.

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