September 26, 2021

Society of Chief Librarians Begins Work on a Unified Digital Platform For All UK Public Libraries

UPDATE March 5, 2015

Today, BiblioCommons shared some additional information on their work with Society of Chief Librarians.

From Their Announcement:

Through extensive interviews and analysis, the project will research the challenges and opportunities facing public libraries in England. At the same time, this project will also create a digital platform that will help advance the mission of public libraries and enhance the well-being of the communities that depend on them.

The platform will be designed to improve how patrons can discover, access, and engage with the resources that public libraries provide, including books, media, digital articles, journals, library programs, events, and much more. The platform will be designed to bring people into public libraries – both virtually and physically. In drawing public library information and resources under one platform, the SCL seeks to expand patrons’ access to the nationwide programs on offer for public libraries in England. These Universal Offers connect people with valuable skills and information in five key areas the SCL has identified: Health, Reading, Digital, Learning, and Information.

BiblioCommons was honored to have been chosen, through a public tender process, to help SCL with this project. The initial phase of this project, funded by a £30,00 grant from Arts Council England, will research patron and library sector needs and create a vision and roadmap for the unified digital platform. Work on this stage is expected to be complete by the end of March 2015.

Original Announcement Posted on February 7, 2015.

From the Society of Chief Librarians:

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) has begun work to envision a unified digital platform for all public libraries in England. This new digital platform for public libraries will improve how library customers can access, understand, and use the information and resources that libraries provide, including book catalogues, digital resources, IT training, events calendars, and library locations and opening hours. This web platform will help bring new users into public libraries, both virtually and physically, and enrich the library experience for existing customers.

As a result of a public tender for the work, SCL appointed BiblioCommons, a Canadian company that works to transform how libraries serve communities online. The initial phase of the project, which is funded by a £30,000 grant from Arts Council England, will research consumer and library sector needs and create a vision and roadmap for the unified digital platform. Work on stage 1 is expected to complete at the end of March 2015.

This project comes at a crucial time for public libraries as they work to keep up with the digital demands of today’s consumer and to address the challenges highlighted in the recent Independent Report on Public Libraries, chaired by William Seighart. In drawing all public library information and resources under one platform, SCL will expand customers’ access to the Universal Offers for Public Libraries, which connect people with valuable skills and information in five key areas crucial to well-being: Health, Reading, Digital, Learning and Information.

The project will work with SCL’s key partners and stakeholders who share an interest in providing content for a unified web platform. These groups include: The British Library, The Reading Agency, the Combined Regions, Collections Trust, OCLC and Library 21, a project which explores how, in a digital age, we can make the public library space the most thrilling place to go for readers and give the public access to an unprecedented range of digital content.

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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