THIS week, Essex and Thurrock Libraries officially join The Library Consortium (TLC), a network of 18 library authorities across London and the South East.
Joining the consortium means that Essex and Thurrock Library members will now be able to access an additional six million items of stock and use libraries in any of the other areas that are also part of the consortium.
These areas include: Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Harrow, Havering, Hounslow, Kingston, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Sutton, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
The Library Management System (LMS) has also been upgraded giving library users easy and accessible ways to use library services. Future developments will include a new library platform, and a 24/7 renewal line.
The new system is also compatible with most mobile devices and via the app, which can be downloaded via Apple and Android App stores.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “I am so pleased that Essex and Thurrock Libraries are now members of The Libraries Consortium.
“Libraries are valued by us and our residents for many reasons and we fully understand and recognise their importance.
“Joining The Libraries Consortium enhances our offer greatly by adding an additional 6 million items of stock that our library users can access.
“Not only this, but residents in Essex and Thurrock, who are library users can also now use any libraries in the other 18 areas, with no need to join or change their membership. It really will be as simple as walking in and using as if it were your local library.
“The new management system provides users with a modern and interactive experience that will continue to evolve and develop.”
“I am keen that we place libraries at the heart of our communities and this is another step towards achieving this.”
You can find out more about The Libraries Consortium here.