Bolton library users will soon be able to borrow books from other libraries across the region, thanks to a new initiative launching on National Libraries Day.
From Saturday, February 6 Bolton and six other Greater Manchester councils’ libraries networks will operate a shared online catalogue system - giving access to 2.8 million books and other items held within the participating library services.
People in Bolton will be able to search for books in any of the participating councils’ collections, reserving items using their existing Bolton Libraries card.
Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Trafford councils are all included in the shared Library Management System (LMS) scheme, as are Blackburn with Darwen Council - with Tameside joining later this year.
The Library Management System will make it easier for customers to find information and books, creating a single library catalogue for all the different areas.
Bolton Libraries cardholders will be able to reserve stock belonging to other participating library services.
Cabinet Member for Culture, Youth and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “The new Library Management System enables our library users to enjoy access to books held in libraries right across Greater Manchester.
“We already have a strong record of working in partnership together to bring benefits to our users and this new project will enhance access to collections further and enable all participating library networks to learn from each other’s experience. With such a wealth of items now available, there really is no better time to join the library.”
Interim mayor of Greater Manchester, Tony Lloyd, said: “This is another example of Greater Manchester’s councils working together in partnership for the benefit of local people. This initiative will give residents across the conurbation the chance to share the wealth of literature Greater Manchester has to offer and I encourage everyone to take full advantage of it.”
Arts Council England has provided £30,000 of funding to support the project.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said, ‘This initiative is an excellent example of how libraries can work together to provide better and more efficient services for their users. Greater Manchester libraries should be congratulated on this new development and I'm pleased that the Arts Council has been able to help fund it.'
The Library Management System is based on a framework contract initiated by Rochdale council in 2012.