I heard from one of our suppliers the other day that Wales has joined the "consortium" world, but agreeing to develop a whole of Wales one card system - similar to South Australia. This has been confirmed by an article here.
I have been impressed with lots that the Welsh have been doing about performance measurement for libraries & so am not surprised that they are also pushing ahead in terms of making their libraries more accessible for their communities. And it is interesting to note that they have been prepared to quantify the level of savings they expect around the operations of the Library Management Systems.
The announcement follows on from Ireland also pursuing a whole of nation library consortium. It is not surprising that libraries are heading down this path, because we've always been committed to maximising customer access to information & now the technology (both LMS and telecommunications) is allowing us to do it more easily & to save money as we go!
And given my recent visit to China, there may be some more action there at some stage in the future. I will say more about this in the near future.
All of this has got me thinking that perhaps we should start some form of online forum for developing consortia so that we can learn from each other. Given that Wales has chosen the same software company as we have (SirsiDynix) I can see that there would be some specific ways in which we could assist them in understanding the pluses & minuses of various configurations on the software etc.