Sheffield and 35 other councils club together to buy library books

Sheffield has joined together with another 35 councils so it can bulk buy library books and save money.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 10:55 am
Updated Friday, 12th July 2019, 11:14 am
Sheffield's Central Library

The city was originally part of a collection of South Yorkshire libraries which formed the Yorkshire Book Consortium, to maximise the number of books they could buy.

The group then expanded and became the North West and Yorkshire Book Consortium with the combined spending power of 36 authorities.

Sheffield will remain part of the consortium and can use it to get fiction and non-fiction for adults, children’s books, audio visual stock and reference materials for the next three financial years.

Alison Jobey, central and collections manager at Sheffield Council, said: “Procuring library materials efficiently and cost effectively ensures our customers have access to a wider range and choice of materials, in a timely manner.

“Borrowing, rather than buying, helps those on low incomes who may not be able to afford books.

“Access to books and other library materials at an early stage in life improves the life chances of children and studies show that reading books helps to improve people’s mental health.”

The report says “cashable savings” can be made from using “significant purchasing power” of a large regional consortium, which Sheffield would be unlikely to achieve if it was buying stock by itself,

It adds: “These savings provide value for money for council tax payers. Based on previous years it is anticipated that spend of around £950,000 could be placed through this framework.

“It is essential that the library service continues to be able to provide a regular supply of new library books and other materials to our customers, both adult and children.

“Usual practice is to order books three months in advance, so new orders must be placed in order to mitigate delays, and complaints from our customers.”