Summary of recent progress towards regional library management systems for the NHS in England

In the North….

The North East LMS catalogue has been integrated into all local instances of the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub. There’s a little more fine-tuning to do, but so far, so good. Following information-sharing and demonstrations in the North West, service managers have been invited to indicate if they’d like to be included in the first phase of implementation of a shared LMS, and pre-implementation preparatory work will start in September.  KLS staff in Yorkshire and Humber have been invited to join an initial information-sharing meeting next month.

In the Midlands and East….

The Health Libraries Midlands (HeLM) consortium launched in mid-April with services in Coventry and Warwickshire joining the existing BASE consortium using a shared Koha system. More services are set to join - HeLM will comprise 23 services (42 physical libraries) by the end of October 2022 – with Emily Johnson from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT continuing to manage expansion. The HeLM catalogue has been integrated with all members’ instances of the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub.

The East of England’s Koha system went live in mid-May, and catalogue integration with local Hub instances will be rolled out shortly. The implementation project was ably managed by William Henderson from Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS FT, before his departure to work at UCL Cruciform Hub Library. Ian Rennie from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS FT is kindly providing system management support through the next period. 

In London….

South London libraries’ shared Koha consortium is gradually being scaled up. Three services joined in April, work to onboard three more commenced this month, and a further three set to join in the autumn. Doug Knock at Kings College London NHS FT has done a sterling job helping to oversee the work, and we are delighted that Sarah O'Reilly will next month be starting in the HEE-funded post of LMS Administrator. 

In the South…

Kent, Surrey and Sussex libraries’ Koha system went live just a week after the East of England’s, at the end of May – quite a change for the region after over 16 years using the SirsiDynix software. The project has been managed by Rosy Bennett at the Royal Surrey NHS FT, working closely with system administrators Susan Merner and Michelle Onyett, as well as William and colleagues in the East.

And last but of course not least, with the 5-year contract for the Axiell LMS used in the South West (the SWIMS system) ending in March 2024, work has started to review options for reprocurement. 

If you have any questions about library management systems in your region, please contact the team via [email protected]