Society of Chief Librarians strikes reference deal

Society of Chief Librarians strikes reference deal

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) has struck a deal to give public libraries in England greater access to online reference materials.

The SCL agreed the deal with JISC Collections, which will provide all libraries with access to Reference Online, a resource of materials including dictionaries, encyclopaedias and other reference works.

It is hoped that the agreement will save libraries £6m over the three years of the contract.

Arts Council England (ACE) part-funded the procurement process for the new deal, giving SCL £36,000 towards the process. The scheme is designed to build both of SCL's own Universal Offers, a guide to services all libraries should offer, and ACE's Envisioning the Library of the Future report, which names making use of digital technology as a priority for libraries.

Janene Cox, SCL president, said: "This is an excellent example of how libraries can broker better deals by working together. It will benefit all public library customers and ensure the best service is delivered."

Ben Taplin, project manager at JISC Collections, which already runs a similar service for academic libraries, said: "We understand the value the framework offers to public libraries and their users, and hope to use our experience in licensing and negotiating in the education sector to build on its successes and bring further savings on the resources that public libraries deliver.”