Sorry - have just caught up with this.
Bromley Libraries provides a self financing, charged for business
information service which struggles to survive on purely local use.
Therefore, to make this service more viable, the SELPIG group of south east
London library services is just implementing a co-operative scheme whereby
5 of the authorities will promote the Bromley service to their local users
as if it were their own via chambers of commerce, etc and we will produce
(and share the costs of)joint publicity. Requests come mainly via telephone
and e mail so users need not know that the service is actually provided by
Bromley. We hope this will be a win/win situation; the other authorities
will gain access to a service they do not currently provide for the
relatively small shared costs of the publicity and Bromley will have access
to a much wider potential market.
Adrian Olsen
Head of Libraries & Lifelong Learning
Southwark Council
Chair of the SELPIG Group (Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth,
Lewisham and Southwark)

-----Original Message-----
From: Joanne Cornwall [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 04 December 2002 13:01
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Outsourcing

Thanks to all those who responded to my message.

To summarise the responses:

One example of an contracted service was Westminster city Libraries
business service, which took off with a flourish in the early 90s but then
dwindled and is now a one-person operation offering charged-for services.

There are at least a couple of library-based organisations (Hatrics and
Business Insight at Birmingham) which provide business services on a large
scale through working with local authorities and other partnerships. There
is also a Business Information Service in Denbighshire which has been
funded from European sources. None of these are "outsourced" but have been
set up as separate institutions to provide business services to their areas.

Other than these, I had a couple of comments from people who were strongly
opposed to the idea of outsourcing, and a couple of offers to run the
service for us.

It has been useful to hear people's opinions and experiences. We now await
the results of various meetings!

Joanne Cornwall
Senior Librarian: Business and European Information
Essex Libraries Business Information Service


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