In 2013 Local Government Victoria (LGV) commenced a review to explore how public libraries could improve the cost effectiveness of service delivery while further enhancing community wellbeing.
The resulting 2016 KPMG Victorian Public Libraries Review put forward a number of strategic options to achieve these outcomes, including moving to a state-wide Integrated Library Management System (ILMS).
To implement this initiative on behalf of all Victorian councils and Library Services, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) worked with the LGV and Public Libraries Victoria (PLV) to run an expression of interest and selective tender process for the supply of an ILMS and Managed Service.
The Tender process was concluded in February 2019 and the contract was awarded to SirsiDynix Pty Ltd.
History (of the Swift Consortium)
Before the formation of Libraries Victoria, many libraries in Victoria were originally part of the Swift Consortium.
The Swift Consortium was first conceived in 2004 when a memorandum of understanding was developed by four Victorian regional library corporations – Casey-Cardinia, Eastern Regional Library, Wimmera and Yarra-Melbourne. The purpose of the MOU was to work towards a shared Integrated Library Management System (ILMS).
In 2005 a formal governance structure was established and the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) was engaged to act as the legal agent on behalf of libraries participating in the consortium.
Tenders for the provision of a shared ILMS closed 23rd December 2005 and, after an extensive tender review process, SirsiDynix was selected as the successful applicant. The contract was signed in August 2006.
The first libraries went live on the Unicorn system (later rebranded as Symphony) in March 2007.
By 2019, the Swift Consortium had grown from the original four library services to 25 services, including six NSW public libraries. It encompassed over 150 library branches (including mobile libraries), with a combined collection of 3 million items and over 800,000 registered library users.
The six NSW libraries ceased their Victorian arrangements on 30 June 2019 with the remaining members of the Swift Consortium becoming the founding group of Libraries Victoria from 1 July 2019.