Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Birmingham Libraries to be run by private company

Someone very kindly brought this to my attention, it's a procurement notice for the operation of the Library of Birmingham project;

"The Library of Birmingham project will create a new library for Birmingham, replacing the current 1970’s central library. It will comprise of 10 levels; nine above ground and one below ground amounting to approximately 31,000m² of space. Construction will be completed by mid-2013. The new Library will set new standards for libraries both in terms of iconic design and in terms of creating an exceptional resource for learning, information, and culture. This is an exciting opportunity to modernise the library service for the people of Birmingham for the decades to come. The Library has been designed to be open, welcoming and accessible and with an embedded technology focus running throughout the building. The successful applicant will be expected to operate the Library of Birmingham (LoB) including but not limited to the City’s archive collection, support services for Community Libraries, the Mobile Library, Library Service at Home and management of the Council’s book fund."

See the Library Campaign website for more on this story;

And some breaking news; it looks as if LSSI might be bidding for the contract?

  1. Alan Wylie@wylie_alan19h
  2.   yes thanks for this helpful insight Stuart, are LSSI bidding for it?

  1.   hahaha! That's commercially confidential information! Why does one presume a private co will win it?

see earlier tweet by Stuart Fitzgerald;
Stuart Fitzgerald@stuwystv5 Mar
 almost - actually 1997 California; tomorrow push for Sefton n Brum!


  1. Hello
    Do we know which companies have submitted a tender for this contract, the cabinet papers refer to an 'in-house' bid?
    Is there anyone out there doing any work to oppose this procurement?
    East Birmingham against the cuts

  2. Thanks for your comment Fearless Jones. As you say the Cabinet papers mention an in-house bid but this is pretty standard and to be honest these bids usually don't stand a chance against the bids of the big companies. I would make a very educated guess and say that John Laing Integrated Services (run Hounslow and are prefered bidder for Croydon), GLL (run Greenwich and Wandsworth), LSSI (big specialist library management company) and maybe Civica?
    As for opposing the privatisation proposals all i can say is contact the local Unison Branch and local user/friends groups and i'm more than willing to give my support.

  3. Thanks for the information Alan, and will keep you posted

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