Redesigning public libraries for the 21st Century
Birmingham City Council was keen that this project should reinvent library services for the 21st Century. This meant an organisation that could respond to changes in customer expectations (including digital needs), appeal to a wider demographic and have a more sustainable, commercially focused operating model. With these principles firmly in mind, Entec Si was asked to design and manage the Library of Birmingham’s entire ICT and Transformation programme.
In response to this brief we built a Programme Team which was made up of client staff, complemented by our specialist resources. It was important for us to draw together library and archive knowledge alongside project managers and ICT professionals. This enabled us to integrate thoroughly with the service and ensure that we could fully capture all requirements and successfully define their solutions.
To underpin the project the team produced a Future Operating Model for the Library of Birmingham, describing how services would need to be facilitated by culture change, ICT and partnership working.
Working with an overall budget of £18m we successfully managed and delivered the outcomes described in the Future Operating Model. These included the procurement and implementation of four major new IT systems, and the installation of the complete technology infrastructure, such as cabling, Wi-Fi, self-service kiosks and mobile staff telephony.
In addition, we designed and embedded significant culture change for the Library of Birmingham, including a new organisational structure and dress code. Staff were empowered to work in a more agile, flexible manner and adopted streamlined policies and procedures. A partnership framework was also put into place to support events and income generation for the Library.
The Library of Birmingham opened on time and under budget on 3rd September 2013, to great public acclaim. Its customers receive a wider range of services, delivered in a more consistent way by dedicated customer experience staff, self-service channels and innovative digital content solutions. Entec Si is enormously proud to have been so thoroughly involved in such a landmark project.
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