England’s 149 public library authorities are being encouraged to save money by using a new online reference tool from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the first initiative of its kind in the country.
The reference service, launched by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), gives library managers access to 26 electronic subscription-based products, including directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers and business information.
Traditionally, public library managers have researched the details and negotiated the costs of online resources individually. However, by undertaking this work on their behalf, the MLA believes it could save the country’s libraries around GBP1 million annually.
The MLA says this money will be free to spend on other services, and benefits to library users could also include a wider range of free online resources.