The M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries is a collaborative organisation that works to improve library and information services within the M25 region and more widely across the East and Southeast. Since its formation in 1993 the Consortium’s work in three strategic areas has produced services and resources for the benefit of learners and researchers.
- Services to learners and researchers
The Consortium took the lead in providing widening access to library collections through the M25 Access Scheme. The success of the M25 scheme influenced the creation of the SCONUL Research Extra scheme. M25 members are also encouraged to join the UK Libraries Plus scheme.
Alongside physical access, the Search25 suite of services provides electronic access to the unrivalled collections within the Consortium. The Search Catalogues service allows users to simultaneously cross search forty catalogues, including large University collections, such as UCL and LSE.
- Mutual Support of member libraries in improving services to their users
Through cpd25, the Consortium provides high quality training and development at an affordable price. cpd25 offers an extensive portfolio with a programme of events tailored for staff at different stages of their careers. The programme also covers a wide range of issues from legal compliance to building management that support the diverse aspects of library and information service provision.
The Consortium supports members in improving services for their users by providing a collaborative forum for sharing expertise and good practice. Working Groups in areas including Disaster Management, Quality Management and Disabled and Special Needs Support produce resources and services to support staff in member libraries. Through this work a number of valuable resources such as the Disaster Management and Service Level Definition templates have been made available to members.
- Collaboration and Influence
Acting as a single voice for its diverse membership, the Consortium has been able to represent the interests of academic and research libraries at the regional and national level. The Consortium has built successful and productive relationships with organisations including the London Libraries Development Agency (LLDA), London Higher and the Association of London Chief Librarians (ALCL). Through these partnerships, the Consortium is able to influence policy and promote cross – sector collaboration.