Maximising library spaces: intersection of procurement contracts and technology

Published on May 24, 2024
Maximising library spaces: intersection of procurement contracts and technology

Australian libraries are at a turning point.

Propelled by the convergence of versatile procurement contracts and cutting-edge technologies, libraries in Australia are in the midst of a profound transformation.

As centres of the community, they are essential to helping citizens of all ages and backgrounds connect and learn.

We explore how these spaces are being reimagined to meet the evolving needs of those who rely on them and how those who run them can maximise their potential for years to come.

The importance of strategic library contracts

Resource acquisition and strategic contracts are imperative for libraries. Effective acquisition can mean the difference between high-quality, diverse, and accessible collections and facilities and ones that miss the mark.  

When it comes to optimising space, procurement in the library and education sector more broadly needs to extend beyond the more traditional acquisition of books and supporting catalogues. It has to consider the wider world of digital resources, furniture, equipment, and supporting services.

Which brings us to another vital procurement element in this space: library technologies.


How technology is transforming library spaces

Libraries are no longer just the brick and mortar learning spaces they used to be. Technology has served as a catalyst for radical change, fostering greater collaboration, creativity and connectivity.  

From state-of-the-art digital infrastructure to immersive learning environments and experiences, technology empowers libraries of all types and sizes to maximise their offering to users and revolutionise their utility for the future.

Some key technological advances driving this transformation include:

  • RFID and Automated Systems: Inventory management is one of the major functions and challenges of any library. With advances in RFID, management can be more streamlined, enhancing both security and self-service capabilities.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): While not yet a focus for many libraries, options are growing for spaces to integrate VR and AR into their systems in the form of interactive learning, virtual tours, and exhibits, providing a rich and multi-layered experience for visitors.
  • Data analytics and Insights: With great data analytics comes excellent actionable insights. Harnessing valuable data helps libraries to better track patron behaviour and adjust their spaces for better utilisation and user experience.
  • Digital Signage and Wayfinding: Getting lost is never fun. With enhanced signage and wayfinding, libraries can improve the overall experience for users while also promoting a richer, more multi-sensory experience for those of all ages.
  • Collaborative Workspaces: Libraries are hubs of creativity and innovation. By integrating new technologies in the form of hardware, software and supporting equipment, libraries can provide the ideal spaces for new ideas to take flight.


Integrating strong procurement contracts with new technology

While libraries are in the process of changing, it is also important for those in charge of keeping them running smoothly to not lose sight of what builds strong foundations for learning spaces.  

New technologies and design changes are exciting, but they also need to blend with procurement actions that leverage what libraries need now to acquire and plan for what they need into the future.

There are some best practices and strategies that experts in this space can follow to maximise their contracts and procurement outcomes.

  • Engage with users and stakeholders regularly to assess needs: No two communities are exactly alike. By regularly engaging with stakeholders, libraries will be able to identify their preferences and requirements and align procurement strategies accordingly to match them.
  • Plan strategically and allocate budget accordingly: Integrating every single available technology or design upgrade can be a costly and time-consuming process. By collaborating with partners in your same area, you may be able to pool resources for better results and optimise your spaces for a fraction of the cost.
  • Continuously evaluate and adapt from feedback: The solutions you implement will rarely be perfect the first time around. Take the time to ask your users what they think and act on their recommendations. After all, the library is their space, and it needs to reflect what they need to work, play and grow.


Create synergy within your library spaces

Finding the right balance with your library procurement needs can be overwhelming. With our comprehensive Library Collections, Furniture, Equipment and Associated Requirements contract, members will find everything they need to update or revolutionise their learning space, all in an easy-to-access one-stop shop.

From the latest library management system (LMS) and RFID technology, ergonomic and modern furniture and shelving options, and unbeatable category selection, the possibilities are endless.

Discover what’s possible for your library today:


Source: Procurement Australia


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