Nottingham and Leicester city councils are combining their drama and music loans collections to offer a bigger, better service from the New Year.

The new NEMPALS (Nottingham (East Midlands) Performing Arts Library Service) will be launched in January 2016 to provide a quality, sustainable performing arts loans service. This has been developed through extensive consultation and engagement with users with support from Making Music, the UK organisation for amateur music.

The service supports amateur and professional music and drama groups by loaning them printed music and drama sets

The new regional Performing Arts Service will be run by Nottingham City Council from Radford & Lenton Community Library and will serve Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Leicester City Council’s music and drama stock will be transferred to Nottingham, substantially increasing the size of the current collection and reducing the need to order copies from other councils.

User benefits of the redeveloped performing arts service include:

  • Groups will be able to reserve music and drama sets up to one year in advance
  • Specialist staff knowledge and expertise will be available by phone or email
  • Access to a combined stock consisting of around 62,000 copies representing over 4000 different titles/sets, reducing the need to order copies from other councils
  • Online access and payment to the full music and drama catalogue which will show full copy and bookings availability
  • Groups will be able to access their account online and to view current loans and the progress of any orders and requests
  • Queries or stock suggestions can be made using the online system

The new IT system which has been developed will provide 24/7 access for music and drama groups from any location, with training available to help groups get to grips with the new system. The system will be unique in the UK.  Groups will be able to:

  • Register
  • Search and view the full catalogue
  • Order and reserve sets for specific dates
  • Request inter-library loans
  • View charges and make payment using debit/credit card
  • Select delivery point

Music sets will be charged on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis.  Charges will be per item per month. Drama sets will be charged on an annual subscription basis of £50 a year. These charges have been developed following a detailed benchmarking exercise with other councils and from market research and consultation with users, and are competitive with those charged by other councils.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture, said:  “We are always striving to improve our services for both Nottingham and Nottinghamshire users as well as enabling the sustainability of the service through income generation and innovation. This project provides us with a great opportunity to raise the profile of Nottingham Libraries across region and nationally.

Barbara Eifler, Executive Director of Making Music said ‘Making Music is pleased to have been working with Nottingham City Council staff on the extensive and rigorous consultation process and research which has led to this new music library offer. “We are delighted that Nottingham understands the importance of the music library for local groups and has put careful thought and investment into creating the first regional service, with the first bespoke music library IT system in the UK.”