Resellers could earn a share of £750,000 following central government’s allocation of IT funding to 40 regional public libraries.
In August the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the University for Industry (UfI) assessed 86 council applications for the funding, of which 40, including Hammersmith and Fulham, were last week awarded shares of between £10,000 and £20,000.
The money can be used by council libraries for a variety of IT-related projects, such as wireless hotspot creation, satellite provision on mobile libraries and interactive whiteboards.
Chris Batt, chief executive of the MLA, said: “All of these library services recognised that simply buying new equipment is not enough, and that innovation is best demonstrated by how that new equipment is used.”
Sarah Jones, chief executive of the Ufi, said: “Transforming access to learning and public services through technology is a priority for Ufi.”
Although it is down to the individual councils to decide how and where their IT funding is spent, CRN understands that some councils operate approved-supplier lists that could be first in-line to bid for library IT roll-out contracts.
One such supplier is videoconferencing reseller JKC. John Cooper, managing director of the firm, said: “VARs will be interested in this. It’s a good opportunity for resellers to roll out IT kit for their local council.”
Johnathan Tunstall, Microsoft solutions manager at VAR Mantix, said the announcement will be beneficial to regional IT suppliers.
“Small local suppliers would definitely be interested in this, and they will probably directly benefit from it. Councils often like to spend money locally because it has a much more positive economic impact on their region,” he said.
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