History of the Consortium

Swift - a Brief History

The Swift Library Consortium was first concieved in 2004, when a memorandum of understanding was developed by four Victorian regional library corporations - Casey-Cardinia , Eastern Regional Library, Wimmera and Yarra-Melbourne. The purpose of the MOU was to work towards a shared Integrated Library Management System.

In 2005 a formal governance structure was established, and the Municipal Association of Victoria was engaged to act as the legal agent on behalf of libraries participating in the consortium.

Tenders for the provision of a shared ILMS closed 23rd December 2005, and after an extensive tender eview process SirsiDynix was selected as the successful applicant, and the contract signed August 2006.

The first libraries went live on the Unicorn system (later rebranded as Symphony) in March 2007.

Since then, the Consortium has grown from the original four library services to 25 services, including six NSW public libraries. The Consortium consists of over 150 library branches (including book mobiles), with a combined collection of 3 million items, servicing 800,000 registered library users.

Consortium Timeline:


  •  Sep - 4 Victorian Libraries develop Memorandum of Understanding.


  • MAV engaged to act as agent for libraries participating in the Swift Project.
  • Oct - Project Manager appointed.
  • Dec - Tenders for ILMS called for.


  • Jan-Apr - Tenders for ILMS evaluated. SirsiDynix awarded contract for provision of Library System.
  • Sep - Data mapping begun to prepare migrations to new system.
  • Dec - Formal Consortium governance structure developed.


  • Implementation and data migration commences.
  • Mar - First 3 libraries go live. 11 Libraries migrated by year’s end.
  • Jun - First version of Swift Operations Guide developed.


  • Mar - Systems Administrator appointed.
  • Apr-May - 3 more libraries migrated.
  • Sep - System holds enabled for patrons.


  • Feb - Swift wins Local Government Award for Excellence.
  • Mar - Swan Hill join the Consortium. SMS messaging implemented for patrons.
  • Apr - 6 NSW libraries join. 3 migrated into the system Sep-Nov.
  • May - Server upgraded to new Sun SPARC Enterprise 5000.
  • Dec - ChiliFresh Reviews engine added to OPAC.


  • Jan-Mar - Remaining 3 NSW libraries migrated.
  • Mar - Mitchell Shire joins.
  • Oct - Enterprise Discovery Layer implemented.
  • Dec - Contract with SirsiDynix extended for further 2 years to 2013.


  • Jan - 50 millionth loan issued Jan 27th.
  • Jun - RFID standards developed. Implementation of RFID systems commenced.
  • Dec - Goulburn Ovens TAFE join.


  • Portfolio Digital Asset management system implemented by a number of libraries throughout the year.
  • Dec - Swift server relocated to Intervolve data centre on Christmas Day.


  • Mar-Apr - City of Wodonga, Indigo Shire and Towong Shire formerly part of Upper Murray Regional Library) join Swift.
  • July – Extensive restructuring of the Item Statistical Categories within the Symphony system, allowing for a much more standardised approach to item statistics and well as enabling more sophisticated and nuanced statistical analysis of collections and circulation.


  • Introduction of eResource Central, providing seamless integration of e-book and e-audiobooks records with the Enterprise OPAC.
  • Sept – An extensive bibliographic deduplication project is undertaken on both Victorian and NSW databases.


  • Introduction of the BLUEcloud Analytics reporting system
  • Mar-Jun - Eastern Regional Libraries decide to leave the Consortium. A “decommissioning” process is successfully implemented, extracting their users and data from the Swift system.
  • Jul – The Swift One Card system is introduced into Victoria, enabling library members to borrow from any participating Swift library, no matter which library they joined.


  • Feb - Wellington Shire join the Swift Consortium. Live on Swift July.
  • Aug - Glenelg Libraries join the Swift Consortium. Live on Swift October.