Regional Library Management Systems have been high on the agenda in recent years with all regions at various stages in their development.  With the exception of the North East services, the rest of the north has been a little behind the rest of the country. However that is about to change with rapid developments underway in all three northern regions! By the end of 2023 we will have three regional LMS up and running:

  • North East and Cumbria
  • NoW (North West)
  • YorCat (Yorkshire and Humber).

Please read on to see the latest update for each LMS.  You can also read about developments across the country in a recent blog post 2023-24 roadmap for NHS regional library management systems 

What is happening in the North West?

Phase 1 of the new North West regional Library Management System (NoW) kicked off in February. The 10 trusts who currently use Heritage have been busy exporting their data, which has now been loaded into the test system, and working on data mapping, data cleaning and barcode de-duplication. The in-depth training has just been completed and these libraries will now move into the testing phase where they will check that all the data has mapped over into Koha correctly. This will be on-going over the summer ready to launch the live version at the end of September. It’s beginning to feel more real now we can see our data in Koha and start to understand how it will work moving into a consortium. If anyone would like to look at our test OPAC you can view it at:

The next phases of the project will see the remaining 9 libraries being brought into the new system in batches. Everyone is expected to be live with Koha by August 2024.

What is happening in Yorkshire and Humber?

The LMS for NHS library services (and the Leeds City Council health promotion resource centre) in Yorkshire, the Humber and North Lincolnshire will be known as YorCat. The name was decided by poll using the forum on the FutureNHS site for the project. 13 library services (17 libraries) currently using Heritage will be the first to go live in December.  A service which currently has no LMS joins in early 2024 along with one that already uses Koha. A service with two libraries currently using Soutron joins in May 2024. The final phase of the project is to bring in four Leeds library services by November 2024. The first stage of the project, the much-anticipated collecting of current barcodes for duplication checking, brought relief for most, but a sharp breath for a few (but thankfully not despondency despite nearly 2,000 item barcodes to change for some services). The series of lively working groups to determine policies and procedures are now coming to an end and have produced fantastic engagement and involvement from all participating services. Discussions on the designing of the OPAC and the YorCat logo have rounded off the group talks positively as we now look toward a busy summer of data migration and mapping.  

What is happening in the North East and Cumbria?

In the North East of England, the regional library management system which has been shared for more than 17 years is expanding. The seven NHS Trusts already using WMS are supporting two more NHS library services to move from Heritage. The new Trusts are North Cumbria Integrated Care and South Tees Hospitals.

The group started work in June and a go-live date is scheduled for mid-August.


Many thanks to colleagues across the north for their support and engagement with these important projects and should provide significant benefits for our end users and library services.  There is still lots to do but we are getting there – exciting times!

If you have any comments of questions about any of the LMS projects do get in touch:

Becky Williams –

Alison Thornley (NoW) -

Craig Abbs (YorCat) -

Suzanne Wilson (North East and Cumbria) -

Becky Williams
Health Education England

Alison Thornley
Macclesfield District General Hospital

Craig Abbs
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS  Trust

Suzanne Wilson
based at St Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth