Newcastle City Libraries partners with PTFS Europe to give customers better access to books and e-content

Last week, Newcastle City Libraries launched the new Library Engagement Platform, Aspen, to provide the people of Newcastle with better access to books and electronic content. This pioneering, open-source discovery software is the first new platform of its type in years and is supported and hosted by PTFS Europe.

Aspen is a web-based system that works on any device and provides easy access for library users to discover books, e-books, magazines, board games…all items in the Newcastle libraries catalogue. They can also renew items on loan, reserve items and find new content from library sources and external web sites.

David Hepworth, Digital Development Manager at Newcastle City Libraries said: 

We work closely with PTFS who provide our Library Management System, in Newcastle we are early adopters of new Tech and jumped at the chance to work with PTFS to deliver this platform through Newcastle Libraries.  Not only does it provide customers with information about what items we have available to borrow, but provides rich, colourful and enhanced search results from multiple-sources making research easier and more rewarding, and allowing people to stumble on information and make connections that they might not have done without this platform. We badged the platform as Discover | Newcastle libraries – we hope that that name encourages customers to use it to not just find books but to discover a wider world of knowledge, learning and adventure.

Fiona Borthwick, Head of Sales and Account Management at PTFS Europe, said:

We are absolutely delighted that Newcastle Libraries have chosen to implement the Aspen Library Engagement Platform and we are very excited to be working with this revolutionary software. We believe that it will greatly enhance the library service by offering the users a first class searching experience and they will discover there is a lot more to the library than just books! Newcastle Libraries have been a Koha customer since 2018 and are the first to amplify their library service by adopting Aspen.

Aspen Library Engagement Platform 

The Aspen Library Engagement Platform is a cloud application providing library users with a state of the art front-end to the Koha library management system. Library borrowers can search the catalogue and access their own library account where they have full ‘My Account’ functionality and a lot more.
As well as providing a searchable catalogue, Aspen allows the library to connect to lots of different resources, thus offering the users a single search platform where they can retrieve results from e-resources, indexed websites, archive collections, lists and so much more.
The library can create curated collections, placards and collection spotlights to highlight specific areas of interest and direct the users to additional resources. In addition to all of this, Aspen also offers web builder functionality which allows the library to use the system to easily create their own web presence.

About PTFS Europe 

PTFS Europe provides a wide range of products for the library market. These include the open-source library systems Koha and FOLIO, Aspen Discovery, RT: request tracker for enquiry management, Coral for electronic resource management, Metabase business analytics and the Knowvation digital repository. An ISO27001 company, PTFS Europe, provides the full range of services needed to implement, host, and support these products. 

More information on PTFS Europe:

Any questions? Please contact Fiona Borthwick,

About Newcastle Libraries & Community Hubs

The library service operated by Newcastle City Council comprises 14 branches. Members of the public can visit any library to borrow books and other physical items.
Online registration is available allowing the users to make immediate use of the services provided, this means that they can quickly access eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from home with their own device. They can use Discover | Newcastle Libraries from any library PC, or from their own device. The new platform also allows customers easy access to our online resources such as Find My Past and Ancestry for Family History Research and business tools such as Cobra, GrantFinder and British Standards.
A full range of services and resources provided can be found here:

Check out DISCOVER | Newcastle Libraries here:

PTFS Europe Partners with ByWater Solutions Partners to Extend Support of Aspen Discovery to the UK

London 22 June 2021

ByWater Solutions, America’s forefront provider of Open Source library technology support, announced today that they are partnering with PTFS Europe, who will be providing support and hosting services for the Aspen Open Source Discovery system in the UK. PTFS Europe provides a full range of services needed to implement, host, and support Open Source products.

We’re excited to partner with PTFS Europe to bring Aspen Discovery to a wider audience. This partnership will allow Aspen Discovery to grow to meet the needs of new partners within Europe and will benefit our current partners within North America with support for new languages, new enrichment services, and new eContent vendors. The staff at PTFS Europe have been wonderful to work with and we are pleased to continue to build this relationship.”

Mark Noble, Aspen Discovery Developer. Bywater Solutions

The partnership between ByWater Solutions and PTFS Europe is not the first. ByWater Solutions and PTFS Europe work collaboratively in the Koha Community, the world’s first free and open-source library system.

We are delighted to be collaborating with ByWater Solutions on Aspen. We have a long history of working together to drive the direction of the Koha library system. Now we want to enhance this relationship to promote and support Aspen Open Source Discovery. There is no doubt that Aspen has a big future in the UK and we believe it offers something unique to libraries in what has been a largely unchanged market in recent years. So we’re very excited to help promote, develop and support the Aspen open source community in the UK at this exciting time in the product’s evolution.”

Jonathan Field, Cofounder and Managing Director of PTFS Europe

About Aspen Discovery

Aspen is a full-featured Discovery System that integrates with e-content and other 3rd party providers, giving your patrons comprehensive access to all of your materials in one place. Aspen combines your library catalog with e-content, digital archives and enrichment from all major third-party providers, improves relevancy and ease of use, provides native reading recommendations, displays all formats of titles within one result (FRBR) and much more. Aspen was created to give users an improved experience over other Discovery systems with less of an impact on library budgets. For more information about Aspen please visit:

About PTFS Europe

PTFS Europe provides a wide range of products for the library market. These include the open-source library systems Koha and FOLIO, RT: request tracker for enquiry management, Coral for electronic resource management, Metabase business analytics, and the Knowvation digital repository. An ISO27001 company, PTFS Europe, provides the full range of services needed to implement, host, and support these products.

More information on PTFS Europe:

Any questions? Please contact Fiona Borthwick.

About ByWater Solutions

ByWater Solutions is a full service, high-quality Open Source support and implementation company dedicated to providing libraries with a lower cost, more advanced level of support for their systems than a traditional proprietary solution can offer. ByWater Solutions has a proven track record in first-rate implementation and support services with library systems of all sizes for the Koha ILS, Aspen Discovery, Folio LSP, Coral ERM, and Libki PC Management.

Our highly ranked, comprehensive support is what sets our company apart from any other vendor in the industry. Partnering with ByWater Solutions not only lowers the cost of implementation and maintenance of OSS but more importantly empowers libraries by giving them the flexibility and freedom they deserve. For more information please visit

For More Information about Bywater Solutions:
Jessica Zairo
Director of Library Sales and Outreach
ByWater Solutions