What is a library management software?
A library management software, or library automation system is a solution designed to automate heavy processes within a library (book records management….). Library management tools are used to facilitate the task of a librarian or documentalist, in schools, churches, public library…
Why should I get one?
For your librarians or documentalists! A library management system would allow them to maintain your library resources in a more operational way, which will help them save time.
A library automation system makes it possible to:
- Reduce manual paperwork.
- Keep a constant record of the availability of all books.
- Update book information, manage availability and register books.
- Save time and human effort.
- Easily search for books for a student.
Manage your library with Koha… which software is used?
One of the most widely used educational software for libraries is Koha. This library management software is free and open source for community development, which means that the license of the source code allows anyone to read, modify or redistribute this software. Thus, several developers, spread all over the world, participate in the creation, improvement and evolution of the Koha software.
There are several other library management software, free or paid, such as Waterbear, PMB, NewGenLib, Co-Libris. They are often Cloud, which means that they can be used anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Their modules for the computerization of library-specific tasks allow cataloguing, user management, online catalog and loan configuration.
What are the disadvantages of library management system?
The limit is reached when you also lend other types of equipment. This software is not designed to meet the needs of an equipment loan center. So you will encounter several limitations in your library inventory software.
Functions are inadequate for equipment loans
Lending equipment and lending books are two different worlds. The needs of a library and a lending center are therefore not the same. Library management systems do not provide the essential and necessary parameters for booking the loan of materials. In addition, some library automation systems do not allow students to make reservations remotely.
For a loan center, inventory is an important factor that is not at all integrated with a library management software. Moreover, to make things easier, access is restricted to a single user. Therefore, the storekeeper is often the only one who has the necessary knowledge to use this system.
Everything rests on the storekeeper’s shoulders
While they are not asked for their opinions, storekeepers are often forced to work with library software for their equipment loan management, instead of a proper school asset management software. Since library management systems are not designed to manage anything other than books, the storekeeper’s job will not be made any easier.
They will therefore have to work harder to bypass the functions of the software in order to accomplish what they need. In addition to the risk of creating irritants and frustrations for your storekeeper, you are dependent on them.
Since they are the only ones who know how to use the software to achieve their goals, you won’t be able to do without them. If they get sick, go on vacation, or resign (perhaps even because of their frustrations with the library software), you will have difficulty continuing to provide your service with the system in place.
What alternative for library management?
When extending a library management software to a material lending service, you will undoubtedly find limitations. However, you will tell yourself that you already have this software and that you do not have a budget to devote to equipment loan management.
Change is often perceived as optional and costly. This thinking never takes into account the benefits (monetary and temporal) that the new solution could bring. Another option available to you is an inventory management and equipment loan software.
To the satisfaction of your storekeeper, this type of software allows you to indicate several important parameters during the creation of the equipment sheets. They can be related to the equipment in question (image, documents, maintenance frequency, lifespan), as well as to the loan and reservation system (loan schedule per item, maximum reservation time per item), which can be very useful for automatically limiting student loans.
Some features that make all the difference:
- Block a student’s loans;
- Recurrence of staff loans;
- Equipment kit;
- Booking Calendar;
- Generate loan reports.
Thus, it is preferable to use library automation software only for libraries. If you have an equipment lending center, consider an equipment rental tracking software. You will greatly simplify the life of your storekeeper. Our Hector solution has many advantages to offer you that a library management software can’t match.