As librarianship becomes more tech-oriented and library patrons get more sophisticated, the importance of library automation in effective and efficient service delivery in libraries cannot be over emphasized. However, to meet up with some of the challenges of Information Technology (IT) age, libraries need to modify their service delivery pattern by upgrading their IT infrastructure and restructure their technical architecture.
Apart from the availability of the internet in libraries to access rich research contents and diverse forms of information resources from arrays of sources, libraries need to fast-track their traditional services and operations by getting those services and operations automated to meet the needs of the growing library clientele.
Popular Integrated Library Management Software in the Market
Be it standalone or small libraries managed by schools, universities, etc, a good library management system proves to be a worthy investment. The software, on the whole, helps in simplifying the entire library management process.
Some of the best Library Automation software enables in managing the whole library workflow through an easy-to-use, simple and interactive interface. By using this software, a librarian can handle basic to complicated functions of a library right from collection till controlling bibliography. Users can instantly get information on any book available in the library. Privacy can be maintained, and users’ records are stored safely.
Keeping track of all the books is much easier with a Library Management Software. Added to this, overseeing fee collection, fine, late return, etc becomes much easier with the software.
Library automation software solutions are today used right from small school library to a large public library. In short, enterprise planning and resource management are much easier with library management software.
The ever-growing demand to automate library functions has been driving the library automation software market globally.
A plethora of library management system pervades the industry today. The options are vast though. Over the years, these software solutions have also matured in their functionality and usability and have efficiently adapted to the changing requirements. Pick up the one that fits your goals. Explore your options by purely starting from the most immediate goals.
Commercial Library management software solutions are designed with outstanding features, but the cost factor is pretty high. It gets difficult for many institutions and libraries to afford commercial products. An ideal alternative in such a situation open source software.
Users can try the software for free for a limited period and have to pay to use the service forever.
A cloud-based library management system allows libraries to use the software without having to license or install. Hosted by a third party, the software demands some operational control cost.
This version of library automation software allows users to test the software for some time for zero cost. The free trial period can last anytime from a few weeks to a few months.
Open source library management software systems are those whose source code is available for the public to use, copy, modify and distribute. The purpose is to see a rapid evolution of the code and the program. Moreover, it also helps in correcting errors. The key advantage of open source library management software is that users can acquire and download this software freely. No developers can claim any royalties on the distribution. This approach is gaining momentum. Open Source library management solutions can be free for unlimited time or can come with some limitations. The adoption of open-source library management software is in recent days creating lucrative opportunities for market growth.
Small and medium-sized libraries very often have a stringent budget and investing in a commercial library management system is very difficult. A free and open source library management software solution enables them to automate their system in a cost-effective way.
Knowing what Software to Select
Check whether the software is
The following sections will discuss in detail the best free and open source library management solutions.
Koha is one of the most advanced, free and open source Integrated library management software (ILMS). Introduced in 1999, Koha has been used by thousands of libraries across the world. Users are impressed with this software simply because of its features. The software is viable, scalable and ideal for all kinds of libraries.
Features of Koha:
Evergreen Used by nearly 2000 libraries around the world, this open source and free library management software offers public catalogue interface along with features that help users with the back-end workflow operations too. The software was first developed by the Georgia Public Library system back in 2006, and the community is growing big, and the software has been continuously evolving to meet the needs of users.
Evergreen is one of the top-rated library management software as it fits well with all sizes of libraries right from small to medium to large and complex library set-ups. The software is free to use.
Biblioteq is a professional library management solution and cataloguing system adopted by several small, medium and large libraries. The software is compatible with many of the Qt supporting systems. BiblioteQ is a free and Open Source library management software system.
Developed using the Qt4 compiler, BiblioteQ facilitates cataloguing books, magazines, research papers, Journals, videos and so on. Right from adding a new item, till logging dead stocks, this library automation system stands can act as a powerful tool for all type of libraries.
OPALS This feature-rich open source library automation system proves to be as one of the most sought-after tools to enable libraries to function efficiently and manage library resources in this day and age. The software is easy to implement and easy to use.
Deploying Your Software
The Role of Libtech Resource and Services in Deploying Your Software
Implementation of Integrated Library Management Software:
We train the library staff who will be responsible for the daily administration and operation of the system. We have developed a comprehensive, practical oriented training program which is assured effective and efficient for the operations of the Koha Software.
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