On some level, a library management system is the digital manifestation of a functioning library. It is a tool or a platform that performs all the functions of a library in an automated and organized fashion – from issuing or checking out of books to keeping a catalog of all books the library contains to levying fines for late returns of books. A library management system can be a standalone tool or platform or part of a school ERP system or software in the form of integration or plugin. The most robust school ERP system will offer a library management system in one form or another these days.
Do we need a library management system?
Considering how the process is driven and detail dependant library management is, having a library management system in place just makes logical sense. A library management system is perfectly adept at taking on the many repetitive and predictable processes and tasks that are an endemic part of running a library. It is thus advantageous to have a library management system in place, just based on its very nature.
What are some features of a library management system?
The advantage of a library management system comes from the very services it offers. Some key features of a library management system are discussed in further detail below:
A robust library management system like Fedena is easily able to generate fine receipts for fines paid on the late return of books borrowed from the library. This reduces the burden on librarians and the likelihood of human error in the issue of fine receipts.
Issue and renewal details
The library management system is able to track, retain and store all issue and renewal details of all the books and materials in a library – essentially ensuring easy lookup of any book or materials that are required by a patron of the library.
All barcodes on every library material – like books and other records – usually has a barcode attached to this. This barcode is integrated into the library management system making the tracking of books easier and ensuring the smooth interface of the library with the library management system.
Tracking of book status
What is the journey of a book? Where can a specific book be found? All this information can be found within the library management system at a school. The library management system tracks the status of the book, because of the aforementioned barcode integration, and is able to swiftly and accurately give information about the whereabouts of a book in question.
User Defined Privileges
The library management system is not a one size fits all tool. Instead, one is able to classify users by type within the library management system itself and define what they have access to and not, amongst other privileges accorded to them by category. For instance, a teacher may be allowed to check out more books than a student at a time and a library management system correctly identifies that at time of check out.
It is not enough to just keep track of books for a library management system. Better libraries can be built based on the reports the library management system generates, since it is all data that indicates how the library is currently used, points towards future needs and identifies gaps in the library management based on usage data entirely.