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How to Choose a Library Management System

lsnetx profile image Arun Kumar ・4 min read

Library Management System
Numerous libraries have been moving towards library management software products for years. A well-chosen Library Management System (LMS) makes a library more systematic, well planned to use, and saves valuable administrative time.

The market is overflowed with lots of Library Management System Software providers and picking the best from the alternatives can be a troublesome task. With many subjects and book genres available, it is not easy to maintain a wide collection of books as it requires great accuracy and arrangement at its best. An error in the LMS will upset the entire library and is unaffordable for the organization.

Choosing a Library Management System requires consideration of many factors which are as follows:

MODULES

Make sure that your library management system covers all the important modules like Acquisition, Cataloguing, Circulation, Serials, and OPAC. Also, ensure that the modules are well integrated to carry out library operations efficiently.

Supports Single or Multiple Library Locations
The library management system should be a true multi-library management system. Each location or organization should be presented with tailored data to their needs through its search portal. The Software should treat each campus and every location as a different entity but you can still browse through the sites and can return items at any of the sites.

User Friendly
Most of the library staff and students do not have enough time to learn to use a complex LMS system. So a secure and user-friendly library management system that can be easily used by patrons and library staff will be a feasible choice.

Customer support department
Many LMS providers are not helpful and cooperative after you purchase their solution. It is essential to consider whether the sales and customer support associates are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and willing to respond to your queries in a timely manner. Are they willing to take the additional miles to offer you the means to fully explore the system?

Compatibility and digital integration
Is the library management system compatible with your existing operational systems at school, so that data is easily transferable? Can you link it to the school’s website? Does it help you to access the major e-book sites? How easy it is to catalog? Is the system compatible with RFID technology?

Flexibility
Can you purchase a basic package, and then add additional components or improvements if and when required? Are there β€œextras” that you would like to purchase later on, once you have completely configured the library management system? Does the system support upgrades/ extensions?

Customization
Can the library management system be customized as per a new look, functionality, templates, and catalog? Can it be customized as per the needs of the library or you will have to follow pre-set formats?

Training
Your LMS provider should be able to provide training to your library staff so that they can use the software efficiently and derive maximum benefit. The LMS provider should also be able to fulfill training needs that may arise in the future.

Cloud-Based LMS (Access from any device any time)
A Cloud-based library management system enables access to the library system from any location through a web browser that is connected to the internet. With a cloud solution, when new releases are issued, one need not worry about internal IT support, hardware, or other resources to upgrade the library system. It is a cost-effective Library Management system for libraries to shift from owning and operating IT solution to a pay per use model.

Cost
It is always good to have a break up of the costs associated with installation, up-gradation, annual subscriptions, etc.

Offline software
The system should be capable of usage in offline mode also. So that even if the Internet connection is not there, everyone can use the framework.

Universal Standards
The library management system framework should be aimed at complying with global standards like MARC21, ZN39.50, etc. so that the records are traceable by libraries around the world.

Federated Search & Discovery services
It is important to check the LMS system in terms of search capabilities. Federated search involves combined search on to a set of databases whereas library discovery services enable searches on to almost everything that the library staff members and patrons might be looking for. If yours is an academic library frequently used by researchers then you should definitely opt for discovery services.

WHICH ORGANIZATIONS CAN USE THE LIBRARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

Nowadays, the Library Management System is essential for all kinds of academic institutes like Colleges, Schools, Universities, etc. It can be used for issuing and returning books.
Library Management Systems are beneficial for:-

  • University Libraries
  • College Libraries
  • School libraries
  • National libraries
  • Public libraries
  • Public leading libraries
  • Private libraries
  • Reference libraries

Manage all your Library tasks efficiently and effectively with the best library management system in India provided by LIBSYS.

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