Library means a treasure house of books! Who doesn’t enjoy spending time in the sea of knowledge? If you ask any bibliophile what a library means to them, they would unanimously say heaven! But, do you have an idea how much of hard work goes into creating a maintaining that heaven? Thankfully, the mountain of management activities that takes to run a library can be done with ease using an integrated library system (ILS). It is also often referred to as a library management system (LMS).
What is an integrated library management system?
This is a comprehensive library management system that helps to organize and maintain a library. The system can be used to identify and track items, keep a record of the orders made, invoices paid, and enter information about those who have borrowed books. The integrated library management system usually includes a database and software to manage that database. It comes with two different user interfaces – one for the librarian and one for the patrons.
The library management software performs various functions that are separated into discrete programs known as modules. Each module is integrated with a user interface.
The examples of these modules are:
• Circulation, which includes lending materials and taking them back
• Acquisitions which refer to orders, receipts, and invoice of materials
• Cataloging, which pertains to classifying and indexing of materials
• Serials refers to keeping track of journals, magazine, and newspaper holdings
• The OPAC which refers to the open public interface for users
What to look for in modern library management software?
The modern library management software needs to be up breast with the present day technology to keep up pace with the changing needs of the users. Today you can get mobile friendly library management software that includes all features of an integrated library management system (ILS), and it also supports electronic documents.
This modern day software supports different types of digital content such as flip books, artifacts, e-books, business documents, videos, journals, logbooks, scrapbooks, PDF’s, large maps, photographs, and websites. Some of the important features you must look for in a library management system are online access to library materials, serials subscription processing, circulation of library items, e-books and other types of digital content.
Before choosing a library management software, we would suggest that you always ask for a free demo. Most of the service providers will readily give you a demo or give you an idea of the system and its various functions.