The library acts as a storehouse of knowledge, and therefore, forms a quintessential part of schools, colleges, and universities. With technological advancements making inroads in the global educational sector, the traditional library is also undergoing significant technological transformations. More and more schools and educational institutions are nowadays automating their libraries by integrating school library management software to convert traditional school libraries into high-tech collaborative learning centers.
Looking for School Management Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best school management software solutions.
A school library automation software leverages the latest technologies to help librarians manage school libraries efficiently. It is an internet-enabled software designed to help you manage your school library books in an organized manner. The school library software also helps you keep tabs on all library-related activities, such as availability of books, inventory, issue/reissue and return of books, etc. What’s more, it helps users find books instantaneously, thus, saving a lot of time.
Advantages of Using School Library Software
School library management software completely automates the process of managing a school library to add to the convenience of librarians, teachers, and students. Additionally, a library automation system offers a lot of advantages to its users:
- The software can be deployed in small as well as large-sized school libraries.
- A school library management system can be tailored according to the requirements of the users.
- It is easy to install and calls for minimum maintenance.
- It minimizes manual tasks and streamlines the process of managing different scholarly materials, such as journals, books, thesis, encyclopedias, newspapers, dissertations, research papers, videos, and even eBooks through a single click.
- School library software helps librarians classify the books, journals, etc., subject-wise.
- Cloud-based school library software provides students and teachers with round the clock access to school library collection anytime, anywhere.
- With mobile compatible school library management software, users can easily search books, library catalogs, and other library resources whenever required.
- School library software also calculates fines for late returns automatically.
Importance of Library Software in School
Besides enhancing the efficiency of librarians, a high-performing school library software serves a spectrum of purposes:
The School library management system helps librarians manage school libraries quickly, efficiently, and securely. The software also raises the efficiency of students and teachers as they can easily check the availability of books with the help of the software.
Minimizes Library Management Expenses:
With school library software, you need only one person to manage the library. Thus, you can significantly reduce the expenses of library management. Moreover, cloud-based library automation software helps school libraries do away with conventional paper-based library management processes, thus minimizing operational expenses.
School library software is a time-saving tool for librarians, as well as students and teachers. With a library automation system, librarians can quickly track books that have been borrowed by teachers and students. Similarly, with the help of the software, students and teachers can quickly find out if a specific book is available in the library.
So these are some of the advantages of using school library management software. Now that you are aware of the significance and benefits of library automation software, let’s delve deeper into some of the important features of the software.
Features of School Library Software
A school library management system allows librarians to generate a catalog of bibliographic records, such as a comprehensive list of different subjects, name of author/authors, publisher’s name, price of the book, year of publication, short descriptions, etc., so that students and teachers can make use of the catalog to search different library resources with ease.
Cloud-based library management systems are efficient as well as flexible, and therefore it offers countless benefits to librarians, students and teachers. Cloud-based library automation software helps users access the school library anytime from any internet-enabled handheld device. Additionally, the maintenance of cloud-hosted library management tools is taken care of by the service provider. Thus, you can do away with the need for hiring a techie to maintain or update the software.
School library software helps librarians track the library inventory in real-time for maintaining records of issued books. It also allows librarians to keep a tab on available library resources, the number of books issued, and overdue library books. Additionally, The software allows librarians to identify damaged and worn-out books so that they can replace the old books with clean and latest editions of those books.
Barcoding Scanning Capabilities:
The most efficient school library software offers barcoding scanning features to help librarians manage library inventory efficiently. The barcoding feature allows library staff to add barcodes to different library resources. The barcodes assigned to each book are scanned whenever a book is issued to students or whenever a student returns a book to the library. This useful feature facilitates faster library transactions and also improves circulation capabilities.
A school library software generates customized reports about transactions of all books, such as the total number of books borrowed and returned by students and teachers, or the total number of library members in the school. The report generation capabilities of library management software help librarians to keep tabs on KPIs to make informed decisions.
School library software plays a pivotal role in helping library staff manage library data efficiently. From membership management to asset management, library management software is capable of managing all necessary information about school library resources that are available for lending or reading.
Cloud-based school library software can be accessed from the classroom, home, staff room, and even when you are on the go. You just need a stable internet connection to access the software anytime, anywhere.
This feature helps school library staff track necessary information about students who have taken library membership. Other than tracking information about library members, this feature helps librarians track lending data, renewal data, and much more.
The best school library automation software comes with a mobile application to enable students and teachers to find and borrow books on the go.
A high-quality school library management software offers 24/7 technical assistance throughout the year to help users whenever they need assistance.
The vendors of the best school library software also offer training to its users via webinars, documentation, in-person, and live-online sessions.
Data Backup Feature:
This is the most useful feature offered by efficient library management software. Keeping a backup of your data is important for avoiding data loss in the event of any disaster. Since a cloud-based library management system stores all library data on the cloud, it eliminates the risk of data loss. What’s more, you can access your data even during disasters. Unlike open-source library management software, cloud-based systems are not vulnerable to the risk of data loss as it does not store your valuable data on your PC’s hard drive. That’s why educational institutions prefer cloud-based library software over open-source software.
These are some of the must-have features you should focus on when looking for a library automation software. Though a school library management system automates the process of managing school libraries, not all library automation tools have been designed to cater to your needs. Therefore, before taking the plunge, you should prioritize your library’s requirements to pick the right library software.
How to Choose the Best School Library Management System?
When choosing a school library management software for your school, consider the factors cited below:
- Do a bit of online research to shortlist the best library management software available in the market.
- Visit the websites of school library software shortlisted by you and go through the reviews and rankings of the software to understand if it will suit your needs.
- Visit software review sites to learn more about the advantages and shortcomings of the software shortlisted by you.
- Pick a school library automation system that is easy to set up and use. It should have a user-friendly interface.
- Make sure the library management tool you are planning to buy allows you to upload ebooks.
- Find out if the software offers strong data backup and recovery features.
- Choose the right software vendor that has a good reputation in the industry.
- Before making the final purchase decision, find out if the vendor offers a comprehensive trial version of the school library automation software.
- Ask the vendor how they manage software upgrades and updates. At the same time, make sure there are no hidden costs or restrictions.
- First-time users often find it difficult to use school library software; therefore, make sure the software vendor provides training sessions. At the same time, find out how many members can participate in the training.
- It is advisable to choose a library automation software that offers support over telephone, web-chat, as well as social networks.
Picking the best library management software for schools can be quite a daunting task for people who are not tech-savvy. However, a little bit of awareness can go a long way towards helping you choose the best-fit library software. We hope the guidelines highlighted in this post will help you pick a fully-integrated and scalable school library management system.