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Best Library Management Software for Librarians - Get Free Demo

Finding the best Library Management Software for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

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Library Management is the systematic method of managing the whole library through a simple and interactive interface – LMS (Library Management Software). Using LMS, the librarian can handle basic housekeeping functions of a library such as storing all the library item details like author name, edition, price, etc. of all the books in a library database. It helps to provide information on any book present in the library to the user as well as a staff member.
Library Management Software keeps a track on all the books that are issued, returned and added to the library. Overseeing fee collection and fine issued to late return on the book are other important functions of LMS Software. Overall having an LMS Software is important for an efficient, user-friendly, fast and secure library management - be it a small size school library having limited users and books or a large size public library.
LMS software comes in various shape and sizes (e.g. small library software, cloud based library management software etc.), platform-specific (e.g. Windows-only, Linux-only, MAC-only) or supports multiple platforms (covering MAC, Linux, UNIX etc.), publisher-specific (e.g. Microsoft) or multi-vendor, static (i.e. fixed, updated manually by administrator) or dynamic (automatically updated by the SAM solution vendor),  simple recognition (e.g. using just exe data) or complex recognition (e.g. tying together multiple footprints such as executable meta, registry entries, SWID tag data, package manager details or product-specific details gathered by running scripts).
Some commonly used LMS Software are – SURPASS, Lucidea Integrated Library Systems, Koha ILS,  L4U, OPALS, Destiny Library Manager, Handy Library Manager, Insignia Library System, Access-It Library, MODERN LIB, Atriuum, LIBRARIAN, Readerware, etc.

It is comprehensively packaged software that supports the librarian very effectively. The software might be either of use only for the librarian or might be useful for both - users and the library staff.

Most software consists of modules that are integrated on the home page. The modules might consist of the following areas:

  1. Acquisition: Book orders, receipt and invoices related to quotations, procurement and purchase of items.
  2. Catalogs: Classification and Index of materials stocked.
  3. Circulation: Materials lent and their receipt
  4. Serial Tracking: Journals, Periodicals, Magazines and Newspapers that are subscribed and have to track them on daily/weekly/monthly basis
  5. Public Interface Usage: Checking on the software updates

In this software, each user (and even the item) has a unique ID created by the database that allows the library staff to track the activities and status. Large libraries use both user and staff interfaces of the software and have many integrated features. Small libraries don’t engage in additional expense and just use the basic software system. The interfaces are simple and easy to use. The navigation tools in these are also clean and easily accessible to the data is possible.

Nowadays, the cloud-based & online library management system is widely in demand. In this segment, there is some high-end software that have integrated automotive system that updates information by scanning the ISBN code.

Choosing a suitable Library Management Software or Library Automation Software is always a difficult task because of the technical parameters associated with the selection of the software, such as the shape of network, computing platform, type of operating systems and various standards. To make it easy for you, here are some of the most important considerations you must know while selecting an LMS Software.

A.  General Considerations

1. Gather information and research thoroughly: Have meetings with your team that mostly consists of library staff, library volunteers, and IT personnel, etc. and make a list of all your needs. Gather information about different LMS software and research thoroughly about them.

2. Concentrate on performance and forget the decoration: Thoroughly examine the documentation for the software you are considering. Do not go mad over their advertisements – there is more hidden in the advertisements than it is revealed.

3. Read other’s experiences: It is very important to go through the reviews from experts who have already used the product. Read at least two reviews of any library software before buying. This action will give you an inside vision of how the product really is.

4. Compare price: Compare prices of various LMS software packages; understand what is included in the package and what is excluded. Try to find out hidden costs, if any. Estimate the cost of hardware and database creation and add it to the cost of the package. Now compare again.

5. Stick to proven products: Analyze the reputation and experience in developing LMS software of the originator. Find out the records of the supplier so that the direct communication between you and the software provider is not blocked or slowed. An established Library Management Software provider is more likely to be able to offer continuing support.

B. Technical Considerations

1. Language: In which language the software is written? Whether a compiler or interpreter is available on the given system to run it efficiently in terms of machine time and storage requirements.

2. Operating System: The package should run under the operating system you have installed in your system or the hardware being used.

3. Hardware: The hardware being used in your system should be compatible with the Library Management System software package and its various versions. There should be a scope of up-gradation. Other necessary or useful software should also be able to run on the computer system.

4. Format: The LMS software package should be provided in the form of disks, tapes etc. so that it can be transferred to another medium such as hard disk when needed.

5. Easy to use: The Library Management System software package should be easy to interact and use. The quality of the software - machine interface, menus, commands, screen displays, documentation etc. will enhance ease in use of the software.

C.  Visualize yourself using the Software
Visualize, how much work will be involved putting all of your books, records, or magazines into the database of the software? Will you be able to enter each new book record? The more accurately you visualize the steps involved in accomplishing a task, the more you know about how a given software will deal with those steps.
D. Get the Demo
Arrange a free trial or free demonstration of the Library Management Software you are thinking to buy, on an identical computer, configured exactly as the one you will be using.
E.  Service & Support System
Most of us are not too tech-friendly, so sometimes we need help regarding something. That’s where the need for Customer Support occurs. Customer support has an immense role in the success of a library management system. Choose an online LMS software which provides plenty of features like telephone support, online webchat, a ticket-based system, social networks, community, and a strong knowledge base. 
F. Some other important considerations
1. Training: Know if the LMS software supplier provides training sessions. If yes, how many people can participate in such training sessions?
2. Catalogs: Check the possibilities of sharing the catalogs to your patrons via the internet. If you do not have a web-server, is it possible?
3. Mobile: Can it be deployed across all staff, in any location?
4. Customizable: Can the appearance and functionality of reports, templates, and the catalogs be customized according to your requirements?
5. Expandable: Buy only the four 'Building Block' programs - communications, word processing, electronic spreadsheet and personal filing or database management to start with. It is easy to master a program faster and comprehensively if you concentrate on just one at a time. Add extra components/enhancements later when more funding is available. Can you buy these ‘extras’ later after you are completely set-up? What if you buy a product for a small library and then grow?
I hope this checklist will help you choose the right Library Management Software. In addition to these if you have any personal questions make sure you ask it to each vendor so that you get the best product for your library.

The library management system is very helpful to standalone libraries as well as libraries in schools, colleges, educational as well as other institutes and sometimes also in places of worship.  They can take advantage of basic aspects of providing information about the materials and their content.

Library software is helpful in better decision making about what sort of materials need to be stocked or improved. Maintenance is not time-consuming. The library staff gets great help from the software data. Work of the library staff gets smoother and even the work of tracking different modules in the software can be divided among the staff for better control.

Essential Benefits:

  1. The total cost of handling the library is reduced. 
  2. There is no need for constant hardware/software updates in cloud computing based software
  3. The library staff can focus on their jobs more easily with the updated data
  4. With right inputs from the first day, the entire process of library management gets simplified
  5. The software doesn’t require IT support if the library staff is trained well
  6. Some software also has the provision of data sharing which can be useful for the user and the library staff to communicate effectively.


  1. The security of the data might be a problem due to the virus attack
  2. There might be problems in customizing or configuring the options of the software according to the needs of the library
  3. The users might not be aware of the origin of the information appearing on the screens and might not trust the software if there are discrepancies or errors with the status of the actual items. This makes it necessary to keep all the data updated periodically.
  4. The library staff must add value to their library facilities and not increase dependency on the software.  They have to create an atmosphere of attracting users to the library facility which is not done by the software.
  1. Bar Code Technology: The new age software is the one which is able to read the bar codes. This is an excellent feature to atomize the library completely. This enables tracking of all the materials that are in the library or with the user. Ensure that your software package has this essential feature. It is really a big time saver.

  2. Multimedia: All libraries these days not only stock books or print materials but also other kinds of materials like CDs, DVDs, Audio/Video cassettes. This makes it necessary for the software to have application features for saving this kind of data
  3. Print Options: The library automation software that enables prints of User IDs is a great boon. This automates the history of every member and also keeps track of materials issued and returned by the member.
  4. Compatibility: The software must be compatible with all kinds of operating systems and software like Microsoft Office, structured query language (SQL) and DBMS.
  5. Access: The software data must be accessible anytime and from any location. It must be simple to use and easy to navigate. The search options need to be quick and easy. Online library management system integration is a must to make it easily accessible through different devices.
  6. Efficiency: Most essential modules that are required in libraries have to be embedded. If there is the provision of automatic notifications and alerts it makes the smooth running of the library possible. With online access to data, cataloging becomes faster. Data entry must be quick and easy with the features provided. If the users can sign-in to use the online version of the services; the work burden of the librarian decreases.
  7. Power to User: When users manage the accounts by themselves a lot of data input work is removed from the hands of the librarian making them free to focus on other aspects of library management. Search filter options must be easy to search for the user. With the integration of the software with SMS and email, the user is updated all the time.
  8. Technology aspects: The latest technology used in software enables better services for the user. When the digital library software has customizable interface there is the possibility of better engagement with the users. The security system has to be enhanced due to cloud computing feature of the software.
  9. Support: An experienced support team is a bonus for the library staff who till date are used to the traditional methods of handling the library. Library software support through training becomes ideal if the software vendors themselves train the library staff.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Library Management System, more popularly known as LMS, manages the resources in a library. It maintains up-to-date information and thus helps librarians focus on their jobs. Further, it is built to increase efficiency, save valuable administration time, and lead to a better educational experience.
  • Any Library Management Software comprises of the following standard modules:

    1. Catalogs
    2. Circulation
    3. Report generation
    4. Administration
    5. Serial Tracking
    6. Acquisition
  • The library is considered to be the brain of any educational institute - be it a school, college, or university. With the advancement in digital content, it becomes crucial for institutes to maintain the catalog of educational information. This is why the importance of library management system is growing.
  • A well-chosen library management system software with features like barcode scanning helps the library staff to keep track of different records. A librarian can determine the -

    1. Issue & Return Date
    2. Book catalogs with different genres
    3. Total books issued
    4. Number of available books
    5. Calculate & Collect fine for individual books
  • Any typical library management software should comprise of the following features -

    1. Barcode Scanning
    2. Acquisition Management
    3. Catalog Management
    4. Online Public Access Catalog
    5. Self check-in & check-out
    6. Reseve Shelf Management
    7. Fee Collection

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Nidhi RaghuvanshiBy Nidhi Raghuvanshi | Last Updated: October 31, 2020


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