Library management is difficult because librarians have to keep the library organized and stocked. They often deal with high volumes of patron requests for information and resources, which can be draining. Poorly managed libraries can have many problems such as disorganized shelves, unfilled book orders, outdated references, and more.
It is where Library automation software helps extensively. It eliminates the need for a human being to do this monotonous task of organizing and updating a catalog. Library Automation is an emerging trend in library management that is being increasingly used in libraries all over the world. With the help of automation tools, librarians have been able to address several common problems such as heavy workloads, inefficient workflows, and deteriorating quality of service provided to patrons. The best LMS like iSLIM is designed to be user-friendly so that people who access the library can use it with minimal training.
DEFINITION OF LIBRARY AUTOMATION
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences defines Library Automation as ” The use of automatic and semi-automatic data processing machines to perform such traditional library activities as acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation”.
Library automation consists of the hardware and software used to automate libraries. Library automation is most often associated with a library management system (LMS) which provides automated tools for managing a library’s collections and usage information.
Through library automation, all library daily tasks and services can be automated. Most commonly libraries can automate:
- Circulation: Lending, renewal, return, on hold, etc.
- Cataloging: Resource storage, management, retrieval, etc.
- Acquisition: Acquisition process, order, receive, returns, cancellations, etc.
- Serial Control: Placing orders, canceling, claiming, returning unwanted, defective, accounting, etc.
- Library Automation is also used to automate iOPAC, digital libraries, intranet access, and more.
PURPOSE OF LIBRARY AUTOMATION
Automation in libraries improves the efficiency of the whole system. It is more reliable than manually completed tasks and is constantly improving with technology upgrades. Here are the key purposes of library automation in today’s fast-paced world.
- To increase the efficiency of operations.
- To make services more effective and accurate
- To give better accessibility for remote users and others.
- To satisfy library and patron needs that cannot be met by manual methods.
- To provide easy access to other network or system resources, including the internet.
- To improve the management of their physical and digital resources.
ADVANTAGES OF LIBRARY AUTOMATION
- Library automation software makes it easier for patrons to use electronic resources, for example by providing barcode scanning or RFID tags that can be used to identify books.
- It reduces the staff workload and increases the efficiency of the library.
- It encompasses the process of replacing traditional, paper-based systems with computers and software.
- It makes information more available and accessible in an easier manner.
- With automation, libraries can save space by not having to keep too many physical books as they used to before.
- It helps libraries save time and money by automating administrative tasks.
- Libraries that use automation need less staff because most tasks are automated.
- Libraries can automate their databases so that there are fewer mistakes and more data accuracy.
- The possibility of data and resource duplication is eliminated with automation.
Automate Your Library With iSLIM
iSLIM Library management system is a web-based software that can be used by any type of library- educational, public, or corporate. Our team at Algorhythms developed iSLIM with the use of most modern technologies to provide high-quality services for its users. It can help you automate the various tasks related to cataloging, circulation, acquisitions, serials, and more.
For example, Libraries can automate their email reminders/letters to vendors for unreceived books. The iSLIM also automates overdue reminders, sets reminders for non-receipt of loose issues, etc.
Indeed, library automation has brought a revolution in the way libraries carry out their key tasks. If you wish to boost your library’s efficiency using automation, we’re all ears. Get in touch with the Algorhythms team and discuss your requirements soon!