1. A database
This is where all the information belonging to a library, such as MARC (Machine Readable Cataloguing) records, patron information, etc., are stored. If ever you want to migrate to another software or reinstall your current one, your database will be the key to your success. So make sure you make regular backups on multiple devices/services, preferably reliable cloud-based services like AWS S3 and Google Drive.
No library system is complete without a cataloguing module. This is what allows you to add items such as books and their records to the database. They are stored in MARC format, which is a digital version of paper index catalog cards. A good ILS will have a copy cataloguing module that allows you to import ready-made MARC records via z39.50 from trusted sources like the Library of Congress. This will vastly reduce the amount of time you spend cataloguing books. Here’s a video showing you how easy copy cataloguing is.
3. Circulation Module.
Circulation is perhaps the most visible and familiar aspect of a librarian’s work. Library management systems like Koha use circulation modules to check items in and out, keep track of their location, and even notify patrons when items are due (or overdue!) by sending automatic emails or text messages.
4. Patron management.
You need to know who your patrons are, including their addresses and contact details. A patron management module will enable you to add, modify or delete your library’s patrons. You can download or import patron data (which is useful if your library is part of a larger institution such as a university or school that already has all your patrons’, i.e. the students, information collected. You can even allow patrons to manage their own accounts and perform various activities like placing holds or paying library fees online.
5. Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).
Modern library management systems have web-based OPACs that allow patrons to interface with the library. For example, Koha’s OPAC goes beyond merely being a search tool and enables patrons to reserve books, manage their accounts, pay library fees online, track their circulation history, and even make reviews and suggestions for new books.
- Staff Interface.
Web-based library systems have a separate login page for library staff that can be accessed via web browser via the internet or through a local network (same as the OPAC). Unlike desktop-based library software that uses separate programs for each module, web-based software like Koha gives you access to all the modules via a single, clean interface.
How do you check which items are the most circulated within a period? Or which patrons are reading fewer books compared to the previous years? This is where a reports module comes in handy. It will help you to keep track of your library and its many activities so that you can keep running a steady and efficient operation.
- Library Standards Compliant.
Koha is built using library standards and protocols such as MARC 21, UNIMARC, z39.50, SRU/SW, SIP2, SIP/NCIP, ensuring interoperability between Koha and other systems and technologies, while supporting existing workflows and tools.
- Full text searching.
Powerful searching, and an enhanced catalogue display that can use content from Amazon, Google, LibraryThing, Open Library, and Syndetics, among others.
- Proven, Stable Technologies:
Koha is tried and tested and has demonstrated both stability and scalability, used in hundreds of libraries worldwide.
code is open, users are free to innovate and improve the software to meet their needs Free innovation also means that open-source software has much faster development cycles when compared to proprietary software.