Why Library Automation ?

Automation of library means using a technology to automate all the processes that are conducted in the library on daily basis. An automated library has improved services like making circulation and book locating processes easier for the staff. This is turn saves time and also staff satisfaction and performance. Staff load of manual circulation and stock taking jobs is reduced in a big way and hence are able to do more productive works which in turn improve the services of a library to its patron.


Basic library automation can be done simply by implementation of a Library management software, ideally with KOHA. This software can maintain all digital records of all the books.


It is a process of replacing a register with a software. Now all the tasks performed are done through the software itself. Tasks like circulation, acquisition, orders made, bills paid, items owned and information about the patron library account can be performed easily and efficiently using a software. Digital keeping allows the librarian and the staff to retrieve and track all the logs at any time easily.

So, what advantages does the library derive from Library Automation


Improved Patron Services


Automation of library regular tasks helps in taking off the workload from the staff and librarian. This is turn saves time and also staff satisfaction and performance. Staff load of manual circulation and stock taking jobs is reduced in a big way and hence are able to do more productive works which in turn improve the services of a library to its patron.

Accessibility


Using an advanced library automation system software makes it easier for the library patrons to access the library information sitting at the comfort of their homes. This ensures that the patron is informed about his association with the library and also new acquisitions by the library. A software implementation also makes it easier to locate books in a library.

Better Cataloguing


Cataloguing standards like MARC allow for quicker and easier cataloguing of books. This allows sharing or transferring of material data from one location to other much easier and time efficient. A good LMS/ILS software like KOHA adds value to the Cataloguing processes.

Digitalization


Digitalization helps in creating digital content from hard copies. The digitalization not only helps in better accessibility and long term preservation of library materials & content, but it also offers multiple other benefits. Library digitalization also helps increase the reach of the library at fraction of the cost. Using systems like DSpace, libraries can extend their reach multi-fold.

Management


Managing a library is a full time process. There are no half measures. So the library cannot be managed using traditional methods. It needs modern information technology systems to manage the things and processes.

Maintenance


Library has multiple assets. Of course the basic asset remains the books, but there are other digitial & physical assets to be taken care of. For a library with bigger collection of books, even periodic inventory of assets is time consuming and prone to manual errors. Using proper digital methods and hardware items like Stock taking mobile reader libraries can improve productivity with minimal efforts.



Why should a library shift to KOHA LMS ?

It gives you complete control, without any dependence on proprietary systems & life long system enhancements.

koha installation

KOHA was originally implemented in 1999. Since then with number of updates and increase in the functionalities it is being adopted by thousands of libraries worldwide.

It was developed initially by Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications Ltd, New Zealand under in GNU public license. It is an open source software and is now being used worldwide.



Following is a brief list of the advantages that a library can gain by shifting or implementing KOHA LMS...


  • Free System: Let’s face it, commercials do matter. But with KOHA not only you get a system which is free but also ease of use, world community support and features in abundance.
  • Support at ease: KOHA is currently maintained by a dedicated team of software providers and library technology staff from around the globe. This gives it edge over a lot of other LMS systems.
  • Configurable and adaptable: In KOHA, user interface is very configurable and adaptable and has been translated into many languages. It provides cataloguing, Searching, Member / patron management, an acquisitions system, and circulation (issues, returns, and reserves). All these are configurable as per the library needs.
  • No License fee: It is an award winning free/open source software. So not only is initial system free but also there is no license or annual fee. It is free for ever.
  • Platform Independent: KOHA supports UNIX, LINUX and MAC. It can also be installed on a windows machine through virtual instance. So the underlying platform is not a constraint.
  • International cataloguing standards: KOHA supports Full MARC21 and UNIMARC support for professional cataloguing.
  • Accessibility: It is a browser-based software. So it can be accessed from across the intranet and internet once installed on the Server. No client side instance are required. Simple network connectivity and a modern browser.
  • Standard for integrations: Being with KOHA, the library gets the flexibility to choose how it wishes to integrate the hardware. It is capable to supporting international standards like SIP2 and NCIP for RFID hardware integration. This ensures there is no dependence on proprietary systems.
  • Multiuser system: KOHA doesn't restrict over the no of users using the system. There is no such limitation and so there are options to create multiple users based on different access rights.
  • OPAC: A browser based OPAC system allows the library to extend the reach of the library services manifold, without much of additional cost.
  • Database support: KOHA support major industry standard database types. So if you are comformtable with any particular type of database, you can make the implementation in that particular type of database.


KOHA Modules

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Open public access catalogue

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Circulation

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Patron Management

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Full Catalogues

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Serials

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Acquisitions

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