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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 RFID Stock taking mobile reader or barcode Stock taking mobile reader libraries can improve productivity with minimal efforts.
So it is not just about being able to showcase that you have automated your systems. It is much more than that. The automation of the libraries actually brings huge benefits to the library in terms of cost and efforts. Ofcourse there shall be some cost associated with it, but overall it will be much more beneficial in the longer run. LIBCON provides a lot of entry level and advanced systems for Library Automation. You can browse the products & services section of LIBCON website or contact LIBCON. We will be more than happy to understand more about your requirement and showcase how we help in your automation needs.