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library management software

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  • Glenski
    Happy New Year, everyone. As much as I d like to follow Thom s advice on getting our library of stuff into the university s hands to take the burden off us
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 3, 2010
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      Happy New Year, everyone.

      As much as I'd like to follow Thom's advice on getting our library of stuff into the university's hands to take the burden off us teachers, I am faced with no room in the school's library at the moment. So, I am looking into what kind of software that teachers are using now to manage the inventory, checking in, checking out, and such of their books, magazines, DVDs, etc.

      I would like to use barcode scanners. Daniel Stewart has written about a couple of them and about his own system, but I am exploring other software options. So far, very little has been forthcoming.

      I have about 100,000 yen to spend on the software and hardware (excluding a computer). So far I've come up with only 3 vendor packages that seem to handle library stuff specifically:

      Concourse (too expensive at US$2495)
      ResourceMate (best bet so far at $992)
      L4U (no pricing online; waiting for a quote)

      I find it hard to believe that this is all there is out there.

      I've tried a couple of other software systems that were made for company inventories, not specifically for books, and despite the 2 vendors' claims that their clients use it for exactly my purpose, I have been less than satisfied with aspects of their products.

      What do you use successfully?
      Glenski
    • Lemmer Richard
      Hi Glenski, Do you need library specific software? Wouldn t good database software like FileMaker Pro do the job for you? The Open Office Suite has a decent
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 5, 2010
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        Hi Glenski,

        Do you need library specific software? Wouldn't good database software
        like FileMaker Pro do the job for you? The Open Office Suite has a
        decent database, not as powerful as File Maker, but free. Just a thought.

        Richard
      • David Peter Moran
        Glenski, I am currently going through a similar process. The university is still trying to decide what to do with the graded readers it has and how best to get
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 5, 2010
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          Glenski,

          I am currently going through a similar process. The university is still trying to decide what to do with the graded readers it has and how best to get them in students' hands. I have my own collection for my students and since I am on a Mac I use Bento as my library and borrowing manager. It is cheap and easy to use but Mac only.

          Filemaker, mentioned by Richard Lemme,r is a good choice but you may already have Microsoft Access as part of Office. You'll need to check if it is compatible with barcode scanners.

          A final alternative for the Mac is Delicious Library, which uses the built in camera on a mac as a barcode reader. A windows alternative and one that the university's Teacher Resource Centre is trialling is MediaMan. It seems to be a good choice so far and works with barcode readers.

          All the best,

          David Moran

          David Moran
          English Lecturer
          Foundation Program English Department
          Qatar University
          dmoran@...
        • stewart_reading@mac.com
          David, Delicious Library is a great program for an individual keeping track of their books or DVDs, but it does not allow you to have more than one copy of a
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 5, 2010
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            David,
               Delicious Library is a great program for an individual keeping track of their books or DVDs, but it does not allow you to have more than one copy of a book so is not perfect for most ER libraries. Or at least it did not used to allow multiple copies. I asked the software company that makes it to add that function a few years ago.  Perhaps they have it now.  

            As Glenski mentioned, I have written about this before.  You probably did not see it as I wrote it for the Japanese audience.  It is in the Extensive Reading in Japan journal volume 2.1.  You can download the journal from 


            The website is not much to look at, but the journal is good. The journal is mailed to all members of the JALT ER Special Interest Group and then posted on this website at a later date.  I just added ERJ 2.1 today.  ERJ is aimed at teachers doing ER in Japan, but has some things that will be useful for others.

            I have used the system I describe in ERJ for a few years now.  It uses Filemaker and multiple handheld scanners.  At first I used the Flic scanner, but have now changed to the ROV.  When I wrote that article I had not been using the ROV long enough to give an opinion on it, but now I can tell you it is much better than the Flic.

            Daniel

            On Jan 6, 2010, at 3:03 PM, David Peter Moran wrote:

            Glenski,

            I am currently going through a similar process. The university is still trying to decide what to do with the graded readers it has and how best to get them in students' hands. I have my own collection for my students and since I am on a Mac I use Bento as my library and borrowing manager. It is cheap and easy to use but Mac only.

            Filemaker, mentioned by Richard Lemme,r is a good choice but you may already have Microsoft Access as part of Office. You'll need to check if it is compatible with barcode scanners.

            A final alternative for the Mac is Delicious Library, which uses the built in camera on a mac as a barcode reader. A windows alternative and one that the university's Teacher Resource Centre is trialling is MediaMan. It seems to be a good choice so far and works with barcode readers.

            All the best,

            David Moran

            David Moran
            English Lecturer
            Foundation Program English Department
            Qatar University
            dmoran@...


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          • Glen Hill
            To all who replied: thanks! I ll try to address each one. I have been exchanging email with Daniel about his system for while now. He is very knowledgeable,
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 6, 2010
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              To all who replied:  thanks!  I'll try to address each one.

              I have been exchanging email with Daniel about his system for while now.  He is very knowledgeable, and has put in a great deal of effort and empirical studies on what he uses, and he has been very generous in advising me.  However, FileMakerPro is not something we want to use here.  Too labor-intensive for start-up.

              Bento and any other Mac software is also not for us.  This is a Windows-based operation.

              As for a "good database software", I want something that handles checking in and out of barcoded materials. Don't know anything about Open Office Suite, but will it do what I need, Richard?

              Microsoft Access is a library manager, David? I seem to have a 2003 version on my office computer, but I never even knew what Access was. It sounds like another database that would take too long to learn how to adapt. [pause to look up Access...]  I just looked at the online demo for Access, and it pretty much resembles the generic asset inventory software that I've seen from 2 barcode scanner companies, but Access would require far more work on my part just to get it off the ground. I am not a programmer or computer-friendly person in the least, and that is why I am looking for a plug-and-play piece of software that has been designed for this application.

              I don't want something to just show me what's on our shelves either. I need something that keeps track of what student or staff has it, how long, and helps to notify me/them of overdue status.  And, yes, this also has to handle multiple copies of books.

              Right now, I am debating over 2 software packages that are specifically designed for library management, and which don't require me to rename fields from asset inventory names:

              L4U (will watch their online demo at 7am this Saturday, then get a quote)
              ResourceMate PLUS (currently priced at US$992 for software and scanner)

              Until I see L4U in action and get a price, I am leaning towards ResourceMate PLUS.

              I am getting the impression that unless people are willing to create their own database package (and I'm not, nor am I capable), or unless they are willing to shell out lots of money (a Sapporo vendor quoted me 500,000 yen), then perhaps there is a severely limited market for such software. So be it. I am not going to fight with a paper notebook system until (or if) I can convince our school library to scrap the literally tons of useless and ancient books they have on their overfull shelves now. Thom will probably recognize part of that problem, as I understood it took him years to get his own library to take over management of the readers.

              Anyway, I thank everyone again for their contributions.  I hope there are more.
              Glenski

              On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM, <stewart_reading@...> wrote:
               

              David,

                 Delicious Library is a great program for an individual keeping track of their books or DVDs, but it does not allow you to have more than one copy of a book so is not perfect for most ER libraries. Or at least it did not used to allow multiple copies. I asked the software company that makes it to add that function a few years ago.  Perhaps they have it now.  

              As Glenski mentioned, I have written about this before.  You probably did not see it as I wrote it for the Japanese audience.  It is in the Extensive Reading in Japan journal volume 2.1.  You can download the journal from 


              The website is not much to look at, but the journal is good. The journal is mailed to all members of the JALT ER Special Interest Group and then posted on this website at a later date.  I just added ERJ 2.1 today.  ERJ is aimed at teachers doing ER in Japan, but has some things that will be useful for others.

              I have used the system I describe in ERJ for a few years now.  It uses Filemaker and multiple handheld scanners.  At first I used the Flic scanner, but have now changed to the ROV.  When I wrote that article I had not been using the ROV long enough to give an opinion on it, but now I can tell you it is much better than the Flic.

              Daniel

              On Jan 6, 2010, at 3:03 PM, David Peter Moran wrote:

              Glenski,

              I am currently going through a similar process. The university is still trying to decide what to do with the graded readers it has and how best to get them in students' hands. I have my own collection for my students and since I am on a Mac I use Bento as my library and borrowing manager. It is cheap and easy to use but Mac only.

              Filemaker, mentioned by Richard Lemme,r is a good choice but you may already have Microsoft Access as part of Office. You'll need to check if it is compatible with barcode scanners.

              A final alternative for the Mac is Delicious Library, which uses the built in camera on a mac as a barcode reader. A windows alternative and one that the university's Teacher Resource Centre is trialling is MediaMan. It seems to be a good choice so far and works with barcode readers.

              All the best,

              David Moran

              David Moran
              English Lecturer
              Foundation Program English Department
              Qatar University
              dmoran@...


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            • David Peter Moran
              Dear Glenski, If you get the chance try MediaMan. I like the fact that you can run a read-only copy on as many computers as you like. All the best, David
              Message 6 of 8 , Jan 6, 2010
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                Dear Glenski,

                If you get the chance try MediaMan.  I like the fact that you can run a read-only copy on as many computers as you like.

                All the best,

                David



                David Moran
                English Lecturer
                Foundation Program English Department
                Qatar University
                dmoran@...



              • Mark Brierley
                Hi Glenski, Not sure whether we ll be able to help, but our university has developed an online ER system, with some library management functionality, and they
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 7, 2010
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                  Hi Glenski,

                  Not sure whether we'll be able to help, but our university has developed an online ER system, with some library management functionality, and they have just got a barcode reader working on it. The barcode reader works on the books' ISBNs, so if you have ten copies of a book, it would not know which one a student was borrowing.

                  I presume you need an online system, or would all your borrowing go through one computer?

                  It should be possible to install the system on your server, which would require a trip by our tech team, or to add your users on our system.  (It's possible in theory, but not yet in practice.)

                  You can see the system here: http://ers.shinshu-u.ac.jp

                  login as guest, password guest to look around.

                  I guess you would have to spend some of the budget on bar code readers (institutions usually like it when you spend money on things that they can come around later and count and put stickers on!)


                  Mark


                  2010/1/6 David Peter Moran <dmoran@...>
                   

                  Dear Glenski,

                  If you get the chance try MediaMan.  I like the fact that you can run a read-only copy on as many computers as you like.

                  All the best,

                  David



                  David Moran
                  English Lecturer
                  Foundation Program English Department
                  Qatar University
                  dmoran@...






                  --
                  Mark Brierley
                  Language Education Centre
                  School of General Education
                  Shinshu University
                  Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                  +81 263 37-2923
                  mobile 090 4464 6391
                • Glen Hill
                  Mark, Thanks for adding that to my list of things to check out! I would like something that uses barcodes but that can separate from multiple copies, so I ll
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jan 7, 2010
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                    Mark,
                    Thanks for adding that to my list of things to check out!

                    I would like something that uses barcodes but that can separate from multiple copies, so I'll have to buy or make separate barcodes for those.  Not a problem from what I've heard.  Problem is finding the right software to manage the whole shooting match.

                    Online vs. stand-alone computer system.  I think online would be better, but I don't think out own IT group would want to manage it on the uni's server, so it would have to be somewhat self-sufficient.  And, in English, so I'd be one of two foreigners to administer it.  I think having it web-bases offers 2 big advantages:

                    1. being able to send email notifications for late checkouts
                    2. allowing administrators to make reports and add new materials remotely

                    Another advantage is for patrons to tap in and look at what's available and perhaps reserve them, but as I've written before, half of my students who are ***required*** to check out books fail to do so, so the interest in not as great as we'd like right now. Hoping to raise that.

                    I know what you mean by unis putting ID labels on equipment, but ours doesn't start doing that until the item costs a large amount (>90,000?).

                    Thanks again.
                    Glenski

                    On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 5:00 PM, Mark Brierley <mark2@...> wrote:
                     

                    Hi Glenski,

                    Not sure whether we'll be able to help, but our university has developed an online ER system, with some library management functionality, and they have just got a barcode reader working on it. The barcode reader works on the books' ISBNs, so if you have ten copies of a book, it would not know which one a student was borrowing.

                    I presume you need an online system, or would all your borrowing go through one computer?

                    It should be possible to install the system on your server, which would require a trip by our tech team, or to add your users on our system.  (It's possible in theory, but not yet in practice.)

                    You can see the system here: http://ers.shinshu-u.ac.jp

                    login as guest, password guest to look around.

                    I guess you would have to spend some of the budget on bar code readers (institutions usually like it when you spend money on things that they can come around later and count and put stickers on!)


                    Mark


                    2010/1/6 David Peter Moran <dmoran@...>

                     

                    Dear Glenski,

                    If you get the chance try MediaMan.  I like the fact that you can run a read-only copy on as many computers as you like.

                    All the best,

                    David



                    David Moran
                    English Lecturer
                    Foundation Program English Department
                    Qatar University
                    dmoran@...






                    --
                    Mark Brierley
                    Language Education Centre
                    School of General Education
                    Shinshu University
                    Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
                    +81 263 37-2923
                    mobile 090 4464 6391

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