Why Library Automation?

Vasu M Deshpande, Easylib Software Pvt Ltd, Co-Founder and CEO,

vasumd@easylibsoft.com+91-97422-04624

October 2019

Summary

Library automation is a now buzz word. Every library wants to automate. However when it comes to getting justification for the spend, many librarians face difficulty in providing sufficient justification. This article helps you easily understand the benefits of library automation and communicate them easily to college management.

What is automation?

Automation is having computer or a machine do a routine activity. However the level of automation determines how much of intelligence this automation can bring to you. At the basic level, automation could be as simple as publishing a list of books you have at the library on your website for easy view by students. And at the more advanced level, the automation could easily display fully customized and personalized web OPAC for students along with 3D view of the library and helping you read their mind and procure items they require without they even specifically asking about it. 

Benefits categories  

Primarily all benefits of automation can be summarized in three ways – attract more users to the library, optimize the resources and the third being quickly generate reports for be compliance as per NAAC, MCI, NBA, AICTE expectations. 

Various benefits of automation

Various benefits of automation are as below

  • Search – Automating your library offers the ability to students to search books in your library.  
  • Guide Students – Often students do not know what to search in the library. You put appropriate guidelines on the material available in the library. 
  • Your publications – Many staff would have published a lot of articles. However often they remain not showcased. The library automation software helps you show case them. 
  • Catalogue books – One of the primary reasons for automation is to easily catalogue the books
  • Stock Verification – Easily take stock of the library and find what are the missing stocks
  • Arrange Books – Automation with RFID helps you in easily identifying misplaced books. 
  • Take book requests – Easily take the requests for books
  • Requests for proposals – Software would help you easily create requests for proposals
  • Compare quotations – Automation will help you in comparing the quotations
  • Place book purchase orders – Automation will reduce time to place book purchase orders
  • Manage Receipts– You can easily manage what books have been delivered, which ones are not etc. 
  • Merge titles –Automation helps you track how many copies of each book you have
  • Barcode prints – Automation helps you print barcodes for your library
  • Accession Reports – Automation helps you easily take collection reports by subject, department, course branch etc.
  • Circulation – Automation helps you track book issues, returns, renewals, dues etc.  
  • Easily calculate the fine – Automation helps you easily find the amount of fine each student would need to pay
  • No due certificates – Automation helps you easily determine whom to issue no due certificates and whom not to issue
  • User communication – Form user groups and regularly communicate with them
  • Get customized statistics and reports – With many times of reports to be submitted to various bodies, automation helps you in quickly generating them.
  • Digital Resources – You can manage digital library contents and eResources at your library easily. 
  • Students Information – Students and members information can be organized neatly when you have automated.  Without automation, it is very difficult. 
  • Journals – You can manage journal subscriptions, manage receipt of journal issues, track spend on journals etc. easily when you automate your library. 
  • Visitor Management – Automation helps you count of visitors to your library and publish different types of library usage reports.
  • Export and Import – Many times you are supposed to give data like students who have fines due to college administration office. Having your library automated will help you. 

Conclusion

Overall, every level of automation i.e. the most simplistic level to the most advanced one is expected to being enormous benefits to the library. It usually brings multiple folds of benefits compared to the investment.  It is definitely worth the effort to do a cost benefit analysis and decide on the amount of investment you wish to put. 

About the author 

Vasudevrao M Deshpande (Vasu) is an entrepreneur, author, software engineer, program manager and a Swachch Bharat advocate. He founded Easylib Software Pvt Ltd and worked with Infosys, Apple, General Electric, IBM, ABN Amro Bank in various capacities. He is a Gold Medal in Engineering; MBA from University of Massachusetts USA, PMI certified Program Management Professional and APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional.  He is an avid reader and speaker at many renowned events. 

About Easylib Software Pvt Ltd

Easylib Software Pvt Ltd helps libraries automate through operations through Easylib Software. As of 2020, the software now runs at over 600 institutions worldwide. More details about the product may be obtained at www.easylibsoft.com or by calling Easylib Sales hotline 98443-49630 or by writing to info@easylibsoft.com

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