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7 Must-Have Features When Choosing the Best Library Software

how to choose the best library software
Librarians manage the most valuable asset to the community because public and school libraries offer 100% free educational resources. The library plays an essential role in providing a safe space for exploring, learning, and discovering for everyone in the community.

Finding the right solution for your library is vital for the management of your assets and the service of patrons.

How to Choose the Best Library Software

Library software simplifies tasks for librarians and administrators by providing an automated platform to issue books, track statuses, engage patrons, and more. When selecting a library management solution, consider these factors:
Type of Library. Is your library a school, public, academic, or special library? Each library type will have different needs to serve patrons better.
Collection Size. The size of your collection will determine what features you’ll need to support daily tasks and management.
Budget. Take into account the price of the software and any additional add-ons you’ll need.
Size of Staff. From volunteers to IT staff and administrative access—you’ll want software that can fill in the gaps if you are short on staff.
Compatibility. You may need a solution that can integrate with partners you currently work with and partners that give you choices in the future.

Library Software Must-Have Features

Selecting the best library software is an individual decision for each facility, for it has its own set of needs. To help you narrow down essential features, we’ve selected the top 7 must-haves when it comes to your library management software.

1. Patron-Facing Interfaces

Whether you organize your library by Dewey Decimal, genre, or a different system—your main objective is to help patrons find the right books! First on our list is patron-facing interfaces and tools for searching the library catalog.

You’ll want a powerful toolbox of features that allows patrons to find what they want. Library features should include multiple filtering options for older patrons or clickable icons to guide the younger crew. Or possibly a combo of both! Patron-facing interfaces are essential for making it easy for patrons to discover the books they want and need.

Other patron-facing tools...
Other useful patron-facing tools include features like lists, reservations, announcement displays, and more.

One of our favorite patron-facing tools from Alexandria Library Software is the Browse feature. Perfect for librarians who are not ready to ditch the Dewey, Browse allows you to genrefy your collection without the grueling work! Students can discover the books they are most interested in by topic or genre when using Browse. Check out more here!

2. Customization

It’s essential to have options. You’ll want a library software you can make your own. When looking for the best-integrated library system, try to find a software you can customize. From policies, preferences, items, labels, reports, and patron-facing interfaces—the freedom to choose is yours!

3. Cloud Hosting

Next on our list is Cloud Hosting. There are numerous benefits with a cloud-hosted platform like flexibility, efficiency, and strategic value.

  • Flexibility. Cloud hosting offers accessibility options that librarians shouldn’t pass up! Entirely web-based, you can access your library from any device or from anywhere.
  • Efficiency. A cloud-hosted library system will save you time and work, especially if you have limited or no in-house IT techs.
  • Updates. Hosting your library services with your provider will also include regular updates. Some library management systems will also automatically update your software.

4. Accessibility

View, process, and complete library operations from anywhere you’d like! Accessibility means unlimited access to the entire program from classrooms, computer labs, home, or anywhere with a proper internet connection.

5. Integrations

Integrations streamline your library software. Options help to cut down extra costs. Most of all, integrations allow you to keep the partners you are working with or would like to work with in the future.

Alexandria is proud of the partnerships they have with Mackin, Overdrive, Capstone, Perma e-Hub, Mitinet, and more!

Which leads us into our next must-have...

6. Single Sign-on Technology

Single sign-on technology makes it easier to manage your patron database. A one-stop-shop for students, SIS integration allows schools and libraries to manage their student login-in credentials from a centralized system. With automatic account creations and updates, SIS integration removes roadblocks for educators and students.

Schools turn to Clever for its innovative SIS connections. Learn more!

7. Support

Feel confident when using your library software! When looking for a library system, it is crucial to select a system that will provide the resources and help to you and your facility when you need guidance.

Alexandria Library Software

Alexandria fits the bill when you are looking for the best library software. For more than 30 years, Alexandria has focused on creating software to help modernize education. Whether you are a librarian, administrator, or IT technician, we are breaking down the limitations of library management by providing:

  • Engaging Patron Interfaces
  • Numerous Customization Options
  • Cloud Hosting Capabilities
  • Accessible from Anywhere (and by multiple users!)
  • Numerous Integrations
  • SIS Integration Bundles
  • And the only library software to offer 24/7, 365 day live support

Learn more about all the features of Alexandria Library Software by scheduling a demo.

Request a Free Demo

Library Software That Empowers Librarians.

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Request a Free Demo

Library Software That Empowers Librarians.

We're committed to your privacy. Alexandria uses this information to contact you about relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

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