best Library Management System, What to consider when looking for and selecting a Library Management System?

Selecting a library management system (LMS), also known as an integrated library system (ILS) is a critical decision for your library team and staff. The system will function as the central hub for your collection, community, and operational statistics. Choosing the best library management system is a key element for delivering efficiencies and positive user experiences.  

Below are some key considerations Libero, by Knosys, recommends when looking for and assessing a library management system. 

Functionality 

  • Must include core functionality: For example, cataloguing, circulation management, acquisitions, serial management, member accounts, search capabilities and reporting.  

User Experience 

  • Must be easy to use: Is the system user-friendly for both library staff and members? Library members should be able to quickly grasp and find what they need, borrow materials, and manage their accounts without extensive training.  
  • Should be available on multiple devices: Does they have a mobile offering? A mobile library management system (MLMS) should complement your main LMS by offering the same functionality accessible on a mobile device.  
  • Must have excellent search capability: Will the LMS meet the needs of members when they are searching for content? For example, will they be able to find content from multiple sources in the same search results? 

Implementation and Support 

  • Is implementation help and advice offered? Does the LMS software supplier offer implementation support and training for your staff? Understand from the vendor how this works to ensure the successful implementation of your new LMS. 
  • Exceptional customer support must be available: How easy is it to get technical support from the vendor? What are their response times and support options e.g., phone, email, online resources.  
  • Should be scalable: Will your library membership or collection size grow? Choose an LMS that can adapt and accommodate future growth. 
  • Understand the investment model: ask questions about the cost structure for the LMS you are interested in, including upfront cost, ongoing maintenance fees, subscription fees, plus any additional costs for potential future training and development. 

Additional Considerations 

  • Does it have robust security features? The LMS should have strong security features to protect member data and library resources? Does the vendor provide a single-tenanted approach? 
  • Are there integrations with other systems? Can the LMS securely integrate with other library systems or other digital library content you use?  
  • Is it future proofed: For example – will it accommodate new cataloguing rules and formats, and can it grow with your collection or services?  

Don’t forget to: 

  • Gather vendor references: Ask the vendor for references from current and past clients with similar library needs. 
  • Research and read reviews: Read online reviews and comparisons of different LMS options. 

This checklist will help your decision making process to select the library management system to meet your library’s specific requirements. 

To learn more about Libero, contact us today to learn more or book a demo. 

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