Sunday, March 9, 2014

Salivating Over Library Automation Systems

Doesn't that title just scream, "NERD!"  I've been in the dark ages for too long with the current library system my district has (system will remain nameless).  But, we librarians united for a greater cause and decided, "No more!" Ok, so technically the librarian who has privileges to set up important changes to the system or make sure we have what we need to run state reports is retiring and the rest of us don't necessarily want to take on the work load.  It also doesn't help that our system is not compatible with our upgrade to Windows 7.  Don't just happened that way.

I am part of the Potential Library Systems Integration committee (we don't have an official name, so I just made this name up...fancy, huh?) As a committee we decided to visit school districts in our area that used other automation systems--TLC, Destiny, Alexandria, Symphony, and Atriuum.  It was an eye-opening day to say the least...especially for someone who has only dealt with one system.

I drooled over TLC and Destiny out of three I saw.  Compared to what I work with now, they are so user friendly!  You could get photos of students and nice little individual accounts for students with a whole slew of information vs. having to jump between my library system and the schools data system to get student information. You can also view a complete class list and just click on a student to access their record for check out vs. having to type/scan in the student's ID number.  

And oh word!  When I saw their OPAC, I wanted to stay and play!  Amazing how kid-friendly TLC and Destiny Quest are--both provide easy visual guidance (i.e. photo of book and an easily identifiable icon to mark if the book is in or out), the page set-up is appealing to the eye, and if a child is searching for a book the search engine intuitively provides suggestions when a student starts to type in words or give correctly spelled suggestions once the search button is clicked.

More to come...

Image courtesy of vectorolie/

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