An integrated online library system, also known as a library management system (LMS), is an enterprise resource planning system for a library, used to track items owned, orders made, bills paid, and patrons who have borrowed. This is usually comprised of a relational database, software to act on that database, and two graphical user interfaces (one for patrons, one for staff). Most integrated online library system separate software functions into discrete programs called modules, which are then integrated into a unified interface. Examples of modules include: acquisitions (ordering, receiving, and invoicing materials), cataloging (classifying and indexing materials), circulation (lending materials to patrons and receiving them back), serials (tracking magazine and newspaper holdings), and the OPAC (public interface for users). Each patron and item has a unique ID in the database that allows the integrated online library system to track its activity. Larger libraries use an integrated online library system to order and acquire, receive and invoice, catalog, circulate, track and shelve materials. Most sizable First World libraries use this system. Smaller libraries, such as private homes or non-profit organizations like churches and synagogues often forego the expense and maintenance required to run the system, and instead use a library computer system.
In order to chose the good integrated online library system we should consider some criteria that can help we to decide to buy the system or not. We must identify that the system can give more advantages for the library and the user. The system must also have the flexibility to give some options for their user to satisfy the services. It also provides some facilities that can be use by the library. The first criteria in order to selecting integrated online library system.
INDEXING Almost all library system provides access to basic index types. The example is
browse and keyword indexes. A good library system allows staff and users to perform multiple searches or Boolean searching as known as OPAC searching. It helps in guiding to the user in order to search information that they want. Indexing has the ability to get information from its source. They can obtain information that is relevant from the sources whether the information is emphasized or not. We should find out whether this give the choice for the user in doing selection by prefer some multiple answer for their question. For example through the OPAC searching we can find the terms that are related by Keyword, Pattern, Boolean and Leftstring. Besides that we can also find the book that we want by the title, name, subject, year, publisher, place of publisher, ISBN number and call number. The use of this index is to make the access become easier and faster. Such as if the user chose the keyword to find the book that they want, they just only type the short keyword that are related to the title. For example if they want to search the book about management, they can just type management in the box that are provided and the system will try to search all the book that are related to the keyword. For the use of leftstring the index will search all the term that are related which is in the leaf position of the book. The user can also try to search through the title if they know the title of the book. Beside title they can find the book from the subject and also form the publisher. Identify that by using this index it gives advantages in order to satisfy the user need. The staff or the student can use indexing which the OPAC is searching without any barriers. It gives the multiple choices to the user in order to find the book with easily, faster and in systematic way.
TYPES OF USERS Depend on the types of library. Some libraries might want some kind of flexibility
for different types of user. There are some categories of library and their have their own types of user. Examples of the users are academic staff, students, the expertise, public people, researchers and the visitor from the oversea. For the academic library such as the Tun Abdul Razak library in Uitm Shah Alam is to provide services of reference and lending material appropriate to the need of the staff and students of the institution. So for that they only have several type of user that only can use their services. The users are from the student, faculty members, academic staff and non academic staff. The collection and services designed to match the needs of theirs users. The good integrated online library system should have the flexibility to the types of user in order to give some option to them to access the book. We should find out that this system can cooperate with any kind of user and give customize within with specific condition. This library use more computerized in their services. Some of the library it gives services to all the types of user. The book is available for the all kind of people. For example are the children, the teenagers, adult, old people, working person can also access the material in the library. Public library is the library that serves the entire of community. They give lending and reference services to professional and non professional. The good integrated online library system can cooperate with any kind of type user. It can give more flexibility in their system and will be accept by any organization. Some library do not consider about this system because they only have the little amount of user. Usually only the big library and have the biggest role that will select this integrated online library system.
USER CHARACTERISTICS Different type of user may need different set-up parameter. A good library system
provides options or flexibilities for types of patrons and their different characteristics. The user characteristics sometimes depend on the library. Different types of user have their different characteristics. The library has several types of user and because of that the library gives some options for some types of user. Some users get different type of services of borrowing book from the library. It is different from the amount of book they can borrow and the time of returning the book. For example in library Tun Doktor Ismail in Uitm Segamat Johor they have different rule of borrow and return the book for the user. It divides into 4 categories which is full time student, long distance student, academic staff and non academic staff. For the full time student they can only borrow 10 books for one person and have 2 weeks for duration of return the books. Then for the long distance student they only can borrow 8 books for one time and have 1 month for duration of return the book. Next is for the academic staff which is usually the lecture can borrows 15 books and have 1 month for duration time to return the book. And for the non academic staff they only can borrow 8 books and have 2 weeks for return the book. The user can also request the book that they want. The student can inform to their lecture about the book that can their reference. After that the faculty member will chose the best book and request the library to purchase it. Usually the expertise will represent the faculty and chose the books that are relevant to the subject. The integrated online library system should consider about the user characteristics. We should find out does the system provide the facilities for the user of the library and give some options that can make the user satisfied with the system.
ACCESS AND SECURITY Does the system provides some kind of control over the system parameters or
protected the data from being access by unauthorized personnel. A good system provides access and security not only to the system but also protected data. The system has own access and security. They provide security in order to protect the data from the irresponsible person. The example of the security is password, username and email. The library uses the system. The system includes the data about all the collection of the entire book. When the staffs do the process in the system, they must prepare the backup file in order to protect the data from lost. They usually have three set of backup file. The first set, second set and the third set. Sometimes if we do the work we don’t except if suddenly the electrical problem happened. The good integrated online library system should have the backup file to protect the data. In this case if not to worry because the library has save the backup file. So we do not lost any data that we process and can continue the work. Some library provides database for the user to access the information. The database uses the password in order to access it. The system must also provide password that can connect with the database. If the users do not have the password so they cannot get access the database. This password is to protect the data in the database. If the user can easily get access the system maybe they will change and copyright and because of that the data become not relevant and not accurate will not be use.
TRAINING Training is a practice in order to develop skill of working for the staff to become
better. By training they can try to improve the skill of staff working. They try to make the staff become more efficient and effective in doing their work. In order to choose integrated online library system we should identify that the purchase agreement include staff training. If they have the training we must know how much time are allocated for the training. We must also know where they want to do the training whether it is far or near from our organization. We should determine this will cost a lot of money or not. If we suggest just their trainer come to our place to do training and because of that we need to pay them with a higher price. If this case happens we should come out with another solution. For example we can ask our staff go to their place in order to training and it will save our budget rather than hire them as a trainer. Beside that we can train our staff until they become professional and no need to call them to make any maintenance work. We must also determine whether the training will give benefit to the staff or not. The training must give a new knowledge and can share to the other staff. The good training will create a good image of the staff. The user will satisfied with the services if the staffs work efficiently.
There are 13 criteria for selecting the integrated online library system. The criteria are general requirements for files, indexing, types of user, user characteristics, access and security, training, memory, interface design, price, documentation, support, supplier reliability and what other customer think. The good integrated library system should be compromise with all criteria in order to become an effective system that will chose by many library.