Do you love to read? Well, the majority of the population does enjoy reading about various things such as wildlife, technology, cars, and much more. You love to read blogs and articles about technology development, based on the fact that you are on this page reading this piece of blog. People who love to read often have a collection of their favorite books, which can range from a couple of books to enough of them to open a library. Managing a small collection of books of different genres can be difficult sometimes; imagine managing a full-fledged library.
Library managing systems are used by a majority of the libraries across the world to efficiently manage their daily operations. Every reader has a different set of expectations from the library; some want to borrow the book to read in the comfort of their home, some take a bundle to read on the library desk, etc. A library has to take care of the needs of every reader and still function smoothly. A library management solution enables these institutions to efficiently keep the records of their reading materials, keep track of new arrivals and the borrowed ones. It not only eases the process but also saves a lot of time. We will discuss the development process of a library management system solution in this blog. Let’s dig in.
Library Management System: Introduction and Benefits
In simple terms, a library management solution can be described as software that manages the overall operation of the library. It manages the record of the available books, the ones that are borrowed, and much more. Apart from tracking the books, it also helps in calculating the fines for overdue on a book when returned late. The software manages a complex database that has ultra-modern features and functions, which helps in simplifying the task of a librarian. Just like any other software, it organizes the workflow of a library in a more aesthetic and efficient way which saves time and effort for the people working in the institution.
A library managing system solution can help the library in managing their working hours, doing modifications in the method of operations, and manages the place like a piece of cake. The system helps in tracking the assets of the institution in real-time; it also helps the visitors in guiding them right towards the books they want to read or borrow.
As per the reports and various surveys, it has been proven that a number of libraries across the world have benefitted from these efficient library management solutions. They help in saving time and effort and expedites the overall process. There are some benefits that come along with the development of a library management system.
- Reduce the workload
- Reduced amount of paperwork
- Enhanced efficiency of the employees
- Real-time tracking of books
- Update or edit the inventory from anywhere
- Reduces the need for a bigger team
- Reduce overall operating cost
- Instant reports for better analysis
- Eliminate manual assigning/returning of books
Development of Library Management System
The market is bustling with a number of library management system solutions, but still, the customers are in search of the one that suits their expectations. Regardless of the market size, there is still room in the market for a better system that fits like a glove with the requirements of the users. The majority of the population that uses these libraries are students and researchers. When dealing with students, always think of an innovative way to introduce your software that impresses them.
The development process can be divided into three major parts, which are market analysis, laying out the plan, and execution (including testing). Let’s start with the first stage.
The development of a library managing system can be a complex task given that it consists of numerous features, simple design, and much more. The audience of this genre is not interested in wasting any time, they want instant solutions, and hence, the software should be able to satisfy their every query or any need. In order to make this software more intriguing, you need to gather intelligent insights from the market, and you have to conduct an in-depth market analysis.
At this point, you have three options. The first option consists of assigning the task of market analysis to the in-house marketing team and list out the factors regarding which you want the data. The second option consists of hiring an efficient marketing team that conducts the analysis on behalf of your firm. The third option consists of buying the report from an online marketing journal as per the genre.
The second option is most feasible, the reason being, you will get exact details about every point that you have asked, including the competitor’s details, their business strategy, number of features in the prevailing apps, and much more. Your report should reflect the general opinion of the users of a library management solution and their expectations from a new system. Knowing your audience and developing a system customized to fit their needs will take your software to the next level of success.
Laying Out the Plan
With in-depth market analysis, your firm would have a set of intelligent insights to proceed further with the development of a library managing system solution. The next step in the process starts with laying out the perfect plan, which makes the overall development process easier. The planning would include the library management solution requirements such as the features, tech stack, platform, development partner, and much more. Let’s start with the features.
Features to be Considered in the Development of a Library Management System Solution
Take a hard look at the device you are holding in your hand to read this blog; what made you buy that device? The majority of the people will answer, it has great features. This is the main reason you should choose your features wisely. They are the main selling point of any software or application. Here are some of the most recommended features of a library management system.
Staff Panel Features
- Issue Books: Allow staff to issue books to the members of the library and scan the barcode on the books while issuing.
- Edit Profile: Allow staff to change their profile, update their information.
- Issued Books: Allow staff to check the record of the books issued by them.
- Request Books: These features allow staff to get request the return of the book from the member if they have exceeded the lending period. It can also be used to request the management for a new set of books of any genre.
- Book List: Allow staff members to locate any specific books just by entering the details of the books.
- Real-time Notification: This feature allows staff members of various updates about the books and the actions in the system.
Student Panel Features
- Account: Allow student or members to create their accounts by providing some basic details.
- Attendance: Allow students to log in their hours at the library.
- Issued Books: Allows students to keep track of the books they have issued with their due date of return.
- Request Books: Allow students to request books that are not available on the premises.
- Reminders: Notifies students about the new arrivals of the books at the library and their due date of the return for already issues books.
- Book List: Allow students to browse the overall collection of the library on their end.
- Locate Books: Allow students to find the location of a book in the library by filling in the details of the required book.
- Easy Payments: Allow students to easily pay their fees and fines related to books.
Admin Panel Features
- Manage Members: The admins can add or remove members from the system based on the rules of the institution.
- Seamless Payments: Allow admins to approve payment or the collection of the late fee.
- Manage Database: Allow admins to manage the overall database of the books and other reading materials in the library.
- Complete Dashboard: Allow admins to access every detail of the system in one place.
Tech Stack to be Considered in Development of a Library Management System Solution
A robust library managing system solution would function efficiently provided it has a strong inner structure which is the tech stack. Every feature and function of your library management solution would be dependent on the tech stack you choose. Majority of these systems which are available in the market use a generic tech stack. In case you are integrating some advanced features in your project, you can always ask your development partner for the same.
The tech stack of a full-fledged library managing software is changed or modified based on various needs. The majority of the systems uses prevailing in the global market uses jQuery, PHP, NGINX, Bootstrap, Ubuntu, jQuery UI, Animate.css, etc., for application and data purposes. Google Analytics, Twilio SendGrid, etc., are used for various utility purposes.
Now comes the front end and the back end of the library system; you can always use XML, React Native, Angular JS for the front end and NodeJS, ASP.net, PHP, etc., for the back-end development. For in-built payment options, you would have to integrate a payment gateway. For payment purposes, you can use PayPal, Stripe, Ewallets, Braintree, etc. Libraries all across the world have a massive collection of data. For the purpose of managing a database, you can use MongoDB, Cassandra, Mail Chimp, Postgress, etc.
Execution and Testing
The last stage of the development process is the design and execution of the overall planning. After you are done with the planning, it takes numerous attempts of testing the product before finally rolling it out to the users. Various library managing systems in the global market have a minimalistic design; some have a complex design; the question now remains; how to design a library managing system? The solution is simple; the system is there for convenience for the users and the staff, the design should be simple and effective.
After you are done with the design and development part, it’s time to test the product. Remember to test the product from every angle possible. Testing should be done in an iterative manner as it ensures the maximum removal of errors and bugs. Highly experienced testing engineers of Matellio know their jobs extremely. They are highly skilled and have tested numerous applications in software in their career. The best way to test the project is to build a prototype first and run every test that is mandatory to find out any errors.
Team requirements and Factors Affecting the cost
The development team is the most important part of the overall process. You need a team that you can trust with your ideas and expectations from the project. There are always options when it comes to choosing the perfect team. The first option consists of in-house development, where your team of developers builds the perfect library managing system. There is one problem with this option; not everyone has all the resources under one roof.
The second option consists of hiring a freelance development team. You can hire a freelance team, and maybe they will deliver the project as per your expectations, but most of the companies with such a project don’t hire these teams for obvious reasons.
The third option involves researching about a full-fledged software development company and hire them—research about their portfolio, client reviews, and the overall reputation of the company in the market. A generic team for software development consists of a project manager, a business analyst, QA, testing engineers, and developers.
The cost is an important factor in the overall development process. You should have a figure in your mind allocated for the project, but things don’t always go as planned. The budget of your library management solution can fluctuate a bit based on a number of factors, such as:
- Number of features
- Number of platforms
- Tech stack
- Choice of development partner
- Location, etc.
The Final Takeaway
Libraries are never going out of fashion and to stay updated with the trends of the modern world, they need a technological revamp. Schools and colleges need a robust library management system that can expedite the process. With proper technology implementation, a library’s majority of the processes can be automated, which will save a lot of manual hours.
Book thefts are common in libraries; they can be stopped with a proper RFID scanning system in place, which tracks the books and notifies the librarian straightaway when the book is being sneaked out without being authorized. The only thing you will need is a trustable development partner who helps you in building this amazing project.
Matellio is referred to as the most reliable and reputed software development company in the market. We have a proficient team of software developers that are highly trained and possess vast professional experience. Our experts have delivered a number of flawlessly engineered software which have received great feedback from the clients and their users. Our feasible engagement models are designed to align perfectly with your business needs. Book a 30-min free consultation call with our experts to discuss your idea of a library management solution. Fill the form now!
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