Catalogue

The catalogue is simply a list of each item in your inventory. Any item can be catalogued and simply identified by a title a unique number - usually a barcode - and type. The type of item can be a book, a toy, a video a journal etc.

In the case of a typical library the catalogue will include other identifiers like Author, Isbn, Classification etc.

One of the unique features of Lending library running on an Ipad or Iphone is it's integration with the built in camera. Not only can a textual description be catalogued but also a photograph of the item itself. In the case of a book; the book's cover.

Membership

If you wish to lend items in your catalogue you will need to create a membership record for the person borrowing the item. This could simply include a name and an email address. One of the benefits of running Lending Library without internet access is knowing where your data is stored and cannot be hacked on the Internet. This makes the App easily GDPR compliant - although you would still have to register if members can be identified by their name and address.

Circulation Control

You can lend items straight away without creating a complete catalogue of your stock nor any membership records. Enter these details only when an item is to be borrowed. 

The circulation system has many features to help you track your loans. In the case of a college or school library you can set up different lending privileges for both items and borrowers. For example you may wish to lend ordinary items for 14 days whereas you may only wish to lend videos for a day. The Software calculates return dates based upon theses parameters.

Items that have not been returned by the due back date can be identified and overdue notices emailed to the borrower with details of any fines due. 

In some cases you may wish to charge borrowers a fee for lending a particular item.

Security

When you first install the system you can choose to enable or disable security. If you choose to disable security then anyone will be able to access all the function of the system. If you choose to enable security you will be asked to enter password for the manager - we call root. This password must be kept safe because once security is enabled it will be needed to operate the system. When the root password has been entered it will be emailed to an address of your choice.

Once the security system has been enabled you can then create further logins with different privileges. For example a member of staff can be allowed to enter catalogue records but not use the circulation program.

Journals and media

Journals and all other media are part of the catalogue of stock items. They are recorded in the same way and distinguished by a media code. Journals however have extra information about subscriptions frequency and pricing. Lending Library lets you keep track of issues as they arrive and helps in recording missing items.

E-books

E-Books are recorded in the catalogue of items and can form part of the lending system. In the of E-Books though a physical item is not loaned but a download instead. This will usually be part of a licence agreement with the supplier which specifies the number of downloads allowed. Additional information about subscriptions and licences is recorded in the catalogue of items.

Purchasing

Lending library can be used to create and track receipt of purchase orders. Item details are entered into the ordering system as part of a purchase order. The purchase order can then be emailed to the supplier. When the items arrive they are recorded as having been received and can then be copied into the catalogue. In this way basic catalogue data is only entered once. More data can be added once the items are in the catalogue.

Searching

Once a large catalogue has been built the comprehensive searching tools become useful. In the case of a traditional library a complete OPAC system is available with free text retrieval (IOS 11.1 onwards). Records can be found simply be typed words or phrases with boolean logic in addition to titles,authors,subjects,isbn,classification,publisher,audience,media type and many other groupings.

Management functions

In order to maintain data integrity in the database Lending Library uses Authority control files. For example the media field. This field is controlled by the media authority file. The file contains a list of valid entries. Lending library will only allow one of these to be entered into the media field. Some authority files come pre-configured when Lending Library is installed.

Other management functions include details about your library, staff records, closed days and special dates, wish lists (desiderata), overdue notices, lending statistics, reservation queue, transaction log, charges and fines, lending privileges, Thesaurus, Logins log, Budgets, Suppliers.