Library systems

Library management systems

A Library Management System (LMS) allows users to locate resources for reading, teaching and learning. It allows you to manage collections, catalogue, circulate items, run reports and obtain statistics.

A range of LMS products are available. Some are designed specifically for schools.  Products should be assessed on their ability to:

  • Meet the library's needs.
  • Meet your client's needs.
  • Provide installation support.
  • Support maintenance needs.
  • Provide ongoing support. 

Consider the functionality your library requires, the budget and the school's networking capabilities.

Most Department of Education schools are part of the TALIS Network.  They have access to a shared LMS (Symphony) which is maintained and supported by Libraries Tasmania. The LMS has an associated reports website and access to Libraries Australia and WorldCat. Each school has an individual set-up designed to suit their users and school community, and is provided with training and support.

Library Catalogue

A LMS should include a library catalogue.  This is an online database of your library resources. It is used to locate and promote resources and services. The school's intranet should link to it.

You should offer staff and students training sessions so they know how to search the catalogue effectively and can find what they need.  

The catalogue can be used to promote and share lists of new items and bibliographic lists on specific subjects or curriculum areas.

TALIS Network libraries have a school specific catalogue called eLibrary. Information and searching tips are on the TALIS Support Website. 

RFID

Use of RFID enhances traditional circulation systems. RFID operates in conjunction with library management systems. It enables circulation of multiple items and operates as a security system.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track RFID tags. 

Every item has a tag. The tag contains a microchip and antenna. The chip contains information about the item eg the item barcode number can link to the LMS. The antenna allows the chip to transmit to a RFID reader or scanner. The tag can contain a security chip that is turned off/on during checkout/checkin. The chip will be detected by RFID security gates.

The benefits of RFID can include:

  • The ability to quickly checkin and checkout multiple items.
  • Better security.
  • Options for checking contents of disc sets. 
  • Self-issue kiosks quickly check out multiple items.
  • Inventories are faster.
  • Library management tasks can be quicker eg identifying an item and tracking its use. 

Specialist RFID companies used by Tasmanian schools include Bibliotheca and FE Technologies. Associated tags and cards can be obtained from a range of suppliers.

Security Systems

Library security systems can prevent the loss of library materials and act as a theft deterrent. Options include RFID or Tattle-Tape (electromagnetic system).

In general:

  • Every item has a tag or magnetic strip.
  • The tag/strip is deactivated at checked-out.
  • The tag/strip is reactivated at checkin.
  • Security gates alarm if the tag/strip isn't deactivated.


Suppliers used by Tasmanian schools include:

Library websites and intranets

Your library's online presence is part of the school's eLearning environment. It will:

  • Connect the library to your school community.
  • Provide access to information, resources and tools to support learning.
  • Foster the enjoyment of reading.

Options include:

  • A link to the library catalogue on the school's website or intranet.
  • A standalone school library website. Many schools use LibGuides to create a website with subject guides and access to online resources. 
  • Contribute to the school's social media eg blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or have standalone library accounts.
Refer to Services to Schools from the National Library of New Zealand for further information.

Digital resource management

Online video

Schools can purchase licences/subscriptions to online streaming providers of films, educational videos and TV programs. They allow schools to store, manage and deliver video inside and outside the classroom. Options used in Tasmanian schools include:

Online magazines, journals, newspapers and databases

Schools can purchase subscriptions to databases that include newspapers, journals and magazines. Options suggested by Tasmanian schools include:

eBooks

Schools can purchase ebooks individually or subscribe to ebook collections. Options used by Tasmanian schools include:

TALIS Network schools can access information on ebook options, access and management from the TALIS Support Website.

Libraries Tasmania electronic resources

Staff and students with Libraries Tasmania membership can use a range of electronic resources.  Note: licensing restrictions mean these resources are for personal use only. They can't be used as classroom resources.