Library Management System

Library Management System/Integrated Library System


Who uses what LMS/ILS?


To see a comprehensive and up-to-date list of UK Higher Education Institutions and what LMS they use click here.
To view a list for UK public libraries click here. Details of upcoming, current and recent library system procurements are also available:
UK Higher Education
UK Public libraries
Some business cases (with associated costs and savings) for public libraries are also available on the Local Government Library Technology wiki (LGLibTech)

What is a LMS (ILS) ?

A library management system (LMS), also known as an integrated library system (ILS), can be considered as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for a library. It is formed from a suite of integrated functions to manage a diverse range of processes within a library. At the heart of most LMSs is a relational database (RDBMS) with a business application layer to manage library functions. These 'modules' typically include:
  • cataloguing (classifying and indexing materials)
  • acquisitions (ordering, receiving, and invoicing materials)
  • circulation (lending materials to users and receiving them back)
  • serials (tracking journal, magazine and newspaper holdings)
  • OPAC ('Online Public Access Catalogue' --the public interface for users)

Issues to consider when specifying and buying a LMS

LMSs have been around for more than 25 years and remain primarily designed to manage print resources. Alternative systems have grown up to manage electronic/digital resources. In addition LMS have not really been able to manage the archive resources that many libraries have, various digital repositories or the Institutional Repository (IR) for published research (mostly journal articles). Consequently separate systems have developed to manage those needs. In summary then the LMS is increasingly marginalised and is not longer so central to the needs of many libraries. This is especially true in large academic libraries which have to manage thousand of e-journals and spend much (often most) of their budgets on e-resources. Most libraries will probably need an LMS but they will also require a range of other systems to meet their overall requirements. Next Generation 'Library Services Platforms' that integrate the management of print and electronic resources are now well established in the market and have begun to supersede the conventional LMS/ILS

Library Standards

The RFP Writer’s Guide to Standards for Library Systems, By Cynthia Hodgson. NISO 2002
This is a little old (2002) but is still relevant. From the Introduction:-
"Which standards are important when considering a library system?And how can one
determine if a vendor’s product really complies with a standard?The RFP Writer’s Guide to Standards for Library Systems was created to answer these questions. It is intended for those who are writing Request for Proposals (RFPs) for library systems or evaluating RFP responses and software products".

open source

How to Choose an Free and Open Source Integrated Library System,
By Tristan Müller. OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives. Vol. 27, no. 1, 2011, pp. 57- 78.
From the paper:-
'Findings: More than 20 open source ILS’s were submitted to this methodology but only 3 passed all the steps: Evergreen, Koha, and PMB. The main goal is not to identify the best open source ILS, but rather to highlight which, from the batch of dozen open source ILS, librarians and decision makers can choose from without worrying about how perennial or sustainable each open or free project is, as well as understanding which ILS provides them with the functionalities to meet the needs of their institutions.'

Note: a feature list of the Open Source Evergreen Library System is available as a Google document