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online library borrowing solution?
August 10, 2014 1:23 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to find an ordering and database solution for the tool bank I manage in England. I currently use WooCommerce which is great but not built for a library type service. Ideally, I would like an ordering solution that has no pictures and is incredibly straightforward. Is there a cloud based web borrowing solution where one can see quantity of items in real time and order against and items can be added back just as quickly? Happy to consider just about any solution at this point! The rub is I need a system that can also track repairs and orders in supply chain. I am guessing that is not too difficult but a consultant from the library sector had no idea where to start for less than £10,000 per year.
posted by parmanparman to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you looked at Koha, a major open source library software package (online demos here)? You'd get a public catalog page, support for user accounts, and a staff backend to checkin/checkout tools, manage inventory, even handle things like fines and holds based on the policies you setup. It appears to have some features around managing acquisitions, though I'm not certain how repairs would work.

It's intended to manage books, periodicals, DVDs, etc..., but may well be adaptable to handle tools as well. Someone else with more Koha experience may be able to chime in here, or you could contact their mailing list for help. There are also a number of consultants that help libraries get setup and use the software.
posted by zachlipton at 2:27 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Also, maybe look at Local Tools and Tool Librarian, which are designed especially for tool libraries.
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 AM on August 10


Yeah if local tools or tool librarian can't do what you are looking for, then you are looking for something that is maybe not a tool library and should expand into other sectors to solve your problem.
posted by jessamyn at 3:12 AM on August 10


I am also working with LocalTools, but the maim thing LT is for (and the best thing) is p2p lending, not volume org2org lending which is what the tool bank does. I think about a school library that has hundreds of one kind of book and dozens of another but needs to keep track of each borrow individual and in volume.
posted by parmanparman at 5:29 AM on August 10


I think about a school library that has hundreds of one kind of book and dozens of another but needs to keep track of each borrow individual and in volume.


Any library ILS can keep track of works and editions. That is, at a bare bones level, the only thing they need to do. Can you talk about what options you have explored and why they don't work? Koha, Bibliomation, Evergreen or any of a number of options should be able to do this. They will also handle things like items being out for (or needing) repair though with tools you won't have the integrated purchasing modules that are sort of buyilt-in with books and other media.
posted by jessamyn at 6:19 AM on August 10


Tool Librarian is designed as a solution for tool libraries and the designer in Seattle does not intend it for the kind of org the tool bank is: org2org. I am looking steadily into library catalogs
posted by parmanparman at 11:50 PM on August 10


We have found a private solution that requires a change in business plans but it seems to be attracting interest.
posted by parmanparman at 6:25 AM on November 12


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