Software for a small (church) library
August 19, 2013 11:32 AM   Subscribe

I am helping manage a church library and would like to update the catalog software. I am looking for these features. This is more for inventory purposes than keeping track of circulation. I don't mind programs that take a little bit of work to install. Requirements *Under $100 (free or cheaper is better) *ability to scan UPCs using CueCat or phone *must work with DVDs/videotapes Nice to Have: Export to web Scanning with iPhone or android phone ability to make bar codes for items not in an online database
posted by tracer to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If it just for inventory have you tried LibraryThing?. It is made to work with books but it can do dvds too.
posted by Fence at 11:46 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

How much work are you willing to put in? I have used Koha, which is a completely open-source integrated library system with a really broad user base (small community libraries up to universities). Getting it up and running takes a bit of technical knowledge to figure out, but once it’s set up it is decently easy to use and well-featured. It’ll scan via UPC/CueCat, and I think some folks have worked on smart phone UPCs scanning webapps that can work with it.

It does mean you have to deal with MARC entries (which I hate), but when setting it up for my personal library, I scanned everything into LibraryThing which will happily export MARC data.
posted by thebestsophist at 12:09 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've heard of Koha, which is free software and seems to be used worldwide by all kinds of libraries.
posted by reynaert at 12:10 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here's a list from the New Mexico State University that looks somewhat up to date:

Software for Church Libraries
posted by GPF at 12:20 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Koha is fantastic but, I think, a little over what you need. I would second look into librarything, if you're just wanting a searchable database of what you have. I used it to create a "catalogue" for a set of Barristers when I ran their library and they're still using it because it does what they need and it was very easy for the clerks to update and they still do a honour system for circulation.

If you go with either, feel free to memail me - I've installed and maintained a Koha install and I'm a systems librarian, so this sort of thing is my job.
posted by halcyonday at 12:27 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry for the formatting in the OP. Great answers so far. LibraryThing looks promising, especially the part about connecting to Amazon to find obscure things. I will look into the others as well.
posted by tracer at 12:33 PM on August 19, 2013

I should say that I could find some pretty obscure stuff via librarything when I set up the barristers' librarything. Like, ancient books on Tort law that are still relevant because oh my god, the UK legal system likes to hold on to ancient things (case about stealing a pig while sleepwalking from 1608? Still applicable case law! My time as a law librarian was eye-opening!) and adding stuff was easy. I mean, it's not going to be a catalogue record that a cataloguer will create but you'll get the info that the user needs and it doesn't require the knowledge of the dark arts of MARC.
posted by halcyonday at 12:55 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Take a look at Readerware. I used it recently to help inventory and install a circulation program at a small school and found it to be easy to install and maintain. It has good look-up features, too.
posted by Talullah at 7:22 PM on August 19, 2013

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