Like a library but with sign-out fees.
February 12, 2014 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some software that will help me manage a small artwork rental business. I've been looking at library systems, since the sign out/sign-in concept is the same, but none of them seem to offer the ability to charge a fee to sign items out or keep track of fees owed to artists. Any suggestions?

Ideally the system would connect to a SQL Server db and would be open-source; however, I'm not opposed to paying a reasonable about (say, less than $2,000) or having it run on MySQL/MariaDB. Thanks for your help.
posted by talkingmuffin to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Seems like you might do better looking for video rental software and repurposing it slightly. Lots of those sorts of solutions out there. Googling "sql video rental software" returns 461k results.
posted by mosk at 4:20 PM on February 12, 2014

I'm not aware of any specialized artwork rental software. There are various packages for equipment rental however; maybe something like Sirius ($2800 though, yikes) would suit your needs.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:47 PM on February 12, 2014

"small business rental software" seems to be a good search query.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:50 PM on February 12, 2014

Unless you specifically need the things that library software is good at, such as dealing with cataloging and classification for large numbers of things (tens of thousands to millions), and large patron databases (thousands to hundreds of thousands), you are better following the above suggestions. They stress the kinds of things that you are likely to be interested in, while not caring about things that matter to librarians, but which you couldn’t care less about (MARC, acquisitions, periodicals…).

That said, most library systems do allow for the collection of fees and fines. My hands on experience is getting a little dated at this point, but as a quick sanity check I took a look at the Evergreen docs and it seems to handle fees just fine, so you could use it, but unless you have a special affinity for, or knowledge of, library software you would be crazy to try.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 9:26 PM on February 12, 2014

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