Book catalogue with web OPAC?
May 27, 2008 3:30 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a simple open source library management system / book database which offers a searchable web front-end / OPAC and which accepts imported data without MARC records (ie CSV or tab-delimited)?

My organisation has a large collection of books which have been catalogued in Readerware, which is a basic book database with an auto-cataloguing function. We would like to make the catalogue available to outside users via a searchable web database. It needs the following features:

* Users can search by different fields (author, collection, keyword, etc).
* Records can be imported in CSV or tab-delimited format (my records do not have MARC data).
* Easy to set up and administer for a non-expert (with some qualified IT expertise on call).

My current server is a Windows server running Microsoft SQL 2005; there is some flexibility in server options, however.

It would be fine for this to be a static database without any significant management options - as long as I can import my existing data and allow other users to see it, my basic needs are met. However, more functionality is obviously better.

In the long term, this collection of books will be properly catalogued and we will want a proper library management system. So, a system with the potential to meet these needs would be nice, but my priority is something quick and easy.

I have some familiarity with Ruby on Rails, so a Rails system might be easier for me to administer, but this is not essential.

I've looked at some open source LMS such as Koha, and they may meet my needs, but I'm definitely in need of some input from the hivemind!
posted by Webbreader to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking into Koha as well. The school is currently using Bookmark, but I can't help feeling that a bunch of shared files with no centralized DBMS, accessed via DOS-based software (truly DOS - not Windows, DOS) running on the workstations is the Wrong Thing.

On the other hand, it's nice and quick even on the oldest machines, and it's only destroyed the library database once in the last three years.
posted by flabdablet at 7:25 AM on May 27, 2008

If you're looking for something reasonably easy to get up and going and that you want to transition into a "real" catalog later on, Koha is probably the best right now. Evergreen, the other big open source library LMS, is a fair bit more difficult to install, although it's getting better.

No open source catalog has a straight, simple CSV import as far as I can tell. They're all tuned to MARC.
posted by the dief at 10:43 AM on May 27, 2008

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