The advantages of implementing an open-source system for managing a library
Libraries have a multitude of roles and a good software implementation is crucial to organizing their daily tasks.
PMB Services is a free and open source software, a flexible ILS (Integrated Library System) and complies with the rules of librarianship. It is a web application, based on a Web Server platform, which can therefore run on Linux, Mac OS X or Windows.
PMB is used by large institutions such as local authorities, ministries, networks of public libraries, colleges or high schools.
PMB comes with solutions to most common problems in the workflow of a librarian:
- Cataloging : The software is capable of saving any kind of information (books, magazines, periodic bulletins, electronic documents, musical scores etc. The standard data can be enriched with specific information needed in the library.The records can be imported directly in the PMB using Z3950 with the DBs that use this protocol
- Circulation: The data for every subscriber to the library is quickly entered into the software. Also, this data can be modified anytime. The data involving loan duration and other useful information can be personalized.
- Digital Library: PMB can catalogue any type of digital resource, including web sites, videos, e-books. For each resource, one or more files can be associated: an extract, a picture, a summary, an e-book, a multimedia link. PMB checks all the recorded weblinks in order to assure the integrity of the information. Also, a licence can be associated with a specific document. The users can consult many electronic documents with the help of a built-in viewer. Also, the users can search information inside documents without the need to go through the whole document.
- Tracking and reporting: PMB can help the librarians and the managers better analyze and understand the library clients by integrating statistical tools. With a few clicks, one can easily extract information about the people visiting the library or about the usage of the portal. The managers can take better actions by improving their knowledge about the habits of their users. PMB has a module for analyzing the effieciency of an emailing campaign. This module can measure the number of clicks, the opening rate and other meaningful statistics in order to better optimize your emailing campaigns.
- Communication: PMB provides a CMS used by the librarians to publish content on the website, so users can acces information about the latest acquisitions, different events, some frequently asked questions (FAQ) etc. The library clients can also access their personal account and keep in touch with the librarians. PMB integrates a watching tool named Watch & Share: this module aggregates information from different sources (RSS feeds, websites etc.) . The librarians don’t need to keep an eye on every website and after consulting the different news, they can save them in the database or can share the information with the clients.
- Interoperability: All the PMB databases can be visible using different services like Z3950 or an API. The PMB offers an API which can do a variety of functions: simple or multiple criteria searches, the disponibility of book copies, retrieve data about a specific borrower, place reservations on books , etc. Also, the PMB databases can be indexed by all the search engines