Our Top Picks

Accessit Library
Accessit Library
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Catalog management

Accessit Library is a flexible library management system designed for schools and campuses of any size. The software's eye-catching interface appeals to students of all ages and can display a variety of media, including books, magazines, podcasts, and online content. With the Accessit One Search tool, users can look for items locally or at another public library near them. One Search integrates seamlessly with all online subscriptions and supports SSO for fast, secure switching between multiple services. Accessit comes with a personalized dashboard system where users can reserve items, write reviews, and get recommendations based on books they've read.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cloud or local installation options
  • No charge for product upgrades
  • SSO supported

Cons

  • Fee for some integrations
  • No live support
  • No free trial

Summary

Accessit Library
Accessit Library
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Demo
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Serial/circulation Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Catalog management
Koha ILS
Koha ILS
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Barcoding/RFID

The open-source Koha library automation system is an all-in-one package for circulation, materials acquisitions, label printing, and cataloging. Koha's web-based management and self-checkout tools can be used by libraries of any size and shared between branches in multiple locations. In offline mode, users can access materials even when the internet isn't available. The software features an enhanced catalog interface that displays content from third-party tools such as Open Library and Syndetics. Koha is compatible with other technologies and systems that use MARC21, SIP2, and other standard library protocols.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Completely free to use
  • Reports and integrations

Cons

  • Limited training available

Summary

Koha ILS
Koha ILS
  • Starting Price
    • Open Source Software
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial/Demo
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Serial/circulation Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Barcoding/RFID
LIBERO
LIBERO
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Serial/circulation management

LIBERO's cloud-based library management software features a self-service member portal where patrons can reserve items and pay fines for overdue materials. The LIBERO Union system enables users to share materials between library branches located anywhere in the world. With LIBERO's smart search engine, UNO Discovery, patrons can look for any kind of media in the library catalog and receive recommendations for new content they may enjoy. Users who'd like to keep an item can purchase materials directly through the member portal. LIBERO's Business Intelligence Dashboard displays detailed reports of a library's performance, including metrics such as the most popular collections, loans, and returns.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Resource hosting included
  • Video tutorials
  • Integrations

Cons

  • No phone support
  • No free trial

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Demo
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Serial/circulation Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPhone/iPad, Android
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
  • Serial/circulation management
Mandarin
Mandarin
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep)
  • Self check-in/check-out

Mandarin Library Automation includes a full suite of tools for cataloging, circulation, inventory, and reporting. The software comes with preconfigured, customizable templates that allow libraries to change the look and feel of their digital catalogs. Library patrons can check out and return their own items via the self-service portal. The Mandarin dashboard displays metrics such as in-house circulation, patron history, fines owed, and general library performance data. Mandarin supports both full and partial inventory of a library's holdings, which can help users find missing items or materials with invalid barcodes. Libraries can publish their collections online via the M3 Web OPAC system, available as an optional add-on module.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Custom training available
  • Add-on modules
  • Reports and integrations

Cons

  • No free trial
  • No phone support

Summary

Mandarin
Mandarin
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Webinar
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Serial/circulation Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: 24/7 (live rep)
  • Self check-in/check-out
Soutron
Soutron
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Catalog management

Soutron offers a number of software solutions for special libraries and corporate archives. The Library Management System features self-service functionality and can be accessed via desktop, tablet, or any mobile device. Patrons working on a project can save and share materials with others via the Collections tool for a more streamlined collaboration experience. Soutron includes more than 180 analytic reports and supports the addition of custom reporting parameters. Administrators can set up copyright notices, licensing terms, and DRM to protect specific content, such as digital files that contain sensitive or proprietary information.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Maintenance and upgrades included
  • Advanced features for special libraries
  • Extensive reporting capabilities

Cons

  • No 24/7 support
  • No free trial

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Demo
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Serial/circulation Management
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Catalog management

How We Chose the Best Library Automation Software

In your library, keeping track of guest activity, checked-out materials, and overdue fines can be a time-consuming challenge. Library automation software combines patron self-service functionality with robust management tools for administrators and staff. Although the right software for you will depend on your specific needs, we've chosen some of the best solutions based on key criteria, including library automation features, integrations, and reporting capabilities.

Library Automation Features

Our preferred software features a variety of self-service options that allow guests to check out materials, manage their own accounts, and search for items across all branches of a library. We chose automation software with inventory management capabilities that help staff keep both physical and digital content organized.

Integrations

The best automation software can integrate with some of the most common third-party tools used by libraries, such as Syndetics Unbound, Open Library, and LibraryThing.

Reports

We prioritized software that can generate reports for important library metrics, including popular collections lists and average guest visit time. Ideally, the software should allow libraries to add their own custom reports and view analytic data from a centralized dashboard.