It might be difficult to decide on the best library management system for law libraries. A lot of factors should be weighed before settling on a choice. To assist with the selection process, we have compiled a list of the top 7 criteria to consider while vetting library management software for law libraries. Your library will be well-organized, efficient, and user-friendly if you take use of these capabilities, which do everything from classifying items to considering the user experience and more. Find out what functions a legal library management system should have by reading on.
Finding the ideal library automation software for your particular requirements can be challenging. Library automation software is meant to assist with managing, storing, and retrieving both digital and physical materials. Make sure you can test out library automation software before purchasing it so you can evaluate its usability. After all, staff time savings is the fundamental business justification for purchasing library administration software. Take a trial and test the program from the viewpoints of the librarians and attorneys if you want to evaluate how user-friendly it is.
Is it as simple to use and intuitive as a website for a bookstore? Overworked attorneys shouldn’t require any special training to locate information sources to help them with their duties. They shouldn’t have to struggle with Boolean operations or searching instructions.
Does operating the program need extensive specific training for library staff? If so, you can be sure that employees won’t have to spend much time learning how to utilize it and can start taking advantage of library automation right away. Verify whether the software contains a searchable knowledge base with articles that describe how to utilize the program. Your library employees will have access to assistance anytime they need it thanks to this.
The capacity to customize your system is one of the most crucial qualities to look for when selecting a library management system for your law library. By utilizing this option, you may customize the system to meet your needs by just incorporating the features and fields that are necessary. It’s also crucial to check that the lending policies can be set up in accordance with the needs of the organization and that the navigation menu and field names can be modified to fit the chosen terminology. If there are custom fields, how many can you create and where are they displayed? Do you have any say in how the search is conducted? How can attorneys respond to the search results?
Customizing your library system is not the same as buying a customized system, which you should avoid at all costs because they may be pricey and challenging to maintain. Choose library automation software instead that provides a searchable setup dashboard that is simple for you to navigate. Drag-and-drop capabilities for lists of fields should be included so you can simply rearrange and reorder them so you can create a library management system that is effective and efficient and performs as you require. To swiftly complete the implementation stage and to subsequently make adjustments to your setup, if necessary, you should seek for configuration choices that are simple to identify and comprehend.
On the significance of Single Sign On for enhanced library services, I have published another blog. The main takeaway from that is that by lowering barriers to logging in, attorneys will get faster, easier access to legal library materials. While library personnel will devote more time to assisting attorneys with research or other value-added services and spend less time on access and password concerns. The technology may gather relevant information to feed management reports when attorneys are logged in. When making strategic decisions regarding your library service, library managers will be better informed as a result of additional information in management reports. There are benefits for everyone.
A customized user experience ought to be offered by the legal library management system once the attorney has successfully logged in using Single Sign-On. Users should have access to a My Account option, for instance, where they may examine their favorited searches, current loans, past loans, reservations, subject alerts, reviews, and other individualized information. This feature of library automation software makes sure that users may quickly access materials they’ve previously used and receive alerts when new resources are added to the collection that are pertinent to their work. If the lawyer had access to departmental or practice group material that was pertinent to them, the user experience may be significantly improved.
It’s crucial to seek for unlimited multi-hierarchical taxonomies in your library management system. They are crucial because legal libraries sometimes require several descriptions for materials containing legal knowledge. Although the majority of library systems will have a topic taxonomy, examine if you can develop other taxonomies to represent your collection. In order for attorneys to discover objects by practice areas or departments, categories of legal activity, industrial sectors, or legal entities, you need add more descriptors when cataloging hardcopy items, digital works, and unpublished knowledge papers or files in your library management system. Make sure this flexibility is built into your system.
Legal libraries today require cloud-based library automation software since it has various benefits over conventional, on-premise software. Since cloud-based systems are kept elsewhere and typically have numerous levels of security, including encryption at rest and in transit, they are more secure than on-premise counterparts. The data saved in the cloud is only accessible by authorized individuals, and backups are completely automated and tested. When opposed to maintaining servers on-premise, cloud-based library management software is more environmentally friendly and offers better security.
Finally, because there is no need to buy and install servers, or pay for IT support and server licenses, cloud-based software is frequently less expensive to maintain than on-premise alternatives.
Any library automation software program must make sure that your legal library has access to the newest capabilities. The best option is to choose a provider who offers regular updates that are installed by them at no extra cost since you won’t have to wait long for corrections or problem patches and because they can react quickly to requests for modifications and new features. You can make sure your legal library system is operating at its best by using the most recent version of the software and keeping your library management software regularly updated.
Don’t only think about the most obvious aspects, like cost, when deciding what features a library management system for legal libraries should have. You will have to choose this within the parameters of your budget. Please read “Why The Human Factor Matters When Choosing Library Software” and “Switching Library System Data Migration,” our other two articles on system selection.