Articles

How a Library Management System Boosts the Role of Library Staff

by Jose Richardson System Admin

Library computer management software helps to diversify librarians’ roles, enabling them to meet the demands of managing digitally-empowered libraries.



The role of libraries has shifted astronomically since their inception in 300 B.C. (the Great Library of Alexandria) as digital transformation has expanded their scope as information hubs. The incorporation of technology at public libraries over the years has made it easier for patrons to search for, analyze, and procure the information they need. In addition, they can use library devices to accomplish a broad range of activities, such as browsing the internet for a job or academic applications. The role of libraries has undoubtedly magnified and so has the role of library staff.


Today, library staff members cannot just be experts in creating and maintaining catalogs and directing patrons to the accurate resources. The provision of computers and the internet in libraries has necessitated that librarians be adept at managing technological infrastructure. In particular, troubleshooting recurrent issues on individual workstations is a major aspect of their daily duties. Therefore, the staff should be given adequate technical training for managing such extended responsibilities efficiently.

Alongside, installing a library computer management software eases and augments the modern librarian’s role. In digitally-empowered public libraries, a library software becomes a powerful tool for providing a consistently superior user experience and harnessing technology for totally positive outcomes.

Here is how a library computer management software augments the role of the library staff:

  • It maximizes system availability: Librarians are often the first point of contact for patrons facing difficulties in using workstations. Since every library computer is accessed by multiple users with diverse requirements, alterations to systems settings or unapproved downloads are common occurrences. This causes numerous software malfunctions and hinders proper use.

    Librarians can use a library computer management software to instantly recover malfunctioning systems to the IT-defined pristine configuration. A simple reboot accomplishes system restoration, and users do not have to endure delays and interruption to their digital activities. In addition, instant system recovery does not require librarians to perform extensive technical troubleshooting, since a reboot suffices. They also do not have to approach the IT team to rectify every small glitch or flaw.

  • It standardizes digital infrastructure: As mentioned above, devices in public libraries are accessed by multiple users on a regular basis. Consequently, they are increasingly vulnerable to unauthorized software installation and configuration drifts. If these issues are not resolved timely, they make library workstations slow or even unresponsive. The devices remain in the unusable state until IT staff reaches out and undertakes the requisite troubleshooting measures. The resulting downtime not only affects the productivity of libraries but also affects the reputation of the institution.

    A library computer management software allows the IT admins to determine and control the desired configuration on all devices. They just need to set the desired system configuration in alignment with the parameters and protocols of the library. The software eliminates all the unwanted system changes made during user sessions after every reboot. Therefore, irrespective of the tasks carried out on the device, there is no permanent negative impact on the preset baseline state of the machines. By maintaining a constant system configuration across all library devices with minimal effort, librarians can provide patrons with a uniform and stable digital environment.

  • It provides unrestricted accessibility: Librarians often have to deal with complaints from patrons who face difficulties due to the system restrictions imposed on the library devices. These restrictions are typically placed as a preventive measure to protect workstations from detrimental changes to system settings, unapproved downloads and installation, and other users actions that may potentially destabilize device configuration. Such restrictions pose considerable obstacles in the way of flawless research and browsing, which is one of the main reasons why patrons visit public libraries.

    Library computer management software enables librarians to resolve this dilemma. The ability to secure the pristine configuration and recover it promptly with a restart allows librarians to provide unrestricted access to all online and offline resources. While websites with objectionable content can be blocked, the majority of resources can be made accessible without the fear of any permanent damage to the system configuration.

  • It simplifies routine IT maintenance: IT teams in public libraries need to thoroughly conceptualize a maintenance schedule before implementing it so that the workstations remain in perfect working order without disrupting the user experience. Upgrades and patches must be installed on time but the task is enormously time-consuming due to the number of devices that libraries have.

    A library computer management software allows IT admins to schedule these tasks so that they are automatically performed at the preferred time. That being said, the software also facilitates preemptive execution of critical tasks such as installing a crucial update that cannot be kept on hold till the scheduled time.

  • It reduces IT intervention: Without the necessary technical training, librarians naturally find it difficult to troubleshoot computers. As a result, they remain constantly dependent on IT for diagnostics and resolution in the event of a device malfunction.

    A library computer management software is intuitive and demands no technical expertise to be used. Librarians simply need to restart the concerned device to revert it to its original configuration. This empowers them to effectively deal with technical glitches and performance issues in workstations, and resolve these issues independently. This, in turn, relieves the IT staff from running to the devices for addressing every minor issue.

  • It lowers operational expense: Public libraries often run on limited budgets and, consequently, need to make optimal use of their IT endpoints so that they have a relatively long lifespan. IT teams work under pressure to minimize overhead costs without compromising system availability and operability.

    A library system software helps tech admins achieve the desired level of cost optimization in a number of ways. It allows automating mundane maintenance tasks, makes the IT staff more efficient with the central management capabilities, enables librarians to troubleshoot issues independently, and so on. With a lower maintenance cost per system, libraries become more sustainable and can operate smoothly even with limited budgets.

  • It simplifies power management: In public libraries, devices often remain switched on for long periods of time, consuming excessive electricity. A centralized library software system allows IT to schedule automatic restart, sleep, and shutdown times for all the devices in the network. Various power saving options such as automatic shutdown after a period of inactivity or automatic restart of computers after each user session substantially reduce energy consumption.   

Effectively leveraging a library computer management software allows library staff members to cater effectively to the needs of modern-day users and facilitates a reliable and productive digital environment.



About Jose Richardson Advanced   System Admin

65 connections, 1 recommendations, 157 honor points.
Joined APSense since, October 27th, 2017, From Alabama, United States.

Created on Oct 9th 2018 06:47. Viewed 217 times.

Comments

No comment, be the first to comment.
Please sign in before you comment.