There are many vendors of integrated library system. One sources of information on vendors and systems is “Automated System Marketplace” which is published annually in Library Journal. While it is possible, using such a tool to identify market leaders among the vendors, it is not possible to say which of the available systems is best. Such a determination would have to be based on a thorough understanding of the library for which the system was intended and of that library’s needs and resources. A system which might be ideal for a large academic library would not be suitable for a small school library. Still, the number of systems, which a vendor has installed, is one measure of success and quality. Other measures include level of customer support provided and customer satisfaction.
There are also a number of system performance issues, which must be addressed during the selection process.
- Does the system have the capacity to handle the number of transactions, e.g. the number of books checked out daily, in the library without slowing to an unacceptable level of performance?
- How many bibliographic records and patron records can the system hold?
Also, libraries must look to the future when purchasing a system.
- How much growth, in term of patrons and materials, can the system accommodate?
- Will the library be able to migrate from this system to another system without extensive redesign of the database?