Library management systems for small NGOs

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Original Message

From: Judith Henderson, posted on 2010/05/21

Most of my clients here in Namibia are after ways to organise their "libraries" or "resource centres", which are usually dusty collections of in-house consultancy reports, once glossy donor-funded publications, other people's consultancy reports, freebies and if they are lucky a few key text books and a short-run of donor-funded journals. They ask for systems to organise and develop these few shelves - which I am happy to help with, but am currently feeling bamboozled by all the technology out there that could help and am always trying to find a no-cost/low cost library management system to help them - yes there's CDS/ISIS, which is widespread in government libraries here, taught at the university, but it still requires a level of technical expertise to manage and troubleshoot that I fear my small NGOs can't provide/sustain. Same goes for KOHA which I've recently discovered - but couldn't even access, same with Greenstone. Some lucky clients have IT companies that help them, but most don't.

I'd be eternally grateful for some more of the KM4DEV technical knowledge to help me find a suitable system - it doesn't have to be free, just inexpensive as I think this time we can pay some money, but as usual can't be sure that the finance manager who doubles as the IT guy will have the time or requisite expertise to assist in its deployment or care.

(Yes, I can use EXCEL and all its limitations and we could just about use ACCESS - any thoughts on those?)

Henderson Library and Information Services, Namibia.


All replies in full are available in the discussion page. Contributions received with thanks from:

Judith Henderson
Tom Zeppenfeldt
Steve Katz
Andrew Buxton
Daan Boom
Peter Casier

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