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Enhancing Library Management Efficiency through an Integrated System

Assessment 1, MIS201 Page 1 of 2
Assessment 1 Case Scenario
The library of ABC University (‘ABCU’) currently employs a paper-based and manual process for
managing book loans. ABCU has around 30,000 students across its six campuses in Australian
metropolitan cities. Each campus has its own library facility. The library is open to both students and
staff members alike. The Head of Library Services and their team are responsible for providing library
services and keeping loan records. Here is a description of the services they provide:
– The library currently has around 50, 000 books across all six campuses. The library keeps
detailed record of each book, including: its title, author(s), description, publisher, language,
ISBN or other identifier, campus.
– The library may keep multiple copies of the same book, especially for the prescribed
textbooks, on one campus.
– For students, the maximum loan period is 6 weeks; for staff members, the maximum loan
period is 12 weeks. However, the library places restrictions on textbooks in high demand.
Books that are marked 3-day loan or 7-day loan are only available to be loaned for the period
of time as marked for students and staff alike.
– The library keeps a copy of students and staff contact details, including their ID (student or
staff ID), mobile, email and postal address.
– Students may check out up to 10 books and staff up to 20 books at any time. The library keeps
records of the books checked out by students and staff, including the details of the book, the
details of the borrower and the due date.
– Overdue books attract library fines at $1 per calendar day (full or part). Library fines are
applicable only to students. Students who have more than $20 outstanding fine will not be
allowed to borrow any more books from the library. Staff are not fined, however, they are not
allowed to check out any more books if they have any books that are overdue.
– Books can be returned to libraries on any campus regardless of where they were checked out.
The library will arrange to have the books couriered to the original library where they were
checked out.
– If all of the copies of a title have been checked out, both students and staff can lodge a request
for that title. Once the title has been requested, the copy that has been checked out the
longest period of time will become due either in 7 days or by the original due date, whichever
is earlier. Once that copy is returned, it will be reserved exclusively for the person who
requested that title for a period of 7 days before it becomes available for other students and
– If students and staff would like to borrow a title that the library does not currently hold, they
may lodge a request for library to acquire that title. The demand for a specific title must
exceed a certain threshold before the library considers to acquire it. The library employs a
weighted voting mechanism. The weighting is detailed below:
Acquisition request is from Demand weighting
Professor 5
Associate Professor 4
Assessment 1, MIS201 Page 2 of 2
Senior Learning Facilitator 3
Learning Facilitator 2
Other staff 1
Student 1
For example, if 2 students and 1 Associate Professor requested the same title, the demand for
that title is calculated as 2 * 1 + 1 * 4 = 6.
The Head of Library Services and their team use a collection of MSExcel spreadsheets stored on a
network drive to record all information. Once a person opens the spreadsheets to edit, others can
only open the spreadsheets under “read-only” mode.
As a standing agenda item, the Teaching and Learning Committee receives detailed reports on library
in every meeting. The Committee meets every three months. The reports include, but not limited to,
the following statistics about library services:
– Number of book titles that checked out since last Committee meeting by type of borrower
(student or staff) and by campus;
– Top ten titles that are checked out by students since last Committee meeting by type of
borrower and by campus;
– Number of books that are acquired by the library since last Committee meeting and their
– The highest and average library fines by campus;
– The average loan length, that is, the number of days that a book is checked out.

Enhancing Library Management Efficiency through an Integrated System: A Case Study of ABC University

This article presents a case scenario involving the library management system at ABC University (ABCU) in Australia. Currently, the university’s library services employ a paper-based and manual process for managing book loans. This traditional approach poses challenges in effectively handling the vast collection of books and borrower details. To address these challenges, this article proposes the implementation of an integrated digital system. By streamlining processes and introducing features such as automated book loan tracking, demand-based acquisitions, and comprehensive statistical reports, ABCU can significantly enhance its library services and provide a more efficient and user-friendly experience for both students and staff members.

The library system at ABC University serves a diverse population of approximately 30,000 students across six campuses in major Australian metropolitan cities. The current paper-based and manual approach to book loan management has become cumbersome and requires modernization to keep pace with the growing demands of the university community. This article discusses the current challenges faced by the Head of Library Services and their team and proposes an integrated system to optimize library operations.

Current Library Services and Challenges
Currently, the library manages an extensive collection of 50,000 books across all six campuses, with each book meticulously recorded with details such as title, author(s), description, publisher, language, ISBN or identifier, and the respective campus. The library also maintains multiple copies of certain books, especially prescribed textbooks, on a single campus to accommodate higher demand.

However, the current system lacks automation and efficient tracking mechanisms for book loans. Managing different loan periods for students and staff, along with special loan categories, results in a complex loan management process. Additionally, manual record-keeping of borrowers’ contact details and loan histories makes it difficult to maintain accurate and up-to-date records.

Moreover, the process of handling overdue books and fines for students needs improvement, as it can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Furthermore, the absence of a centralized acquisition request mechanism results in inefficiencies in fulfilling specific demands for new titles.

Proposed Integrated System
To overcome the challenges posed by the current system, ABCU should implement an integrated digital library management system. This system would include the following key features:

a. Automated Book Loan Tracking: The integrated system will automate the process of tracking book loans and due dates for both students and staff members. This will enable the library staff to efficiently manage loan periods and handle overdue books and fines.

b. Centralized Borrower Database: A centralized database will store detailed borrower information, including their ID (student or staff ID), mobile, email, and postal address. This will ensure accurate and up-to-date records of borrowers.

c. Demand-Based Acquisitions: The system will introduce a demand-weighted voting mechanism for acquiring new titles. By considering the demand from different categories of borrowers, the library can prioritize acquisitions effectively.

d. Comprehensive Statistical Reports: The integrated system will generate detailed statistical reports on library services. This will include data on the number of checked-out books, top ten titles borrowed, books acquired, fines, and average loan lengths. Such reports will be invaluable for decision-making and assessing the effectiveness of library services.

The paper-based and manual approach to library management at ABC University presents various challenges, affecting the efficiency and user experience of the library services. To address these challenges, the implementation of an integrated digital library management system is proposed. By automating loan tracking, maintaining a centralized borrower database, adopting a demand-based acquisition process, and generating comprehensive statistical reports, ABCU can significantly improve its library services and cater to the diverse needs of its students and staff members.


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