If I have all the students enrolled, and they have a unique ID, and all the books we have also have a unique ID (whether created for the library, or ISBN Numbers, with potential duplicates), is there a better way for a librarian to manage the library?
I’m thinking of a simple app (or page) where the librarian could scan a student card/barcode (assume a barcode scanner) and then scan each book, and then commit.
The first thing to know about the Library is that it does not only print publications, but also computers, electronics and other items as well. In theory, it can be used to inventory anything in a school. We currently use it for our print library, for all ICT items, and also to run the ICT/AV loan desk, so we can track who has which of our assets. In v10 we will add fields for replacement cost and schedule, meaning you can use it for budgeting as well. This will be complimented by some Query Builder queries, which will allow you to look at budget information.
When adding a book to the library you can scan the ISBN and then use Google Books to retrieve the book data. When loaning out or searching any item you can scan a school-specific bar code containing a unique ID for the item. For selecting students there is no scanning support, you choose from a drop down list of names. Not ideal, but it works for us.
We have been considering the idea of a page where you can scan something for the user (in fact, staff and parents can borrow from the Library too, not just students) and loan item, and do multiple items on one page. This may feature in v10.
Last thing, if you want to automate the production of student ID cards, take a look under People > Students > Student ID Cards. Might save some time.