I am very excited: just landed a job at a lovely little Friends School...am looking for robust free or budget-friendly library automation tools that will grow with us. I started to research LibraryWorld.com, and I also saw a SLJ article discussing these 3 free, open source library automation tools:
Anyone out there have any experience, advice or feedback about any of these tools?
Plymouth Meeting Friends School
I can speak only about OPALS. My large school district currently uses this system (this is our 3rd year now) AND WE DON'T LIKE IT! It is unreliable. You can check in classes of books & it says the books are still checked out to the student. It goes very slow at times and when you are a one person show you just don't have time for that. After 3 years I am sure it is not operator error either.
The company will make changes but they never tell you about it. You will go to do something and the format is completely different. I don't reccommend this software, and I can tell you that all 8-10 of our librarians feel the same way. . . . . . .Good luck and I hope you get some positive feedback about the other two on your list.
Laura THANKS! I did hear from one other librarian who likes OPALS but it is not free; she pays $750/year for hosting and support. For just a tad more, $1,000/year ($1565 the first year, $1k/yr thereafter) I can have the Mercedes Benz of systems, Follett Destiny. Found out a prior librarian at my school purchased Library World and they never could get it to work. I'm now trying to figure out how we can raise funds for Destiny since it will be around for the long haul, is very scalable, and offers good hosting, updates, and support. Thanks again for your input!
Well I am glad that someone is having a more positive experience with OPALS! Yes, our district pays for OPALS too but because we are so large it's not part of my budget concerns so I never see the bill. If you are going to end up paying for automation you may want to look into Alexandria. I used that at my previous school and I liked them! I don't remember the cost though. My current district also used it but switched just before I began working there. The sales rep.( I delt with at Alexandria) is Richard Dolf, if you decide to speak to him you can tell him I gave you his name. He should remember me, Laura Gable from Schenectady City School District. Good Luck!