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Software for Church Libraries

The following links are provided for informational purposes only. They do not represent a personal, professional, or institutional endorsement or recommendation.

SumWare Consulting has developed three library packages appropriate for use in small libraries. All the packages support a catalog and circulation function, although each package different capabilities. The MARC utility can decode MARC files for inputs into Athenaeum. Trial downloading available. Last visited: 03/2016.

Fully browser based functions: circulation, OPAC, acquisitions, cataloging, serials management, and reporting. Supports add-ons such as OPAC themes and federated searching via SURFit. Supports multiple server environments, including Linux, and multiple platforms, including MAC. Dedicate your own server or opt for hosting. Last visited: 05/2013

Use the Internet to import bibliographic data for quick cataloging. Enter acquisitions info, such as price and purchase date, indicate genre, award notations, and synopsis. A loan module helps keep track of items on loan. The report generator contains 80 pre-defined report formats. Flexible searching and pop-up menus for quick feature access and navigation. Inexpensive. Last visited: 03/2016

Type or scan the book's ISBN to search the book database. Select your book from the Search Results and click to add the book to your database. Batch selection and downloading possible. Typical bibliographic data, including genre, is complemented with an area to enter character information, contents notes, book covers, and external links. Use the Collection Status field to indicate if an item is in the collection, on a wishlist or order. This feature can then be used to filter by item status. Export the collection to an iPhone or iPod Touch using the Clz Books app or to HTML Use the loan manager feature to track items status. Last visited: 03/2016

A free database program to manage your collection. Enter author, category, and publisher and print them out in a variety of formats. BookDB is only capable of producing item lists; it does not facilitate traditional library functions, such as an online catalog or circulation. Last visited: 03/2016

Cadomel Products
Offers three products based on user's age level and/or your library's size. A free download is available. Last visited: 03/2016

Available in four levels allowing customization based on need and budget. Libraries seeking an integrated library system will want to acquire all levels. Windows-based functions available include: cataloging, circulation, processing, report production, shelf lists, subject headings, and searching, to name just a few; however acquisitions functions are not present at any level. Visit the site to test the system with a download and get detailed product specifications. Last visited: 03/2016

Educational publisher Follet offers this product for K-12 school libraries but it is suitable to church libraries. MAC and Windows users can opt for web-based hosting and OPAC. The OPAC can accommodate multiply languages, reading levels, and support a graphic-based search. Direct users to relevant web sites titles that match reading level. Integrates circulation, cataloging, searching, reporting and facilitates interlibrary loan. Acquisitions not available. View screen shots, listen to testimonials, or view an on-demand Webinar. Last visited: 05/2013

A multi-national company offering a web-based ILS which can be installed locally or remotely on EOS servers. Fully scalable and customizable EOS.Web “...meets the needs of small to large multi-site library...offering modules such as Cataloging (with an easy-to-use MARC Editor), Serials, Circulation, and Acquisitions, as well as many advanced modules such federated searching....” Last visited: 03/2016

Koha is the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS). Koha is free, locally customizable, and liberates libraries from vendor obligations and upgrades. To get started with Koha a server, some library knowledge, some HTML skills, and some IT skills will be needed. Koha features modules for circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, reserves, patron management, branch relationships, and more. Upgrades to Koha are initiated by a growing community of libraries. Last visited: 03/2016

Established in 1986 L4U runs on either Windows or MacIntosh platforms and is intend for k-12 schools and public and school libraries. The fully integrated ILS supports typical library functions such as OPAC, cataloging, and MARC format. Available at three different functional levels, other options include support for Unicode characters (i.e. French, Spanish, Hebrew, CJK) label printing, library cards, statistical analysis, book cover art, barcodes, RFID, scheduling software, and federated searching. Does not appear to offer an acquisitions module. See a demo online. Last visited: 03/2016

Librarian's Edge
Windows based, menu driven interface, fully integrated system featuring public access catalog, circulation, and technical services modes. Last visited: 03/2016

Released in 1992 and utilized by over 500 religious libraries in the U.S. and Canada. LibrarySoft was reviewed and given 3 out of 4 starts by CSLA magazine (Church and Synagogue Library Association.) LiBRARYSOFT is affordable and may be customized according to user's needs. Last visited: 03/2016

LibraryThing is a leader in creating a personal, web-based cataloging tools. Billing themselves as “the world’s largest book club,” LibraryThing is also a social networking/cataloging tool for bibliophiles and has a special user group for church library users. A user or an organization can catalog books using metadata from Amazon, the Library of Congress and 690 other world libraries. The first 200 books are free and a small fee applies thereafter. The product works best as a book catalogue tool; it does not have a circulation function and field names can not be altered to accommodate non-book formats (i.e. author can not be changed to performer for a CD.) The site allows users to identify other users with similar tastes, potentially expanding reading or selection options. Free early reviewer books from publishers and authors and available in many languages. Last visited: 05/2013

Library 1.7
A Windows-based, reasonably priced program from Church Related Online Software Systems. DOS programs also available. Last visited: 03/2016

Lex Systems are makers of LexFile, an upgradable software package for almost any price range. Try a FREE download of a “fully functional OPAC system with a fast search engine that will perform MARC cataloging, inventory control, print reports/labels/cards, and perform circulation control.” Your free database, however, will be limited to 5000 records. The software is PC-compatible and can run on a local area network. Includes an online help database. Last visited: 03/2016

Media Library Manager
A ministry-based service, this inexpensive windows-based program supports an OPAC, circulation, report generation, labeling, and supply and vendor maintenance. The MARC look-up function appears to be limited to searching by ISBN. Last visited: 03/2016

This open source system may be installed on your server or hosted by the company. Modules include: OPAC,circulation, cataloging, interlibrary loan, inventory, and reporting modules. Supports Unicode characters (ex. Arabic, CJK, Hebrew), federated searching, and import of MARC records. Pathfinders feature helps users find materials, with new titles prominently displayed on the Home Page, and a Review lets users contribute reviews. Set up the system in either French or English and use the bilingual Help screens. A Spanish version is planned. Implementation costs will vary depending on the options selected. Last visited: 05/2013

PC Card Catalog
Library Concepts, producers of “library software for the small library,” present this product for Windows users. PC Card Catalog and its earlier iterations (CASSY, LIBRARY MANAGER) were developed around a real church library (Wedgwood Baptist in Fort Worth, TX). Features online lookup; list/catalog card/label/bookplate printing; MARC import; bar-code capability; advanced series title cross-linking and donor tracking. Accompanying modules include circulation and public access (OPAC) in both single-user and network versions. Download a free demo. Last visited: 03/2016

Enter a list of ISBNs, UPCs or barcodes into Readerware and the program does the rest, automatically searching the web and cataloging your collection of books, music, and dvds. Readerware can merge information from multiple web sites to build a database. Intended for consumer use in tracking a home library, Readerware does not support functions associated with a traditional library. Download a free, 30 day trial. Last visited: 03/2016

ReQuest Manager
A catalog and circulation modules are the foundation of this product designed for small libraries. Built with Microsoft Access, the staff side uses a tabbed interface. Optional modules include: WebScan, a reasonably priced “easy, powerful cataloging tool that automatically searches the web and catalogs your new books for you” and a barcoding module. Available in a standalone, peer server, or file server modes and product updates can be downloaded from the Internet. Host ReQuest Manager on your own server or opt to have ReQuest Manager host it for an additional fee. Check out screen shots or trial the product for thirty days.

ResourceMate® 3.0 is Windows® based resource library automation software program designed for churches, schools, synagogues, corporations, associations, non-profit organizations, clergy, professionals, etc. Download the demo and take the 2 minute challenge. Last visited: 03/2016

Right On Programs
Developed by a librarian, the Right On suite of programs includes a circulation system, online catalog, card catalog creator, database management utility, and periodicals management module. All titles available in single user and unlimited user network versions with no per user charges. Contact the company to arrange for a trial. Last visited: 03/2016

Surpass Software
“Surpass provides powerful, customizable, affordable library automation solutions” for church libraries. A variety of modules are available for purchase, including administration, circulation, online public access catalog, a Z39.50 Internet cataloging tool, and a MARC record management system. Interested parties may download and test any Surpass program free for 60 days. Regarding these products, the American Library Association's Library Technology Reports wrote: “Customizability is the hallmark of Surpass.” Last visited: 03/2016
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