New Library Directors Handbook

Automation

Automating a library is one of the biggest projects library staff takes on. Library automation involves using computers to perform some of the daily tasks, such as checking in and checking out books, searching for books the library owns, and generating statistics. Automation can help with routine, repetitive tasks. Using computers can expand the boundaries of a library by connecting it to other libraries.

If you're already automated:

Have library staff teach you how to use your system. It may help to look through manuals. Develop a close relationship with your vendor. You deserve excellent customer service. If there is an area where you need more training, contact your vendor to see what your options are. The vendor may offer training.

If you're not automated:

We wouldn't recommend taking on this project in your first year. Automation is usually worth doing, but it takes a lot of effort. There are steps you need to take to prepare for automating your library. You also need time to learn how things work in your library and to determine which parts you might want to automate. Talk to Montana State Library staff about automation. We're happy to help you.