Soutron Library Management System
Moving to a web-based library automation system changes the way in which users can interact with the content that the library manages. It frees up knowledge that the library spends time and resources bringing together so that it can be accessed across devices including mobile smartphones and tablets.
Soutron’s Search Portal can be designed to your preferences. It is completely web and mobile friendly and can integrate third party search and access points. If more than one portal is needed that is easy to arrange and target to a separate audience – all using the one single database.
The productivity of librarians can be greatly improved by a web based system such as our own, also the form designs and workflows are streamlined and made simpler in Soutron. This is a significant factor when library staff are called upon to do more varied tasks and this leads to productivity gains.
The very latest Microsoft SQL Server database technology is used to maximise relationships between data elements that are stored in the catalogue. This means we offer a range of cataloguing standards for the library to apply depending on their preference.
Soutron’s Library Management software is simple to learn and use, with fast navigation and intuitive screens. It is supported by a Help Desk based in the UK and an Online Portal with different aids.
Why is the flexibility of the database so important? What does this mean for the library service?
For many years bibliographic data was the main type of information used in a library catalogue. Essentially books, journals, articles were at the heart of a catalogue database. The fields needed to store data about these types of materials is quite uniform and constant. This allowed a library system software vendor to build a database that was predictable, the fields may allow renaming and a few “extra” user defined fields were allowed but that was the extent of the database flexibility. It also meant that the search could be predictable and fast because the fields were defined and easy to predict the content.
Over recent years the Library Service has had to accommodate new types of content and introduce new services to meet the needs of the organisation. Greater flexibility and control of the database that holds all data becomes important. A software application where the database can be applied to a variety of different needs and underpins all types of data that is used within any knowledge service adds great value to the service. Now the library can talk to departmental users with confidence that they can manage data and make it accessible and secure in a way that previously they could not.
In Soutron there can be any number of fields, record templates and content categories. Office documents and PDFs can be attached to records and indexing is immediate. Fields can be added as required and templates created for all types of content using menu driven functions. This means library staff can control their own applications and provide rapid access to content on behalf of others, setting security access permissions to restrict access or demand acknowledgement of copyright.
This flexibility extends further. Relationships between data elements can be easily established to make the management and presentation of data more meaningful. This is particularly helpful in some applications where there is a hierarchy to the record structure as well as to terms within a subject index. This flexibility makes Soutron stand out from other systems.
The way we design the Library Management tasks and workflows appeals to many librarians because of the savings and efficiency that can be achieved. Soutron’s systems architect is a corporate librarian with over 20 years experience in special library system design. He uses the practical experience of working with clients to guide changes and new developments.
Soutron is a Cloud-based hosted solution so you don’t need to worry about internal IT support, finding hardware or upgrading systems. It is all taken care of by Soutron staff and if you need to ask a question or need to sort out a problem it is a personal voice at the end of the phone that you can talk to to get help. We respond to email and have Live Chat but there is nothing like speaking to a real human being!
Market forces affecting corporations and institutions impact the library. It demands flexibility to develop new knowledge services to transform the way the library can operate.
A significant part of that flexibility is delivered through strategic partnerships and close involvement with industry thought leaders. Our proximity to clients directs our development of Soutron to meet the expanded horizons of library services today.
Some of our clients do not operate a conventional library – it’s virtual.
The offer we make is to deliver higher productivity of all staff using the system through accurate search technologies and integrated workflows
More than just a Library Solution
How easy is it for you to share your information today?
- Is the Library System that you are using accessible by third party systems such as SharePoint or the Web Site?
- Can you easily connect into the Membership System?
- Do you have meta data to load from another library service e.g. Nielsens, BL, COPAC, Library of Congress etc ?
- Perhaps you have particular sets of documents to pick up and load from a file system for a department or project team?
- Can your users authenticate against in-house or external directory sources for Single Sign On?
- How do you deliver accounting data to an in-house accounting system?
All of these scenarios need the ability to integrate your Library System with a third party resource. Soutron has all of these options built in. Our Application Program Interface
Soutron’s application program interface (API) allows your web master to query and retrieve data for presentation in XML to a web site or third party application or to use the repository within a federated search tool.
Custom Features For Your Library
Every system we provide can be customised to meet specific needs of your library and users. The features listed here explain some of the capabilities but the best way to understand the difference Soutron could make to your library is to book an online demonstration with one of our trained consultants.
You will find we have a keen eye for detail, ideas to advance thinking and an honest assessment of the benefits waiting for you by making a change to Soutron systems.
You may be uninterested in controlling expenditure. Your budget may be a single allocated figure each year, so why bother itemising expenditure against budget heads? Its a refrain we often hear! Sometimes costs are recorded in a spreadsheet. Sometimes they are not recorded at all!
We advocate that all costs are recorded for items. This is because if at a point in the future a partner in the firm, or a new manager asks, or the library is moved to be under a new function, teh historical data and systems are there to breakdown costs and to inform decisions. All without having to aggregate spreadsheets or go back and try to estimate the spend. It informs decision making about what the library might spend or cut and it demonstrates mastery over the service.
All acquisitions for physical and electronic items can be made through Soutron. We know that if effort is put into setting up fund account structures and a process to record purchases, it pays off. It gives the library manager up to the minute data and historical spend data.
- Automated fund account allocation: saves time allocating an item to a fund account
- Simplifies expenditure analysis: data is immediately available by a variety of criteria
- Saves staff time: removes long hours spent preparing reports.
- Budgets can be monitored and managers informed of spend.
- Invoice reconciliation makes sure that all items are added correctly.
- Payment requests and approval sent automatically to accounting.
- Claims for non-receipt can be trapped and automatically made to vendors
The audit logs and transaction history presents a confident picture of spend and can be matched against search access and usage (loans) to present departmental analysis of use of the Library Service
Soutron’s back office is a totally integrated system.
Multiple Libraries in Many Locations
Soutron has been designed from the outset to allow multiple libraries to be managed through a single system. This is reflected at many points in teh system such as in the facility to set up multiple Search Portals that can restrict content to a location or extend across all locations. Also it is in the way that the catalogue processes information, accounts for expenditure and checks in receipts of journals.
Soutron uses the latest portal technologies and digital content distribution tools to apply to multi-site and multi-national structures. Multi-lingual support for Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese and Western character sets.
Our software licensing policy makes good financial sense too for any multi-location service. Check us out.
Soutron – a partner to bring innovations to libraries
Soutron is continually striving to bring innovation to libraries, especially in the end user experience to find information and to help extend the capability of the library to introduce new services.
Find out more
Before you find out what Soutron can do for your organisation, you might want to find out more about how Soutron has helped clients like you to gain strategic advantage in their field. Access our Case Studies to learn more.