An automated circulation system in a library is a computer-based system that is used to manage the lending and returning of library materials. The system automates many of the tasks involved in circulation, such as checking out materials to patrons, tracking the due dates of materials, and managing holds and reserves.
An automated circulation system can be integrated with other library systems, such as the catalog and acquisitions systems, to provide a seamless workflow and improve the overall efficiency of the library.
The system can be used to track the status of materials, such as whether they are checked out, on hold, or available for borrowing. Patrons can use the system to place holds or reserves on materials, and to renew materials that they have borrowed. The system can also be used to generate reports on circulation statistics, such as the number of materials borrowed and the number of patrons using the library.
An automated circulation system can also be integrated with a self-checkout machine, which allows patrons to check out materials on their own, without the assistance of library staff. This can save time and resources for the library staff and make the borrowing process more convenient for patrons.
Examples of automated circulation systems include Integrated Library Systems (ILS), Library Automation Systems (LAS), and Library Management Systems (LMS). These systems can be used to manage the circulation of various types of materials, including books, journals, newspapers, audio and video recordings, and digital materials.