‘Extracting relevant information about preferences of the customers from the transaction records of integrated library management systems’ by András Simon
Abstract: Thesis/Objective – The world outside the libraries is changing rapidly, and these changes are extremely speeded up by the effects of the restrictions ordered because of Covid 19. It is worth to give new aspects for creating and using library statistics, in the way extracting information from the transaction records of integrated library management systems, hence the analysis of these records seems one of the most appropriate way to follow the changes of the customer’s attitude. Method – The databases of the Integrated Library Management Systems contain these data units beside other records, like loan, bibliographic, item or authority records. The transaction records are created by the application, preserving the information, logged by the program. These records are preserved for long time in the database even if the logged transaction itself is terminated, or the original record is deleted. Analysing large number of loan records we can follow the changes and can ascertain trends for the past two years too. As the employee of Qulto Companies (Qulto Companies – https://qulto.eu), a firm developing integrated collection management systems for libraries and museums in East-Central Europe I have the permission, and the necessary knowledge to examine the catalogues of our customers. The MARC based data structure of these software is widely used by library and museum automatization systems in Europe, so the Middle-European experiences for data extraction could be seen, as generally valid in the future. Results – There is a significant decrease according to the count of active library users or to the number of loan transactions. There is some difference between the loan and user counts according to library type. In the high school libraries, the decrease doesn’t seem to have any connection with the Covid 19 restrictions, in the case of the other library types it can be the result of them. Hence there was no difference between the tendencies of the decrease according to geographical position or size of the library. Conclusion – The transaction records of Integrated Library Management Systems are very useful we can gain very important information about our libraries. so, we should take care for preserving them, or at least we have to get the most important units of information from them before they are erased.