Can anyone recommend and comment on free and easy library software programs?  I have about 1300 titles, print and media.  I use general subject heads, not Dewey.  My catalog and periodical databases are on excel spreadsheets. Circulation is by card and pocket.  I don't want to change that. 

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Readerware is a easy program and you can import your excel into it. It might cost $50, Book Collector is another for about 30 but people can access it over their smart phones.

I have used the Windows Excel spreadsheet format since 1995 and it works for me.  All my data is in one place.  I use the card and pocket checkout process as well.  Why do you want to change this?  I suggest keeping this format unless your library is large and you want to transfer to bar coding.  Save your money!

Bev, this is off the subject of the question, but I'm working on setting up Excel to manage a simple catalog of a library at my retirement home. It would be interesting to see how you are doing this, but I don't mean to cause you a lot of work. Maybe, if it there is no privacy concerns, you could let me see the workbooks [bufordcarter {at}].

I'm doing minimum book information (no subjects, etc) and don't plan to keep circulation. I have a macro that creates (in Microsoft Word) spine labels, if that would be a help to you.

Actually, I don't want to change.  However, I'm part of a librarians' group and told them I'd ask in this group!  Thanks for your answer! 

As I mentioned to someone else on this site, that I too use categories and use Excel.  I simply take 30 books at a time (30 labels per sheet) and do a mail merge in Windows Word.  The Excel information merges into Word to create the labels for the pockets and cards.  NO typing or inputing necessary.  If you want more help, let me know.  I've used this method since 1995 before church librarians software was around.  I can even do my inventory via categories. 



Can you explain how to do this step-by-step?



It's a bit difficult to explain via this messaging.  I input my books into the Excel spreadsheet.  I close out Excel.  I open Windows Word - go into MAIL MERGE and create a "Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard (which saves you going through the long process of a mail merge each time).  I indicate that I want to use LABELS, take the date from an EXISTING LIST, select the name of the Excel file, so the mail merge knows where to find the data and complete the merge.

If you want, I can send you an example of my Excel spreadsheet and probably someone with the knowledge of mail merge can complete the merge for you.  So if you wish to share your e-mail address with me, I can send it and I can also send you how the mail merge looks once it is set up.  I can help you with any questions along the way, as there are steps to the mail merge that can be frustrating until you have the final merge set up and then you are set going forward.  I use Windows 7 and the Wizard is a lifesaver. 

Bev and Buford, I am excited that you are ahead of me in the Excel cataloging and label printing front!

I'd love to learn more about how you do these tasks.  Would it be possible to talk on the phone sometime in August?  

I've got experience with a traditional manual checkout library which we completely automated with Concourse. But since then I've moved to a very small town and church, and plan to operate a self-checkout library with $0 budget.  Just need a way to organize our catalog for easy searching for librarians and patrons, and a method to label the books by topic and author.

Deanna, why don't you send me your mailing address and I can send you a sample of the Excel Spreadsheet that I use.  I think it will be clearer to you once you see the hard copy.  In a small library, I highly recommend setting up the shelving by categories.  If needed, I can help you set up the mail merge too. 

I've friended you and then I'll send my address in a private message.

I guess that's how we do it, right?


Would you mind listing your categories for us, Bev?

I would love to profit from your experience for subject/topics, as that is how I plan to organize our library and "call numbers".


I'm working on creating an Excel library catalog file. It uses VBA macros to

Display items selected by title, author, or group (group is going to be a broad subject)

Or display all items sorted as above for browsing. (Title sort skips leading articles.)

A macro also searches for new entries and creates spine labels via Word.

I hope to have this all working next week. Glad to share.



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