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Library and collections

How to use it / introduction

This is an application that allows you to keep a list of books, objects and contacts, and check on objects borrowed and returned.

There is a free downloadable template for libraries where you can also find all the explanations on how to use it.

 

Groups table

In this table you can assign to each user a group, for example to partition children between Kindergarten and Primary school users, etc.
You can enter a group Id (Id column). In the Description column you enter a text describing the group.

For a detailed explanation of the columns, please consult  the Address Book page.
 

Contacts table

In the Contacts table you can to enter users data, divided into several customizable columns (you can keep visible only the ones you need and hide all others - you can also add new ones).

For a detailed explanation of the columns, please consult  the Address Book page.
 

Items table

In this table you can enter your items data. 
There are different ways of entering the items data: copy and paste from Excel, automatic data retrieving from the Internet, etc.
See detailed explanations below.

Columns

There are various columns and it is also possible to add new ones.

  • Id: the item number that has to be attributed.
    The F6 key assigns the number progressively.
    It is also possible to use a prefix. For example: A-001,  after that, the program suggests A-002.
  • ISBN
    The International Standard Book Number.
    When entering the ISBN in the Id column and pressing the F6 key, the program automatically completes all the book's data in the other columns, incorporating them from the Google database, provided there is an internet connection available.
    Any already present information will be overwritten.
    For more information see: Google documentation.
    • The data in the Google database are not always complete. For example, the title might be present, but the editor or other data might be missing.
    • In order to know which data are available on Google, please visit the following page:
      https://www.googleapis.com/books/v1/volumes?q=9781906042509, entering after q= the book's ISBN number.
      If you see "totalItems: 0" it means that the book is NOT in Google's database
      If you see a page in a JSon format (programmers format) with the book's data, it means that the book IS in Google's database.
  • Title
    Is the title of the work.
  • Author
    There can be several authors entered, separating them with semicolon ";".
  • Publisher
    There can be several editors entered, separating them with semicolon ";".
  • Return date
    The projected return date for this item.
    This column is automatically completed according to the checked out item.

Entering books data

Books data can be entered in different ways:

  • Manual insertion - You can manually enter the books data in the Items table (see previous paragraph)
  • Retrieve data from Excel - If you already have a list of books from another program or Excel, you can simply copy/paste the data.
    In order to
    copy / paste the data you need to make sure the columns in Excel as arranged in the same order as in Banana. If the column order is the same in both programs you can copy the data in block, otherwise you need to proceed column by column. The copy/paste operation is possible from Excel or from txt files. 
  • Retrieve book data automatically from the internet - The ISBN column is very useful if you have an Internet connection: each book has an ISBN code (internationally recognized and generally written on the back of the cover); If you enter a book's ISBN code on the appropriate column in Banana and press the F6 key (or Cmd + 6 for Mac), the program automatically retrieves the books data from the Internet and inserts all data (title, author, publisher, etc. even a small summary).
  • If the book has different authors or publishers, just separate the names with a semi-comma ";" - they will also be found individually in searches (for example if you need to find all the books of a certain author).

 

Loans table

In the Loans table you can enter the checked out items, the expiration date and the return date.

Columns

  • Date
    The data of the loan.
  • ItemId
    The item number. A search can be made based upon the title.
  • ContactId
    The contact number. A search can be made based upon the name, family name, place.
  • Expiration date
    The projected date for the item's return.
    If you enter "+30", the program proposes the date that come 30 days later.
  • Return date
    Enter the return date.
     

How to manage the loans

Loan of a book

  • Add a new line and indicate the date of the loan (useful shortcut: hitting dot "." on your keyboard will automatically generate the current date!)
  • In the Item Id column, as you start typing the title of the book or library user, the program will display all choices available in your database; just select the right option and press the F6 key: the program will automatically fill the Item Id and Description cells.
  • In the Expiration column (date of return for the book) the program automatically enter a date 30 days after your current date, but you can manually change it: you can enter the number of actual days (for example +40) to generate the correct return date (40 days later).

Return of a book

  • From the Utilities1 menu, choose Items return;
  • This will open a window where you type the name of the library user. This will display all books on loan to this library user.
    • You can now check all returned books (usually a library user returns all the books he has on loan simultaneously).
    • Click the Apply button and the program will automatically insert the actual return date in the Date column.
    • In case of error, return to the Loans table and click the Undo command.

How to archive data

The Archive feature avoids the adding up of too many transactions of lent and returned books. Outdated data to be archived in hidden tabs without being deleted. This data can be recalled at any time for statistics or any other use.

Store data of returned books

  • Choose Archive data from the Utilities1 menu and then Archive table data -> Loans. The program will delete all transactions of already returned books from the Loans table and store them in the Archive table.
  • Only books on loan that are not yet returned will be shown in the Loans table.

Store contact information no longer used

As for your books, you can equally archive your old and unused contacts

  • Indicate a storage date for all the contacts you wish to archive.
  • Choose the Archive data from the Utilities1 menu and then Archive table data -> Contacts..


Diary - organization and internal notes

Diary table

In the Diary table you can enter daily notes and connect them to a specific contact.
You can for example organize the shifts of people working at the library, post notes or important facts, lists of things to do, etc. 
Each row of record has it's column for date, description, expiration date, the contact Id of the originator.


 

Printouts

Everything that you see on screen can be printed or saved in a pdf format.

In the BananaApps section (look for library), you can also find extensions for specific printouts:

  • printout of the complete book catalog in pdf, to be published on the internet
  • printout of the users details with the books they have loaned and the ones still to be returned

 

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