10 Best Open Source and Free Library Management Software

10 Best Open Source and Free Library Management Software-feature image
June 19, 2023 Reviewed By : Kalpana Arya .14 Min read

With the huge amount of data available online, it becomes a necessity to convert the traditional offline libraries into an online knowledge base. Free and open source library management systems can be accessed without any investment and will help in accessing information online easily.

The details about any registered book can be found out with the help of LMS. This helps library managers and librarians identify discrepancy in the library. Free library management software further makes the task of managing books in libraries easier.

Premium vs Free & Open Source Library Management Software

Premium Library Management Software

Such software comes equipped with several features such as enhanced maintenance of database, full catalog, check-in & check-out for library entries, subject-wise book classification, barcode tracking, and more.

  • The cost of implementation is comparatively higher for medium and small sized libraries to afford.
  • Helps in the management of different types of documents including books, videos, etc.
  • Allows you to search for a book in seconds and makes inventory management more convenient.
  • Keeps a record of every book along with their complete information such as author name, title, publisher name, and more.
  • Helps users to easily import and export records

Open Source Library Management Software

The prominent features of any premium, open source, or free library software include inventory management, barcode scanning and tracking, catalogue, subscription management, and more.

  • Users can make changes to the source code of the software to make it better at catalogue management, generating reports and much more.
  • Open source library management systems are free to download, and no single developer can lay a claim to its entire development.

Key Features of Premium, Free or Open Source Library Software

  • Catalogue management
  • Subscription management
  • Online access of books with their location & availability
  • Online search option for the inventory
  • Inventory management
  • Periodicals management
  • Patron management
  • Online access to the catalogue of various public libraries
  • Self check-in & check-out
  • Acquisition management
  • Barcode scanning

10 Best Free and Open Source Library Management Software Solution

These are the best web based library management system open source. These open source library management software solutions are available online:

Let’s have a look at some of the best free library management software you can use to manage your library online:

  • Koha

Koha library software

Koha library management system is a feature-rich and highly scalable system. It is compliant with major library standards like MARC21, SIP2, z39.50, and more.

Using Koha, you can manage libraries of any size, no matter if you have hundreds or thousands of books. Moreover, Koha also comes with full text searching and enhanced catalogue display features.

Features of Koha Library Software:

  1. It has easy-to-use circulation policies and robust patron management.
  2. This free library software has intuitive navigation.
  3. It maintains a parent-child relationship for maintain records, and a ‘copy’ feature to add more families.
  4. You can manage book clubs and reading groups as well.
  5. Easily updates older records and replaces them with a newer version.
  6. It includes SIP2 configuration of vendors and of their products like 3M, ITG, EnvisionWare, Onedrive and Talking Tech.
  7. This free library management system software provides administrative features, which are based on CSS, XHTML, and javascript.
  8. It has self-checkout interfaces, making it a complete web -based solution.

Koha Pros and Cons

  • It is compatible with android and iOS devices
  • Koha provides a simple check in and check out for users
  • Some users might find glitches occasionally
  • Evergreen ILS

Evergreen library software

Evergreen is an integrated library system that provides a public catalogue interface. It also helps manage the back-of-house library operations that include circulation, check-ins, checkouts, library material acquisition, and more.

Moreover, Evergreen library management system is licensed under GNU GPLv2 and above.

Features of Evergreen ILS:

  1. It has an open and scalable framework
  2. This free ILMS software has circulation module and cataloguing module with indexing, clarifying and collection facilities
  3. It provides a facility to customize cataloguing.
  4. The public access catalogue is available online and multiple payment options are also given in this free database management software.
  5. You can also retain the history of circulation of library resources.
  6. Library members get an option of self – checkout and self – registration.
  7. This open source library software has a powerful search facility.
  8. Get complete tracking facilities for books, invoices and much more.
  9. Report generation facilities are also available. Get customized statistical reports with this free library management system.
  • The software offers quick search results
  • It provides efficient cataloging services
  • The software sometimes freezes while working and then takes time to reload.


OPALS comes with multiple functionalities including cataloguing, circulation, eBook management, and more. In addition to this, users can also generate reports, manage digital archives, textbooks, and more. It helps in creating and managing a vast repository of eBooks.

This platform includes more than 2000 eBooks across domains like public, academic, school and professional.

OPLAS Features:

  1. Get multiple options and fields for cataloguing library materials.
  2. With this free open source digital library software, you get features like acquisition management and circular management.
  3. This software has an advanced indexing feature which helps you search for the required library resources easily.
  4. Since this free library management is cloud-based, you can get real-time reports.

OPALS Pros and Cons

  • It provides a state-of-the-art catalogue function
  • Easy to use for both professionals and clients
  • OPALS provides exceptional customer support service
  • This software may not work remotely if network capabilities are poor.
  • OpenBiblio


This free LMS is majorly used in small-scale libraries. It includes functionalities for staff administration, cataloguing, circulation, and more.

The library software also easily integrates its components into your existing style sheets, making it easier for you to digitize your library. Further, this software is also licensed under GNU (GPLv2), General Public License Version 2.0.

OpenBiblio Features:

  1. This open source library management system provides extensive support for various types of languages.
  2. It provides excellent circulation for its staff, which lets them check different items and enables them to add new patrons as well.
  3. Their cataloguing feature for staff lets them to create, and delete records, which includes uploading MARCXML and MARC.
  4. OPAC or online public access catalog is used in this free library management system. It is a public catalog for patrons to find the relevant books.
  5. Its administration option includes management and configuration of the software. This involves managing the staff, library, late fine, materials and other website settings.
  6. Retrieve all the required information from your database in the form of reports. This includes getting information like overdue letters and other statistical factors regarding library materials.
  7. You don’t need to learn any special language to retrieve this data.

OpenBiblio Pros and Cons

  • This software is suitable for document management
  • It is extensively used for equipment tracking
  • Ubuntu users might face logging issues with this library management app

Suggested Read: Best Free and Open Source ETL Tools for Data Integration

  • Invenio


Inveio is an open source library management system designed for managing digital repositories of large scale. The modern ILS, Integrated Library System, further supports circulation, cataloging, interlibrary loans, acquisitions, and more.

In addition to this, Inveio also comes with repository APIs, authentication systems, and storage systems that help you create your own application.

Inveio Library Software Features:

  1. It is a free library management system which falls under the license of MIT.
  2. This open source library software is a form of integrated library management system which supports circulation, cataloging, and acquisitions.
  3. It provides a back-office module that is powerful and has a modern user interface and APIs.
  4. You can also find a toolbox to create applications like enterprise search, digital repositories, discovery mechanisms and data management systems.
  5. Get a strong support for your APIs, authentication as well as storage systems.

Invenio Pros and Cons

  • Invenio library management system has a flexible framework
  • It also helps with the file management system
  • User interface can be improved further.
  • PMB

PMB Library Software

The PMB free library software comes with multiple functionalities that include a digital library, tracking & reporting, semantic modeling, circulation, library loan machine, cataloging, and more. It is developed by the company called OMB services and is continuously updated by them.

In addition to this, users can run this program for any purpose and even make numerous changes to it and redistribute.

Features of PMB:

  1. You get a complete library management system with documentary products and editorial content publication.
  2. It has a fully featured electronic document management system.
  3. PMB free library management system provides an integrated portal of web content.
  4. Only open source library management system that does not use a third party content management system for managing the portal.
  5. You can store up to 500,000 records with this free library software.
  6. It is installed in public libraries regularly. This LMS has a network of up to 10 to 15 sites.

PMB Pros and Cons

  • PMB can integrate bibliography content in their entirety
  • It has an enhanced document management mechanism
  • You can export information from digital version of documents using PMB
  • PMB has loading issues occasionally.
  • NewGenLib


NewGenLib RFID based library management system complies with interoperability standards and international metadata, MARC-21, OAI-PMH, MARC-XML, and more. NGL is an efficient, manageable, and scalable.

In addition to this, the library management system features the automated instant messaging and email capabilities.

NewGenLib Software Features:

  1. You get the flexibility of making your own search field in its online public access catalog.
  2. Get an interactive online catalog with enhanced content like Google preview, availability of book jackets, book review, comments, tags, and favorite reading list.
  3. With this personal library software open source, you get a Zotero compliant catalog system. RSS feeds are also included in this OPAC.
  4. Get an advanced report module which can generate reports in .csv format. It also helps do a wide variety of customization.
  5. This open source library management system, which can be used as proof of transaction.
  6. It supports RFID technology.

NewGenLib Pros and Cons

  • This software has an easy-to-use interface
  • NewGenLib sends automated notifications for due date of book submission
  • NewGenLib offers limited support in case of a grievance.
  • CodeAchi


CodeAchi open source library management software used for administration purposes and managing books in your library. With CodeAchi, it is extremely easy to enter details of new books and manage circulation of books through a digital catalog.

It also allows users to easily import their data which includes borrowers, books, etc., using CSV or excel sheets. Moreover, you can also use digital cataloguing to add new books and even track their circulation.

CODEACHI Library Software Features:

  1. You can maintain all your library assets, the members enrolled and its staff on just one platform.
  2. This free library management system is used to track different user activities and can calculate which user needs to pay how much fine automatically.
  3. You get an option of generating up to 50 types of reports.
  4. It is easy to migrate data in this free library management software using a CSV sheet and excel.
  5. CODEACHI has a user-friendly interface with barcode and QR facility.
  6. It is supported on Windows 7 and later versions only.

CODEACHI Pros and Cons

  • It offers round the clock training for beginners
  • The software is simple and quick to install
  • CodeAchi library management system does not work with windows 7
  • Librarian


Librarian is the best software to be used in schools, colleges, medical and even legal libraries. The automation tool enables resource incharges, managers information providers, and librarians to manage the information available from different resources like books, e-journals, theses, charts, articles, etc.

Its user-friendly search interface ensures the smooth acquisition process for new books and resources.

Librarian Features:

  1. It has a cataloging system which is based on Anglo-American rules
  2. You get up to 20 different fields to add to the database.
  3. Generates member ID cards quickly and easily.
  4. ID cards of the members can be generated with barcode and photograph.
  5. This open source library management software gives serial control to manage circulation.
  6. Provides the facility of multimedia resource management.
  7. With this LMS, you get a printable barcode as well.
  8. You also get an email management system which is automatic.
  9. Librarian free data management software can also let you customize reports according to the fields you want.
  10. Track your inventory in real-time using this free open source digital library software.

Librarian Pros and Cons

  • You can add multiple fields for the management of files
  • It offers support in different languages
  • Some users might face issues while checking in and checking out of the software.
  • BiblioteQ


BiblioteQ is a library management solution designed for cataloguing and organizing magazines, books, and other study materials.

It can also manage the details of research papers, videos, catalog books, and much more. Moreover, the software comes with SQLite and Postgre SQL for better connectivity during database support.

BiblioteQ Software Features:

  1. This free library management system supports an ARM architecture
  2. You can drag and drop cover images according to your need
  3. Get customized display facility with this open source management software
  4. You can also customize data related to individual items.
  5. BiblioteQ can give you advanced as well as localized search facility
  6. Export and attach files easily with this ILMS software
  7. Retrieve cover images for every book from Amazon.
  8. Support for Z39.50 and SRU is also provided.
  9. Enter queries about your data and send or receive notifications of the unavailable items with this open source library management system

BiblioQ Pros and Cons

  • It makes use of a drag and drop interface
  • The software supports cataloguing of research papers and journals
  • Dashboard features can be improved.

How to Choose the Best Free Library Management Software?

Choosing the best free library management system is fairly easy. You need to check whether the open source library management software you have chosen is reliable and secure. You have to make sure that the people using the free library management software find it easy to operate.

And the free library software you are choosing should have all the required features that you might need to manage the library.

Library software free comparison chart

If you can’t find the features that you need in a free library management software, you can always go for their premium plans. You can get more security as well as advanced features with premium library management software subscriptions.

Why Librarians Should Use Free Open Source Digital Library Software?

Free library Management System is used to work in a smarter way to achieve more in a limited period. Library management system software caters to the need of technology savvy people and adds value to the research community.

LMS embraces digitization, ditching the traditional manual management. Let’s take a look at the benefits of digital library software.

  • Records Maintenance: Authorized people can manage every record related to books issued. You can manage return deadlines and see the availability of each book. This software can also record the penalty that is due from the students.
  • Time Effective and Cost Efficient: By eliminating the paper-based operations, it reduces operational costs as well as saves time. By maintaining records and information online, library management systems make everything hassle-free.
  • Reliable and Secure: Manual work often leads to errors. The paper-based approach can also cause data loss. But if you use a library management system, you will use reliable and secure software with no scope of manual errors.
  • Increased Employee Efficiency: The efficiency of people managing the library increased by using software. The authorized people can keep and maintain correct records and details of books like their edition, no. of copies, return date, author, issue date and late book return penalties.
  • Simple and Easy to Use: The interface of an open source library management software is extremely to use. Hence, there is no requirement of hiring any additional IT help for using the software.

Checklist for Finding Best Open Source and Free Library Software

Before buying any library management system, you need to ensure that it is suitable for your needs. Here we have compiled a checklist which will help you purchase only the best open source and free library management software:

  • Reliable and secure: The library management solution should be reliable and secure from any third-party interventions.
  • User friendly interface: The software should be user friendly so that even beginners can use it without hassles.
  • Multi device compatibility: It should have a multi device compatibility, as in, it should be accessible from a desktop as well as from a mobile device.

Have a look at these advanced Top Library Management System to Enhance Efficiency.


  1. What is open source library software?

    An open-source library software is a type of software that provides open-source licenses to users which they can easily reuse or modify as per their requirements.

  2. What is library management system example?

    Librarian, CODEACHI, Invenio, OpenBiblio, etc., are some of the common examples of library management systems.

  3. What is the difference between library management software and digital library software?

    A library management software helps students, teachers, and librarians stay updated with the current library database and other available resources.

    However, the digital library software is a more advanced version that also features RFID technology and a barcode reader, which uses a wireless system to detect books with tags.

  4. What are the two types of library software?

    There are two types of library management system: library management software, and digital library software. The library management software allows end-users to stay updated with the library database.

    On the other hand, the digital library software is more advanced and comes with a barcode reader and RFID technology that make identifying and tracking books easier and faster.

  5. What is the best library management software?

    Some of the popular library management software solutions are Koha, PMB, BiblioteQ, NewGenLib and more.

  6. What is the free management library software?

    The free management library software helps librarians maintain records, collect information from different resources, track the circulation of your reading material, and more.

  7. How do I choose a library software?

    While choosing the right library software you must check its reliability and security features. Along with this, you must also consider if the software is easily adaptable and requires no to minimum training.

  8. Which type of software is used in library?

    An ILS, Integrated Library System is used in libraries to simplify and manage daily library tasks like book issuing, returns, calculations, and more.

  9. How library management system works?

    The library management system keeps a record of the number and category of books in a library. Users can know how many books are issued, to whom the books are issued, their return date, and more. In fact, you can also calculate any fine charges for damage to books, or late return of books.


Free and open source library management software can be the right choice to manage your library. It saves you from spending a hefty amount on software, and still automates library processes.

Written by Riya Pathak

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