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iMLS

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iMLS is a great student and staff utility app, focused in scope but broad in uses. Students can browse, reserve and review books from school or from home, and staff can manage their library resources on the go. For these reasons and more, this app has received an EAS Certification of 5 Stars.

Teacher Review

iMLS is a helpful utility app for extending a school library beyond its four walls. With this app, students and staff members alike can search their library catalogue, look at new arrivals, keep track of their loans and reserve books from school or at home using their own personalised accounts.

Beyond the catalogue, the app can also help students read for fun, with the use of the “Who’s Next?” feature. Using this feature, students are given a list of recommended books based on books they have read in the past. As well as this, students can find links to other books by the same author, or in the same genre as a book they are currently looking at.

Students can even write reviews or take video reviews of books and other educational resources, which are submitted to library staff for approval. This helps engage the students with their reading, and can lead them to think more critically about the material.

iMLS also has useful features for library staff: from the app, staff can manage their library resources and view important statistics generated by the app, such as how many books are currently on loan, and how many fiction books are being issued compared to non-fiction. These types of statistics are great for gathering information on your library users, and can help make crucial decisions when allocating budgets and ordering in new books. Staff can also display general school news for their users, helping to raise awareness.

There are a couple of problems with iMLS, but these are technical hitches rather than problems with the flow of the app, or the ideas behind it. When accessing some resources, such as the stock checker tool for the staff, I would get a “connection failed” screen, and the tool would fail to load on the iOS version of the app. The same tool would load on the Android version, but would occasionally cause the app to crash. It’s important to note however, that I was using a demo account, so is likely down to demo data. As well as this, the app will only integrate with your library system if you are using either Junior Librarian.net or Eclipse.net.

All in all, a specialised app, but one very well equipped for its audience. This app will help both staff and students use their library more efficiently, and not have to worry about spending ages browsing the aisles or queuing to take a book out. With good use of this app, you should see your library become a more productive and engaged place!

Screenshots

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From the Developer

The iMLS App allows staff, pupils and parents to access the school library from Android mobile devices.

Schools using Junior Librarian.net or Eclipse.net (hosted) can now ensure the library and its resources are accessible anywhere, anytime and available to your whole school community. The app is a fantastic way to encourage parental engagement with reading.

Display the latest news from the library and showcase information such as the ‘Top Ten’, ‘New Arrivals’ ‘Latest Returns’ and ‘Book of the Week’.
Using the ‘Who Next’ feature, the app will automatically recommend new books based on your past loans.

Students can write or record reviews about books, websites and other resources and books can also be reserved and renewed using the App.

Search the library catalogue using the iMLS quick search to find books and websites to help with homework or general research or for the latest book by your favourite author. You can even watch fantastic videos of authors talking about their books in their own words.

Parents can track borrowing patterns for children with access to current and past loans information.

The Community Stat's feature allows you to check on the most popular books and authors across the MLS schools community.

Using the ‘ISBN Search’ feature you can also check whether your school library has a copy of a book before buying it online or in a book store. You can also recommend books for purchase by the school library.

Staff can also use the various tools to Catalogue, Issue and Return resources.

Currently only available if your school library uses Junior Librarian.net (primary) or Eclipse.net hosted (secondary). If you’re not sure, why not check with your school librarian.

You will need your user name, password and school postcode to log into the app. If you don't have these details or your school is not on hosted yet, you can try out iMLS by tapping the demo button on the login screen.

http://www.microlib.co.uk/home/iMLS.aspx

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