Bare-bones collection management with Granthaalok: The Book-Library Manager | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Bare-bones collection management with Granthaalok: The Book-Library Manager

Don't expect form or function from this unattractive program.

Although public libraries, university libraries, and other large lending institutions typically have fairly sophisticated software to manage their collections, there are smaller entities like churches, nonprofits, and even individuals who could use an electronic hand when it comes to keeping track of their holdings. Granthaalok: The Book-Library Manager aims to provide a simple solution for the user who needs a way to keep track of what gets checked in and out and by whom. Unfortunately, the program's unattractive interface and generally unintuitive functioning make it hard to recommend.

Granthaalok's interface consists of a large gray rectangle with a handful of gray buttons on it. Each button is labeled in both English and Assamese, and while we appreciate the program's bilingualism, the effect of these dual labels is that the buttons are hard to read at a glance. The English isn't great, either; one button reads "Book Disposed Off!"

It's easy enough to add new books, entering information such as the title, a user-defined ID code, a rack or shelf identifier, the date and price of purchase, and the publisher, author, and edition. Adding new members is a similar process, with fields for the name, ID code, address, and so on. Actually checking books in and out is a strange process that involves selecting the desired title or member from a long list and then, instead of clicking an "Okay" button, closing the window; this inexplicably launches the next screen in the process.

Granthaalok comes with a Help file, but the problem with this program isn't really that it needs explanation; it's that it's poorly designed, unattractive, and unintuitive. It does work, but that's about all we can say for it.

Granthaalok: The Book-Library Manager comes as a ZIP file. It installs politely but leaves a folder behind upon removal.

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