Creating a Simple Library Management System for a Bibliophile

Now a days, it is common to find a certain system that helps both the librarian and a member search through a catalog consisting of an organized list of books, journals, CDs, etc., easily by just typing in either the author or title of a book. This system is referred to as the Library Management System (LMS).

Typically, the librarian can use the LMS to modify book items and users as well as issue, reserve, or return book items while a member can use the LMS only to search the catalog, check-out, or renew a book [1]. It is clear that the librarian has more access and responsibility in terms of using the system.

The organized way this system deals with finding whether a book or whatever material is available to a library is what inspired this work.

Personally, I own a lot of books that is in need of an organization so, I wanted something similar to a library management system where I can search authors or title of a certain material to see if I own them and modify the items by deleting or adding additional data.

While I could have just done this with an excel sheet or just simply check my books, I figured since I am still in quarantine and have nothing better to do, I might as well challenge myself and make my own little simple library management system using Microsoft Access.

 
 

Getting Started

It is very important to keep in mind the exact scope of the system in order to know what set of requirements to focus on.

In my case, I wish to achieve a system that is fairly simple and lacks other functions that a normal library management system would have since I will be the only one to use it hence, my only focus is: Users should be able to search books, journals, or CDs by their title, author/director, or category.

This means I would need to do the following:

  • Creating a search box that could search any type of materials even just by typing certain keywords;
  • Creating a combo box that could filter in the type of material I wish to see.
 

Creating a Search Form with MS Access

create search form with Microsoft Access

Before I was able to create my own simple search form, I watched a lot of tutorial videos on YouTube [2][3]. This is because I was- and still am- not acquainted enough with Microsoft Access which is why at the beginning I considered making this simple library management system using Python.

The following steps are what I did to achieve making a search form (excluding changing the form’s color):

  1. Create a table named Book_List with the following fields: Book ID (primary key), Author/Director, Title, and Type.
  2. Populate the table with existing books, journal, CDs, etc., in your library.
  3. Create a query named Book_ListQ and select the following: Author/Director, Title, and Type.
  4. Select Book_ListQ and create a Split Form. This form can be found by selecting More Forms. Save and name it Book_ListF.
 

Creating the Search Button:

create search button with Microsoft Access
  1. On the Design View of your form, select and create a text box and button ignoring the Command Button Wizard of the latter.
  2. Select the button and go to its event under property sheet. Click on the ellipsis (…) besides the On Click then select Macro Builder.
  3. Look for ApplyFilter and select it. Enter the following on Where Condition =:
[Author/Director] Like "*" & [Forms]![Book_ListF]![textbox command name] & "*" Or [Title] Like "*" & [Forms]![Book_ListF]![textbox command name] & "*"

This should able you to search materials by their author or title using the text box you have created.

 

Creating the Combo Box Filter:

create combo box filter with Microsoft Access
  1. On the Design View of your form, select and create a combo box. A Combo Box Wizard will appear and select I will type in the values that I want. For the values simply type in Book, Journal, and CD on Col1, proceed and select Remember the value for later use.
  2. Select the combo box and go to its event under property sheet. Click on the ellipsis (…) besides the After Update and select Macro Builder.
  3. Look for ApplyFilter and select it. Enter the following on Where Condition =:
[Type] = [Forms]![Book_ListF]![combo box command name]

This should able you to filter in selected value.

 

For adding or deleting data, I go straight to the table Book_List and simply modify them to my liking. I may have cheated a little bit with this because I wanted to add a button that goes to another form for adding and deleting data to an existing table or query but I have yet to figure it out.

This was a fairly easy work to do once I got the hang of using Microsoft Access, albeit it is rather unnecessary but it is quite fun to have a little library management system at home. The system definitely needs a few improvements in the future and next time I am hoping to make the system from scratch using Python and MySQL. Overall, the experience was enlightening and I recommend building your own system as well.

  

Resources:

[1] Design a Library Management System

[2] Microsoft Access Search Form

[3] Access 2010 How to create text search box

[4] Filter Access forms with one button

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