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What do school libraries need from a Hosted Library Management System?


Benefits of a cloud hosted library system

1. Speed

Busy library staff can’t afford to wait around for pages to load and returns to process. You have work to do, and your library software should support, not hinder you, to get things done quickly and well.

In a typical hour you’re delivering a lesson, fielding questions from several different children at once, all while mentally keeping note of what every single child in your library is up to at any given time. You’ve been cataloguing and don’t want to lose your place, but now there’s a student who absolutely must have the next book in a series they’re enjoying – can you find it for them now? Please?

You need a highly responsive, easy to navigate system that allows you to switch easily between screens and records every action instantaneously. You need to know each child’s loans can be scanned, processed and completed within seconds. In short, you need your work process to flow and your library system to work as efficiently as you do.

“We’re using Oliver v5 all day every day, so speed and reliability are fundamental. Softlink and Oliver v5 provide that.” Linda Stone, LRC Manager, Larkmead School - view full case study here.

2. Reliability

You run a tight library operation and your cloud-based LMS needs to keep pace! Like the command centre of a spaceship, reliability in a library system is absolutely essential. No matter what, your system should power up straight away and be ready to perform whenever you need it.

“The system actually runs faster than it did when it was hosted locally. We were looking for reliability and speed in a server, and we certainly got that.” Alan Trueman, Director of Information Services, All Saints Anglican School, Queensland, Australia - view full case study here.

Some library systems are susceptible to interruptions, whether because they are hosted on shared local servers that lack storage or network capacity, or because the provider has chosen less than optimal hosting technology for its cloud-based service. When disruptions occur, the combined cost of work hours lost due to downtime and technical service hours required to restore the system can quickly add up.

Oliver v5 customers are often surprised to find what a difference Softlink’s hosted solution can make to their work day. With hosting, your system runs on secure, high-speed servers that meet or exceed the requirements for your software to function optimally. System updates and daily backups are completed overnight, so they don’t interfere with your day-to-day operations, and support is available quickly whenever you require it, as Softlink staff can access your system directly.


Softlink has been providing extremely reliable hosted services for more than 10 years using secure, high-speed data centres, with availability averaging 99.5% over that period. This equates not only to significant savings of time and money for our hosted customers, but to the added benefit of peace of mind, knowing your system’s reliability is assured.

“We hear from other libraries that their systems are often down, but we never have those problems with Oliver hosted, and the support we receive from Softlink is brilliant.” Richie Steven, Teacher Librarian, British School in Tokyo, Japan - view full case study here.

“As a hosted solution we are experiencing a high level of reliability, meaning the students and staff always have access to Oliver v5.” Sarah Lodge, Librarian (former), Feversham Academy, Bradford, UK - view full case study here.

3. Support

You know your own system inside out and backwards; you have all your report settings just the way you want them; you can find anything, anytime – you’ve worked hard to make sure your library functions like a well-oiled machine. But if you’re sick or go on leave, if you job-share or have volunteers help out from time to time, it’s reassuring to know the person replacing you can step in and perform everyday tasks with minimal stress and without needing to have you on speed-dial.


Softlink’s experienced, friendly technicians are available to provide expert support for any kind of question related to your library software. Choosing to have your system hosted streamlines the support process, as technicians can instantly access your system and talk your staff through any scenario. In addition, hosting means we take care of all the regular tasks such as server maintenance, antivirus management, defragmentation and index maintenance, server and application monitoring, and data backups, so your internal IT team doesn’t have to worry about any of these important, but time-consuming tasks.

“Our IT staff were stretched for time and did not have the knowledge to handle specialist library technical problems. Softlink provided all the information and support we needed to go live, with minimal time and expertise required of our staff in both the library and IT. ” Robyn Markus-Sandgren, Past Library Manager, St Hilda’s School, Australia - view full case study here.

“From my understanding of what hosting was before it happened, I didn’t realise how easy it was to leave everything to Softlink’s support staff. If we have any issues or questions, we can easily communicate with them because they can see exactly what is going on in the system.” Alan Trueman, Director of Information Services, All Saints Anglican School, Queensland, Australia - view full case study here.

4. No additional cost for updates

School libraries are always looking for ways to make their budget stretch further, so it’s good to know that all the expenses associated with running your library software are covered by a single annual fee when you choose to have your Oliver system hosted. This not only includes server-related expenses, such as power supply, maintenance and repairs, but covers software updates as well.


Whether your Oliver v5 system is hosted locally or by us, as a Softlink customer you benefit from ongoing updates to your software, all provided at no additional charge. For hosted customers, these updates are applied automatically, so you are always assured of running the most up-to-date version of Oliver v5.

“We have chosen to have our program hosted by Softlink. This has given us peace of mind with backups, enables us to have any issues solved quickly, and saves us the cost of replacing our server.” Lisa Weinert, School Library Officer, Little Grove Primary School, Western Australia

“Softlink conducts any updates to the system and the backups are offsite as well. Because it happens on Softlink’s server, we don’t have to worry about it and downtime is minimised.” Alan Trueman, Director of Information Services, All Saints Anglican School, Queensland, Australia

Learn more about Oliver v5 Cloud Hosting services

  • To learn more Oliver v5 Cloud Hosting services, including key features, benefits, and what’s included, download this flyer.
  • To read about Cloud Hosting at Newcastle High School for Girls, click here.
  • To speak with a consultant about whether Hosting is the right solution for your school, email sales@softlinkint.com

Editor’s note: this post was originally published in June 2019 and was updated for freshness, relevance and accuracy in April 2022.