Managing a Small Library: A Field Survey.

Post Published on June 30, 2012.
Last Updated on April 28, 2016 by davemackey.


Codex (Photo credit: DivesGallaecia)

This article is a work-in-progress. Essentially, I’m looking for ways to implement a small library inventory, check in/out, overdue reminder policy, and so on. My thought is to use an

Android application to accomplish this…attached to an old Android phone or tablet which can be used to maintain the inventory, etc. It could have a web-based interface as well, but that is not necessary. This solution would be ideal for individuals and churches – though I’m sure others will think of other uses…

bigBook Lite

  • Author: Enrique Lopez Manas.
  • Last Update: Oct. 8, 2011.
  • Summary: Available in free and pro versions. Does not appear to including ISBN scanning or lending features.


  • Author: WigWam Labs
  • Last Update: Nov. 6, 2011.
  • Summary: Is an open source, free application via GitHub. Has ISBN barcode scanning to automatically add books to library, also includes lending features. One limitation is that it only allows you to lend to folks who are in your contact list.


  • Author: Dion Hardy.
  • Last Update: June 24, 2012.
  • Summary: A robust product that offers barcode scanning and book lending.
  • Features:
    • Barcode scanning.
    • Book lending.


  • Author: Emilio Simoes
  • Last Update: June 8, 2012.
  • App Store Description: “Codex is a book manager application that helps you manage and catalog your books library. All you have to do is scan the book ISBN and the book information is downloaded from the web.
    You can organize your books, manage your book loans and even create a book wish list to help you find the best prices for the books you wish to buy and remember where you found them.
    Share books with your friend with a simple text message to people in your contacts. Codex will get all the information your friends need about the book.
    All book information can be downloaded from the Internet, including the book cover. If a cover is not available you can pick an image from your phone library to use has the book cover or take a picture of the book.”
  • My Summary: A robust product that offers barcode scanning and book lending.
  • Requirements: Barcode Scanner (Zxing Team)
  • Features:
    • Scan and Add via ISBN.
    • Lend out books.
    • Get reminders when book is due back.
    • Downloads info. about the book from the internet.
    • Allows manual book additions.
    • Create wish list.
    • Supports English, French, and Portuguese.
    • Import/Export records to CSV, XML.


  • Author: Vimal Bhatt
  • Last Update: Mar 30, 2012
  • My Summary: A pretty impressive application, but probably not useful for the purposes I’m looking to use it for. It does not appear to have barcode scanning.
  • Features:
    • Share your bookshelf with your contacts.
    • View the bookshelf of other contacts.


  • Author: Efrayim Heuman
  • My Summary: A flexible application that can handle lists of almost anything, but doesn’t pull in the same quality and detail of info.
  • Features:
    • Scan ISBN to Add
    • Lend out Items
    • Can handle multiple types of items.
    • Can set a lending period after which the item is due.


  • Author: ZEZI
  • Last Update: June 25, 2012.
  • My Summary: Robust and feature filled application, has a simple and aesthetically pleasing user interface.


  • Author: Marc Meszaros.
  • Last Updated: February 26, 2012.
  • My Summary: Robust application with ISBN scanning.

Readerware (Books)

  • Author: Readerware Corporation.
  • Last Updated: May 21, 2012.
  • My Summary: Not free. Part of a larger, complete library management solution. License for client/server is $90.


  • Author: Garen J. Torikian.
  • Last Update: March 21, 2012.
  • My Summary: A more generic application, manages apparel, board games, books, comics, gadgets, movies, music, software, tools, toys, and video games. Has built-in ads. Can scan ISBN.

Where’s My Book

  • Author: Staffordone.
  • Last Update: March 14, 2011.
  • My Summary: Does allow scanning ISBN, not aesthetically pleasant.

Other Options Looked At:

  • Who’s Got What? (Redfruit)
  • Dude, Where’s My Stuff?
  • IOU (S. Tubin)
  • Lend and Borrow (Frank Burmo)
  • Lend and Borrow Manager (AndMaster)
  • Make Sure It Will Be Back (M@RCO)
  • On Point (

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