Review Highlights

Overall Rating

4.62

Ratings Breakdown

Secondary Ratings

Ease-of-use

4.5

Customer Support

5

Value for money

4.5

Functionality

4


Pros and Cons

  • icon"Whenever I need to create a record that can't be downloaded, an exceptional template is available."
  • icon"The transition from our old system to Mandarin was amazing. I was happy with the ease of implementing the new system and tech support patiently guided any questions."
  • icon"I love that my card catalog is available online to families and is so user friendly for them. They love the visual search and recommended reading pages."
  • icon"I'm not sure if it was due to Mandarin being an earlier version or if the problems were related to the campus IT."
  • icon"I'm having trouble finding that specific label, so I continue to type my own. The pocket labels come out blurry."
  • icon"I understand the imported data may have been in very bad shape as well. However the ability to change multiple records in Mandarin is time consuming and extremely cumbersome."

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All Mandarin Reviews

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Marcia

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

March 2022

Very Good Library Management Software

We went without a Library Software Management system for 10 years! Our older system (Follett) was outdated and the cost to update it was too much. Mandarin came in and integrated our database with their software so I had a working database again -- and could go from there. It works with our FACTS system so I didn't have to put in any patrons at all. I've felt very supported all along the way and will continue to need support as we move into Inventory this summer. Really a good company!

Pros

The company is excellent and the support is by far the absolute BEST I've ever experienced. If I email support or call I'm IMMEDIATELY helped. Outstanding is the best adjective. The software is very user-friendly. I'm not a full-time librarian so there was definitely a huge learning curve for me -- and the software was NOT hard to learn. There's tons of videos to help as well. The company completely integrated our old software program into Mandarin, so I didn't have to do anything -- except clean up our system. It's also fully integrated with FACTS -- our school management system. I'm very happy we went with this company.

Cons

I really need to use if for a longer period of time and honestly I don't have anything to compare it to because I'm not a "regular librarian" who might have had experience with other library software -- I have none. But, having said that, I think there are a few things that could be better. To Search for a "missing" book I look in "Status" -- but to do that I have to first go to Catalog and find the book's barcode -- that's an extra step. There should be a way to find who has the book or what the status is without first needing to look up it's barcode. So it's just a little cumbersome. Also, I'm finding that ALL my records are missing some key components that I'm having to add manually to each one. I wish there was a faster way to do that as well. But these are honestly very minor things. Overall, I'm really pleased so far.

Reasons for choosing Mandarin

See above.

Reasons for switching to Mandarin

Cost and wanting a system that was integrated with FACTS and a company that was small enough to be available to help us as we needed it -- not to get some automated answering machine.

Christopher

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

1

VALUE FOR MONEY

1

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

1

April 2019

We were sold something other than what we received.

When we decided to purchase this software we had very specific needs. We were told everything we wanted to do was already in the system or that the system would do it. Since then we were told it can't do what we were told it could do before we agreed to the contract. We are going to reimplement our old system because even though it didn't fit all of our needs it gives us more of what we need than what Mandarin has been able to do. We wanted specific data reports at our fingertips and was told it would happen. I have to call in and have them done for me and even then, the results are not completely right. We were told this system came with a conference room schedule system and that it would be easy to use. No such thing existed. The conversion of our old Database left out important information and books altogether. This is not as big a deal as I can fix this but the interface is not easily customizable nor is it user-friendly to anyone who doesn't know Marc 21. Going forward you should really not sell features you do not already have, or you should be willing to develop them for the release. Had we known then what we know now we would have gone with another company who could have offered everything we were looking for. We have spent grant money on this system that we felt was the best direction based on the information we were given, only to have it be something different. I am sure your system is a perfect fit for a vast majority but for us it is not working.

Pros

Visually it was better looking than our previous system.

Cons

It didn't do almost everything we were promised it could do.

Response from Mandarin Library Automation

Hi Christopher, Thank you for sharing your review. We are very concerned about the experience you are having. We would welcome the opportunity to assist you and correct the issues you have listed. Thank you for your patience. We will also contact you directly to assist.

Replied April 2019

Teresa

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

September 2022

Mandarin is fantastic

Pros

The software is easy to personalize for the needs of our Library Learning Commons in a secondary setting. The technical support team is very knowledgeable and quick to respond with questions or things that needs to be fixed.

Cons

There was a bit of a challenge integrating with our old patron records at first, but the technical support staff was quick to resolve it. I would like if we could add other images or background colours to reflect our school more personally.

Ann

Company size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

January 2022

Used it to hand link 4 school libraries

I loved the professionalism and the service that I got. After using them in an Ohio prison and know how strong the bid process for companies to land contracts with the state, I knew they would be good for the charter school libraries I was creating in the state of Michigan. After hand linking over 19,500 books with over 4,500 to go and having library aides take over the management of the other 3 libraries while I finished the 4th, I knew I made the right decision.

Pros

I like that I got want I needed, the ease of use, and the tech support they gave for the price. I saved over $12,000 over other systems and working in public schools every dime you save can go toward books for the library.

Cons

That I had to have 4 different logins for the 4 schools that I had to remember. I also didn't like that I had to call or email them for new login for the staff even though they quickly did them for me.

Reasons for choosing Mandarin

Offered similar bells and whistles for a much cheaper price

Joel

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

December 2021

Pioneer School District Libraries

The entire Mandarin team made the transition from Destiny easy and we lost no data. After the implementation we have received superior customer support (unlike Destiny) and the Mandarin teams seems to be able to solve any problem.

Pros

Mandarin is one of those systems that is built for the end user. It is simple and logical to use, powerful, but not overly complex. Darn near perfect.

Cons

Some of the back end features could be made more user friendly for those of us who manage the application.

Reasons for switching to Mandarin

Destiny was too expensive and complex for our current staff needs.

Daniel

Company size: 1 employee

Industry: Libraries

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

March 2022

Excellent product, excellent support!

Mandarin has been a godsend to me. When I first took over our school library, I had zero experience in a library. Worse than that, it had just been built and our average book age was 50+ years old. On top of all that, we had just started adding curriculum to the mandarin system. Our previous librarian wasn’t sure on how to do that and she had added about 1/4 of the curriculum and done it wrong. I had a mess that most would have quit over. I spent hours on the phone with the help desk, during after hours I might add, over the next few months. I learned the program pretty quickly. It took a year and a half to clean up all the mess I had been left by the school. I could never have succeeded if Mandarin hadn’t been so good to help me. After that, I was able to take what I learned into 4 other of our libraries and fix their messes and train their librarians. We got a new head librarian a few years ago who wanted to switch our program to a more modern more expensive program. The ladies weren’t happy with me but because of the effort it had taken to get our libraries where they needed to be and the very fair price our district pays for the program, they lost the battle. Mandarin is the best universal, unbiased, multi-functioning program and in my opinion, they cannot be best. You may have book companies offer you deals but those deals are usually based on you buying from them. Mandarin allows you the freedom to run your library stress free and unbiased. They’re not paying me either!

Pros

I like that once you get to know it, you can really maneuver around the program very easily. I’ve rarely ever experienced the website being down, never during school hours. It takes all the work out of circulation. All I have to do is scan and shelve.

Cons

In the catalogue feature, when you’re adding or editing a single book, the fields are all numbered and not easy to know what you are doing. I would love to see that small feature become as modernized and easy to use as the rest of the program. With that said, it is easy enough to figure out, it just takes some time and since we don’t use it often, I have to get help every time I do use it.

Chad

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

March 2022

I Love Mandarin

The switch to Mandarin from RenWeb library was a breeze. They handled all of it on their end. After a small learning curve I was up and running, with SO many more tools at my disposal than I ever had before... things I didn't even know I needed but now couldn't imagine going without. We used RenWeb because it was built-in to the SIS we already paying for. It was EXTREMELY bare bones, but it was free. Mandarin was an enormous step up at a great price. I wish I had switched sooner.

Pros

Easy to use. Value for the money. Quick response to customer service inquiries. Records (new enrollments) automatically update from SIS (FACTS/RenWeb). Record Fetch is great!

Cons

OPAC not customizable enough. Financials do not integrate with SIS (FACTS/RenWeb).

Reasons for choosing Mandarin

Full list of features at a great price.

Reasons for switching to Mandarin

RenWeb Library was retired from service.

Kelly

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

August 2022

Great Customer Service

Excellent customer service

Pros

M5 is super easy to use and manage however, if a problem arises, the tech support at Mandarin responds quickly and delivers a solution fast so that we can continue to serve our community.

Cons

The reports are sometimes hard to navigate in order to get the correct info, however, tech support is always helpful in working with me to adjust the reports to what I need.

szilvia

Company size: 1 employee

Industry: Research

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

3

October 2022

Wonderful support group

Amazing and prompt help from Alex and Mike. They are willing to take the time to talk me through a problem when I am hardly coherent about a situation.

Pros

The package was not my choice. I had to accept what the Hispanic Society Library was already using but I could make it work in a short time

Cons

The Advanced Search functions at the front end need to be made more intuitive and work better

Reasons for choosing Mandarin

I did not. This is what the Hispanic Society has

Vanessa

Verified reviewer

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Primary/Secondary Education

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

April 2019

Great Option for Small Schools at a terrific price

We have saved money by knowing what is in our inventory. In the past, we have bought duplicate copies simply out of poor inventory control. Mandarin allows us to know where everything is at all times.

Pros

I love that we have the ability to not only automate our library but can also run our textbook management and electronics management through the Mandarin system. As a small private school, our budget is limited and anything that helps us control inventory and save money in the long-run is a worthwhile investment.

Cons

My only complaint is that it is sometimes difficult to find an item on Record Fetch. The system is not very forgiving with typos and not all ISBNs are in the system, even when the book may be. I also wish they would include Usborne Books in the system. We get many of these books donated to the school and have a difficult time logging them in the Mandarin system.

Anonymous

Company size: 51-200 employees

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

April 2021

Mandarin is Convenient for Online users

Mandarin has helped patrons to access the contents of the library collection in the comfort of their homes. Information is simply a click away.

Pros

Mandarin is a server based software. This makes it cheap. With one license, numerous client computers access the application. Therefore, patrons access the library collection through the client computers. I have noticed that members of Technical Service Department of the library speed up work all thanks to client-server functionality on Mandarin. Patrons are able to access the library collection remotely online. In the wake of COVID-19, the library continued offering services despite the staff and patrons remaining in their homes. Cataloguing staff now have less work load as Mandarin allows them to perform copy cataloguing. Pre-recorded information of the resource is retrieved using record Fetch. Mandarin offers patrons with a good interface which helps them to search the contents of the library using topics, words or terms. More still, the advanced search features help patrons to filter searching into narrow specific terms. Mandarin provides patrons with links to e- books, audio books and other digital resources, making the library to become a digital one. Mandarin improves inventory control in the library system. Records pertaining to accessions list, books on order and other files are well managed.

Cons

Much as the software is efficient, less developed communities with poor internet infrastucture may find the software irritating due to internet connectivity issues. Beside, not all titles can be found on record Fetch. This compels catalogues to look for alternative sources of information. This process consumes time

Sharon

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

3

March 2022

Easy & Affordable

It's fairly straight forward and easy to use. The help staff is amazing! If you have a problem, can't remember how to do something, or need assistance, they are there to help and take care of things in a timely manner.

Pros

For a small to mid-range school library, this is a great budget-friendly automation program. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it meets our needs adequately.

Cons

It's a bit time-consuming and ponderous to set up at the beginning of each school year. The reserving a book part doesn't seem to work well for me.

Reasons for switching to Mandarin

Follett was getting too expensive for our small, private school budget.

Cynthia

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

November 2020

Mandarin for Libraries

Mandarin's Tech support is great!!!

Pros

We were already using Madarain M3 to the switch to M% was seamless. Staff were able to adjust to the new platform quickly. We really like the cataloguing module. Very user friendly and the online OPAC is great as well.

Cons

Patrons are not yet able to transfer books from their reading lists to their reserve list. I would like to see an easier method for patrons to reserve books with one click.

Karen

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

November 2020

Easy library software

From the first point of my inquiries the Mandarin employees have been extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The concept that the first contact should know the product well made Mandarin stand out above the other companies I investigated. The technical support during and beyond implementation has also been outstanding showing that they really care about our library and our users.

Pros

This library software is easy to use and easy to train students and staff to use. The ability to quickly download catalog records from Library of Congress or other libraries is extremely helpful. Whenever I need to create a record that can't be downloaded, an exceptional template is available. If I need to edit a record all of the MARC record fields and subfields show as options for insertion; and it is very easy to delete an unwanted field.

Cons

When there are multiple call numbers on one record the call number should be absent from the results page, instead a note to 'see holdings'.

Carrie

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Libraries

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4