Purpose - The paper seeks to reveal the current status of software used in the libraries of Lahore, to explore the satisfaction level of the software users, and to find out their problems and suggestions. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reports a survey of automated libraries of Lahore comprising academic (university, college, and school libraries), public and special libraries. Opinions were acquired from the whole population. The data collected were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, and conclusions were drawn along with recommendations. Findings - Most libraries purchased or developed software without any exchange of experience with each other. A variety of software was being used by the libraries of Lahore. No standard tool or directory was available for the selection and evaluation of software, nor was comprehensive literature written and published in a Pakistani scenario discussing the technical and practical aspects of library software. The Pakistani literature available on the topic is not up to date. Researchlimitations/implications - The research is limited to the automated libraries of Lahore and focuses on the comparison of software and determining librarians' opinions. Practical implications - The comparative analysis of software used in various libraries of Lahore made in this study and the opinions of the software users studied will be helpful for foreign and local vendors of library software. It will also provide guidelines for libraries in developing countries, which are planning to automate their services, in selecting and maintaining software that is most suitable to their needs. Originality/value - No comprehensive survey has been conducted at national or local level to reveal the current status of the software and related problems faced by Pakistani libraries. The current study, although focussing only on libraries in the city of Lahore, can be extrapolated to the country as a whole and should prove useful as an indication of how issues with library software can arise and be handled.
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