Mandarin Pricing, Features, Reviews & Comparison of Alternatives

Mandarin

Web-based & fully customizable library automation software

4.58/5 (43 reviews)

Mandarin overview

What is Mandarin?

Mandarin provides library automation software - its flagship M5 product delivering a fully customizable system deployable on the cloud or on-premise. Built with librarians, for librarians, Mandarin M5 targets modern facilities that demand a centralized approach to managing site services while giving patrons the ability to search extensive book catalogs. Mandarin places keyword and visual search portals online, boasting auto-complete and advanced filtering tools, to assist library visitors, researchers and staff find periodicals quickly. Library resources can therefore be queried from any workstation, at the library site itself or remotely, while management features give librarians all the tools for running day to day operations.

Mandarin's cataloging capabilities include the ability to manage items, whether it be the adding, copying, editing or deleting of book records. Pre-built and custom templates assist this process, offering simpler and more advanced editing modes with picture management, MARC records import/export, plus an included equipment database. Circulation management is then supported with circulation calendars, fine calculators, quick return rules, self check-in/check-out and detailed record histories for items or patrons. Mandarin M5 goes on to include an inventory module for running full or partial checks, while reports facilities also cover the printing of barcode labels, book pocket cards, address labels and more. The system boasts over 900+ pre-formatted standard report templates across circulation, inventory, general operations and statistics, with custom reporting options also available.
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Pricing

Starting from
$750
Pricing options
One time license
Subscription
Value for money
View Pricing Plans

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China and 4 other markets, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico

Supported languages

English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Spanish
Mandarin screenshot: Give library patrons the ability to intuitively search an online catalog of reference resources from anywhereMandarin M5Mandarin screenshot: Keyword and visual searches provide patrons with a user-friendly method of quickly locating the books and periodicals they require

Mandarin user reviews

Value for money
Features
Ease of use
Customer support
  4.7
  4.2
  4.4
  4.8
Vanessa Bauer

Great Option for Small Schools at a terrific price

Used weekly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-04-24
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Mary Pollard

School Library Complete Solutions - Amazing Ability to Meet Your Students/Staff Needs

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2019-01-30
Review Source: Capterra

Mandarin Library creates a public face for our school that expands the resources that we can house on campus. It is a great marketing tool of academic resources that we can easily put within student/parent reach. I love the customized look I can give to my home page. Mandarin Library is a fun and intuitive program that meet budgetary constaints while allowing me to expand in new ways. I was nervous about learning a new system and found the changes made everything easier in library management. Again, Technical Support is a phone call away and they are the most patient, kind staff of experts that speaks volumes about this company.

Pros
We are a Classical School Pre-K thru 12 - This software has made my job easier and saves me time. 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. I can't say enough good things about tech support - I love the speed & ease of inputting new records and barcodes for classroom sets of books in minutes. Physical barcodes are easily printed - a budgetary savings. I love the visual search - parents and students can link to ebooks, public library resources, college prep, homework helps, audio books, whatever I want to create a link for assisting research and resources - the world is at our disposal. Parents can easily email and send book requests. An economical high quality services for private schools with small library budgets. Technical support is amazing 24/7 and they are great teachers. Training library help is very easy. There is no need to purchase MARC record as the record fetch has most titles and it is very easy to create your own record. I highly recommend this software for ease of use and ability to expand circulation options. We separate textbooks and general library but it is all in the same catalog. Teachers easily check out their classroom textbooks. I am re-cataloguing sets of elementary books and tech support makes global call number changes saving the time of bringing up each title to change the record.

Cons
What is there not to like? I love this software!!!

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Christopher Rowe

We were sold something other than what we received.

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2019-04-24
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 0/10

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Cynthia Martin

Mandarin for Libraries

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-11-17
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 7/10

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Julie Clarahan

Great System

Used weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2019-05-28
Review Source: Capterra

My overall experience with Mandarin has been wonderful. My questions are always quick to be answered. I would definitely recommend Mandarin to anyone who is looking for a new system for their library cataloging.

Pros
We came from using RenWeb for our Library Catalog and Patron Services. There's been a bit of learning curve, but Mandarin is so much easier to use than our previous system. Inputting new items into the catalog is so much easier than the previous system. It takes me a fraction of the time that I used to spend.

Cons
I don't like that I can't print library cards with our student's pictures on them. But, I can still print them in RenWeb with a barcode, so that's really nice. I also wish that the pictures were easier to update. School pictures don't come in until Mid to Late October and I don't have access to them. So new students don't have their pictures updated and continuing students don't have their new ones shown. This just makes our students a bit sad. I also wish that I could search the system by barcode. It would also be nice if I am signed in as an administrator and I look up a particular book, that it would show the name of the student who has checked it out. Yes, I do know there's another way to do that. But, it would be nice if it was just in one step and I didn't have to go to another place to look that up. The only other little problem, which I know is just my library assistants being a bit to quick, is that there's a significant time lag between scanning a book as returned and it coming up on the screen as returned. I know that this is more on my side than on the side of Mandarin.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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Mandarin pricing

Starting from
$750
Pricing options
One time license
Subscription
View Pricing Plans

Annual subscriptions for Mandarin, cloud-hosted, range from $750-$950 depending on library size and patron numbers.

On-premise pricing carries a one-time purchase fee of $1250, then $780 annually for each site to cover services and updates.

Mandarin features

Calendar Management
Customizable Reporting
Data Import/Export
Inventory Management
Reporting & Statistics
Search Functionality

API (206 other apps)
Accounting Integration (108 other apps)
Activity Dashboard (214 other apps)
Activity Tracking (115 other apps)
Automatic Notifications (144 other apps)
Billing & Invoicing (161 other apps)
Customer Database (112 other apps)
Document Management (136 other apps)
Document Storage (102 other apps)
Electronic Payments (132 other apps)
Inventory Tracking (121 other apps)
Invoice Management (150 other apps)
Reminders (112 other apps)
Third Party Integration (172 other apps)

Videos and tutorials

Additional information for Mandarin

Key features of Mandarin

  • Catalog management
  • Circulation management
  • Patron management
  • Customizable queries
  • Fee collection
  • OPAC
  • Periodicals management
  • Self service portal
  • Unicode compliance
  • Serials management
  • Federated searching
  • Knowledge management
  • Z39.50 support
  • Self check-in / check-out
  • Barcode scanning support
  • Circulation calendar
  • Customizable branding
  • Custom report creation
  • Cataloging templates
  • Send email notifications
  • Text search
  • Spine label printing
  • Add, copy, edit and delete records
  • Keyword & visual search tools
  • Patron & item histories
  • Library website integration
  • PDF report export
  • MARC records import/export
  • Library catalog management
  • Report Tool with 900 report types
  • Remote catalog access
  • Booking and holds
  • Public search portals
  • Full/partial inventory management
  • Equipment database included
View All Features

Benefits

Mandarin is a provider of automated and highly customizable library management systems for smaller or specialist library sites, allowing these facilities to centralize their book catalog and give patrons access to online search portals.

As a cloud-based solution, Mandarin promises rapid setup and installation while liberating librarians from the additional costs and efforts required when maintaining a server. Mandarin can however be installed on-premise if preferred.

Cataloging features provide tools for adding, copying, editing and deleting book records alongside an included equipment database. The inventory module then enables full or partial inventory checks to be conducted.

Circulation features for processing loans, returns, renewals and bookings, plus the ability to query patron or item status, implement late return fines, issue refunds and send email notifications, reminders or warnings.

An integrated report generator includes a Report Tool offering 900+ pre-built report types, while custom reports can be created in a matter of steps before sending PDF exports out to shareholders via email.