Three Features of the BLS Library Catalog: Checked Out Items, Fines, and Purchase Suggestions

Did you know that Brooklyn Law School Library is the only law school library in the United States with an open source library catalog?  What is open source? Most cataloging software is “proprietary” which means that it is expensive. The actual code of the software is restricted and cannot be modified, copied, or changed from its original construction. Open source software is the opposite because it is based on sharing and collaboration and is free for anyone to have.

  1. Our library catalog is powered by Koha a Māori term for a gift or donation.  
  2. Here at Brooklyn Law School Library, we call our online library catalog – SARA, in memory of Professor Sara Robbins, a remarkable woman who directed the BLS library for 20 years. 
  3. All members of Brooklyn Law School have personal accounts in SARA and can use features in SARA’s My Account to view items checked out, renew books, and make purchase suggestions for the library.

 How to Access SARA My Account: From the main page of SARA, users log in to access their accounts with their BLS username and password. Once logged in, users are brought to the “My Summary” tab.

 My Summary Feature: Users can view items checked out, renew items, and see overdue fines.

 Checked Out Tab (Figure 1): displays all items currently checked out to the user.  Overdue items are highlighted in red. Users can renew books by checking a box and submitting the request.  If fines have accrued, the word “Yes” will display in the Fine Column.

 Fines and Charges Tab (Figure 2): shows a detailed list of each item and fines owed.  My Fines Tab itemizes the amount owed and the amount paid for each item. 





Figure 1: Checked Out Materials Screen 




Figure 2: Fines and Charges

 Finally, the “My Purchase Suggestions” tab gives patrons the ability to recommend items for the library to acquire.  



Figure 3: Purchase Suggestions