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ABSTRACT

This project was aimed at developing an online book-bank monitoring system in
Makerere University. The responsibility of monitoring book-banks in Makerere
University is vested in the main library and is executed by the Bank-Bank section. It was
intended to address the current problems encountered in using a manual system to
monitor the activities of the book-banks. The study covered three book-banks namely;
Faculty of Computing and IT, Faculty of Law and Department of Adult Education and
Communication Studies (Institute of Adult and Continuing Education). Interviews,
observation and questionnaires were used as data collection techniques. The project
analyzes the system requirements and then comes up with the requirements
specifications. It studies other related systems and then come up with system
specifications. The system is then designed in accordance with specifications to satisfy
the requirements. The system design is then implemented with MYSQL, PHP and
HTML. The system is designed as an interactive and content management system. The
content management system deals with data entry, validation and updating while the
interactive system deals with system interaction with the users. The system is capable to
largely address the problems mentioned in the existing system. It can generate reports on
the total inventory of books in the system, books in each book-bank, list defaulters and
other vital information required by the book-bank coordinator in the monitoring of the
book-banks in the University.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Declaration….………………………………………………………………… ii
Approval ……………………………………………………………………………… ii
Dedication……………………………………………………………………………. iii
Acknowledgments ……………………………………………………………………. iv
List of figures…………………………………………………………………………. viii
List of tables………………………………………………………………………….. ix
Acronyms…………………………………………………………………………….. x
Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………. xi
1. Introduction 1
1.1 Background to the Study……………………………………………… 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem …………………………………………… 4
1.3 Objectives …………………………………………………………… 4
1.3.1 General Objectives …………………………………………… 4
1.3.2 Specific Objectives …………………………………………. . 4
1.4 Scope …………………………………………………………………. 4
1.5 Significance of the study……………………………………………… 5
2. Literature Review
2.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………. 6
2.2 Learning Objects and patterns of software Architecture …………… 6
2.3 Approach to Library Design and required necessities ………………….10
2.4 Related Information Systems………………………………………… 15
3. Methodology 19
Introduction …………………………………………………………… 19
Methods of Data Collection …………………………………………… 19
3.2.1 Interviews……………………………………………………… 19
3.2.2 Observation ……………………………………………………. 20
3.2.3 Document review ……………………………………………… 20
3.3 Tools used in System design and Implementation …………………… 21
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3.3.1 My Sql ………………………………………………………… 21
3.3.2 PHP …………………………………………………………… 21
3.3.3 Html ………………………………………………………… 22
4. System Study 23
4.1 Description of the Existing System …………………………………. 23
4.1.1 Registering New Books ……………………………………… 23
4.1.2 Reports ………………………………………………………. 23
4.1.3 Procedures and Regulations …………………………………. 23
4.1.4 Borrowing ……………………………………………………. 24
4.1.5 Acquisition Policy …………………………………………… 24
4.2 Problems of the existing System …………………………………….. 25
5. System specification and design
5.1 Requirement Specifications ………………………………………….. 26
5.1.1 User Requirements of the Proposed system ………………….. 26
5.2 System Requirements ………………………………………………… 26
5.2.1 Functional Requirements of the Proposed System ………… 26
5.2.2 Non Functional Requirements ………………………………. 27
5.2.3 User Specification ……………………………………………. 27
5.2.4 Hardware Requirements ……………………………………… 27
5.2.5 Software Requirement ………………………………………… 28
5.2.6 Proposed System modules …………………………………….. 28
5.3 System Design ………………………………………………………… 28
5.3.1 The Interactive level …………………………………………… 29
5.3.2 The Manipulative level ……………………………………….. 29
5.3.3 Data storage level …………………………………………….. 29
5.4 System Design ………………………………………………………… 39
5.4.1 Architectural Design …………………………………………. 30
5.5 Conceptual Design …………………………………………………… 34
5.5.1 Entities and Attributes ………………………………………. 34
5.5.2 Relationships ………………………………………………… 34
6. Implementation 39
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6.1 Programming Environment ………………………………………….. 39
6.1.1 The Monitoring System ……………………………………… 39
6.1.2 Data Manipulation ……………………………………………. 39
6.1.3 Scripting ………………………………………………………. 40
6.1.4 Interface ……………………………………………………….. 40
6.2 Form Input Design ……………………………………………………. 40
7. Findings, Recommendations and Conclusions 48
7.1 Findings and Achievements …………………………………………… 48
7.1.1 Limitations …………………………………………………….. 48
7.2 Recommendations …………………………………………………….. 49
7.3 Conclusion …………………………………………………………… 49
References …………………………………………………………………….. 51
APPENDIX A ………………………………………………………………… 53
APPENDIX B ……………………………………………………………….. . 58

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The idea of the book-bank was first conceived at Makerere University in 1977 but it did
not take off not until 1990. Makerere University introduced the book-bank system as a
component of the University Library. The creation of this unit arose out of the desire by
the University to cut down on the cost of allowances given out to students to purchase
essential books for their courses. Originally each government-sponsored student would
be given an allowance called boom to enable him/her purchase relevant books necessary
for the course.
The Book-Bank system was established in Makerere University in 1990 with an initial
book stock of 44,000 from the defunct University Bookshop. The stock has steadily
increased and stands at over 221,696 books (November 2003), distributed in all
departments, schools and institutes of the University. Departmental Book-Banks are
managed at departmental level (Available; www.makerere.ac.ug/library [1]).
However as the number of students grew, the government/University was no longer able
to meet the book requirements in terms of allowances per student every other year. It
ought to be noted that the purchased books would thereafter become the property of the
student. In order to solve this problem to ensure that students accessed books at a limited
cost, it was decided that the University sets up a book-bank project where the money that
would otherwise be passed on to students to purchase personal books, instead be used to
purchase books that would be put in a pool/bank for use by students after which they
would be left behind for use by incoming students. The following objectives were behind
the creation of the book-bank:
i. To help the teaching units (Faculties and Departments) acquire the right books
for the syllabus at the right time.
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ii. To develop a system capable of sustaining the university education system
amidst student’s inability to buy/acquire the right textbooks on a personal
basis.
iii. To utilize carefully the limited funds allocated for textbooks.
iv. To ensure availability of basic textbooks to students against limited funds.
v. To develop students ability to handle property loaned to them.
The Book-bank system, coordinated from the Main Library provides the following
services: –
i. Solicits Book orders from heads of departments.
ii. Processes the orders for suppliers; both local and overseas
iii. Receives and processes the new books acquired.
iv. Distributes the new processed books to respective departments, schools and
institutes.
v. Maintains a database of the acquired books.
vi. Carries out annual stocktaking.
The book-banks of all the faculties are under the general supervision of the main
university library. Each Faculty and in some cases departments have book-bank units
which are directly supervised by the University Library.
The University library has recently created a database of library books that can be
accessed online, where researchers, teaching staff and students can check the availability
of a given book by following a link on the University library website. This system
however has not been made possible for books in the book-bank section. A database has
been created but is only used for record purposes for all the books purchased and
disbursed to various book-bank units. This means that when it comes to monitoring, the
process becomes manual whereby a printed list from the database is carry to a book-bank
unit to compare with the books available.
Individual book-banks are not yet electronically and digitally linked to the main library,
thus calling for the study of the current system so as to design a suitable online bookxiii
bank monitoring system. Distance learning has become a buzzard for educational
programming in many institutions of higher learning in recent year. The need to provide
access to post-secondary coursework at a distance has been identified as a top priority for
many universities and colleges.
The driving force behind this has to do with the increased demand for access to higher
education, the rising cost of colleges, the growth of information technology and
competition among private enterprises in the ever-increasing commercialization of the
education market (Slade, 1999 [2]). This is evident in Makerere University; with the
increased number of students, management of individual book-bank units and students of
different faculties has become harder. Much as book-banks are under direct control of the
University Library, monitoring by the coordinator is very difficult. The books are
purchased and distributed to respective units, but monitoring is very difficult taking into
account the limitations of the manual system. In some cases, the book-bank staff may be
tempted to flout the rules of the University library in terms of lending policy and
procedure.
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1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The current monitoring system is manual and as a result highly tedious in terms of
monitoring the book-banks. These book-banks place orders for books from the University
Library. Monitoring of these book-banks is currently difficult due the fact the staff in the
main Library in charge of book-banks is small and one must physically walk to a
particular book-bank unit (Faculty/Department) to assess the performance. Since books
are manually recorded, grouped and stored, many a time, it becomes very difficult to
know how many books of a given type are available in individual book-banks by the
Book-bank Coordinator. Producing a list of lost books and defaulters for example is also
a nightmare. This calls for the automation of the book-bank monitoring system.
1.3 OBJECTIVES
1.3.1 GENERAL OBJECTIVE
The general objective was to design an online book-bank monitoring system to enable a
central monitoring mechanism of the book-bank be more faster and less error prone.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
i. To study and analyze the current monitoring system/procedures of the book-bank
in order to come up with proper requirement specifications for the new system.
ii. To design an online system to monitor the activities of the book-banks.
iii. To create an application that will enable the coordinator to evaluate various book
statistics, which can influence decision-making.
1.4 Scope
The study covered Makerere University Main Library book-bank section, and also
focused on three book-banks namely Faculty of Computing and Information Technology
(FCIT), Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (department of adult Education and
Communication studies) and Faculty of Law.
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1.5 Significance of the study
The current system is highly manual and therefore tedious in terms of monitoring the
book-banks in the University. Libraries are changing rapidly as they strive to bring access
to electronic resources, seamless document delivery systems and information literacy
skills to their communities. The new electronic information environment is pushing many
libraries to rethink their services and reengineer their organizations (Holly, 1999 [3]).
Therefore the electronic system will help to speed up the process of book-bank
monitoring in light of the increasing number of student population and shrinking number
of staff. It will further allow the coordinator and other stakeholders to access the
information on the book-banks online by logging into the system using their respective
log-on rights.
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