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What Is Mandarin?

Mandarin M5 is a modern online catalog, fully web based. M5 provides access to library resources from any workstation, at the library or remotely. M5 helps single libraries, libraries with multiple sites and school districts lower costs and save time with one-point installation, maintenance and updates. Our technical support is renowned, and is available 24/7/365. Visit our M5 demonstration site today and see what the future looks like!

Who Uses Mandarin?

School libraries, special libraries, smaller public libraries.

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Reviews of Mandarin

Average score

Overall
4.6
Ease of Use
4.4
Customer Service
4.9
Features
4.2
Value for Money
4.7

Reviews by company size (employees)

  • <50
  • 51-200
  • 201-1,000
  • >1,001

Find reviews by score

5
71%
4
25%
2
3%
Vanessa
Office Manager in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Primary/Secondary Education, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Great Option for Small Schools at a terrific price

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Marcia
Part-time Librarian in US
Education Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Very Good Library Management Software

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: 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 Our older system (Follett) was outdated and the cost to update it was too much.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.

Christopher
Librarian in US
Education Management, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

We were sold something other than what we received.

2.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Mandarin Library Automation Response

5 years ago

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.

Ann
Librarian in US
Libraries, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Used it to hand link 4 school libraries

4.0 2 years ago

Comments: 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.

Joel
Director of Technology in US
Education Management, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Pioneer School District Libraries

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: 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.