Athenaeum Light 2014

Athenaeum Light is a simple yet powerful library management tool for schools, small and medium sized businesses, church groups and other organisations. Athenaeum has been available since 1996 and is a mature and well developed solution.

For 2014, Athenaeum Light has been re-engineered into a compact, single file solution with a new interface. It works with FileMaker Pro 12 or FileMaker Pro 13 and can be networked with FileMaker Server 12 or 13. It also runs with FileMaker Go 13 on your iPad and also supports FileMaker Inc.'s "Web Direct" on FileMaker Server 13.

There are also some new, fun things with QR Codes, automation with the Open Library.

As well, a rewritten comprehensive manual will get you going through all sections of the program. The passwords for Athenaeum Light are included at the start of the manual (that's a hint!).

You can download the following empty 30 day trial versions of Athenaeum Light from the Athenaeum Light Downloads page

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    Customisable Main Menu

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    Catalogue list with book covers

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    Catalogue detail with cover, QR Code, etc.

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    Borrowr detail with photo, QR code, current issues & reserves

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    Borrower list with photos and quick search widget

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    Issue screen showing current borrower, history, etc.

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    Guest menu on an iPad

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    iPad detail screen (guest log in)

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    iPad quick view on list view


New Interface

  • A cleaner, "open" look - less clutter with embedded, toggling labels, more space around object groups, interactive buttons on hover. Nearly every screen has been reworked.
  • Customisable main menu buttons - prefer clicking buttons rather than using the keyboard? Put the most used buttons you want on the main menu.
  • Quick statistics on the main menu showing you total catalogue items, # added this year, total current issues, total overdues.
  • Customisable configurations for different screen sizes; option of default larger or smaller screens; default zoom ratios 100/150/200/400; maximise windows; or combinations of these.
  • Adding items to the catalogue first tries to find the details from the Open Library (requires an internet connection).
  • Book covers - add your own web formulae for extracting web images from your chosen source; we can get you going using examples like Open Library.

New Structure

  • condensed to a single file structure (makes it easier to manage on iPads; or create multiple databases more easily for different purposes such as main library, resource libraries, etc.).
  • external data storage of pdf documents and graphic elements such as borrower photos; QR Codes and book cover images (more efficiency in database design and network traffic).
  • option for active directory integration when configured with FileMaker Server.

FileMaker 12 or 13

  • based on the powerful FileMaker 12/13 database engine - 20+ million sold!
  • opening Athenaeum Light with FileMaker Pro allows you limited customisation of bar code layouts, spine labels
  • hosting Athenaeum Light 2014 with FileMaker Pro 12 will allow up to 9 concurrent FileMaker Pro users, FileMaker 13 will allow up to 5
  • hosting Athenaeum Light 2014 with FileMaker Server 13 allows >250 FileMaker Pro users to connect. Add on connections for FileMaker Go
  • hosting Athenaeum Light 2014 with FileMaker Server 12 allows up to 250 concurrent FileMaker Pro users to use Athenaeum Light
  • hosting Athenaeum Light 2014 with FileMaker Server Advanced 12 allows up to 999 concurrent FileMaker Pro users to use Athenaeum Light

FileMaker Go 13

Athenaeum Light contains features for FileMaker Go 13. It does not support version 12.


  • every item has four customisable categories
  • changing the bar code of an item does not 'breaks' the circulation nor history records for that item
  • store various media with each item, such as a book cover image or a picture of the item; a file (e.g. a pdf, graphic or other document); a sound ; a movie
  • users can optionally export a copy of the picture, file or movie to the local computer
  • catalogue item types pop-up menu easily customised
  • 'not for issue' items are hightlighted in red
  • track purchase and/or replacement costs along with the purchase date and the depreciated value is calculated instantly
  • statistics with break-down on any sub-set grouped by location, type, publisher, custom, custom2, author, author origin or supplier. Includes counts and totals of purchase amounts, depreciation amounts (to any specified date) and replacement amounts
  • copy catalogue data and finance to the clipboard for spreadsheet analysis
  • easier access to reserve, supplier and publisher listings


  • define the categories you want to use yourself - e.g. "years" and "rooms" for schools,
  • create borrower lists grouped by these custom categories
  • create emails to lists of borrowers using a standard desktop mail client
  • authorise any borrower with a checkbox
  • lists show bar code of 'not authorised' borrowers in red
  • store photos of borrowers in Athenaeum Light and optionally print ID cards with bar code and picture
  • custom letters to borrowers can contain styled text (bold, italic, etc)

Circulation (Issues)

  • easily find overdues
  • the powerful FileMaker search engine allows you to perform date range searches, boolean searches, even look for issues on a thursday!
  • quickly list catalogue items from subsets of the circulation list
  • optionally condense summaries without page breaks
  • summarise issues by borrower custom fields, catalogue location or type, due dates or just copy issue financials to the clipboard for your spreadsheet
  • items that are overdue show 'late' in the circulation list
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QR Codes

  • generate QR Codes for borrowers or catalogue items

  • use the built-in iPad camera to scan the QR Codes during issue, return and stock take

Account Management

  • flexible Account/Password model
  • tight control over accounts - different accounts see only what they need. You can allocate one of four accounts to your Athenaeum users:
    • admin - perform all Athenaeum tasks
    • issue - browse catalogue, issue and return catalogue items
    • entry - can enter and change catalogue data, but not issue nor return
    • guest - look but not touch
  • re-login to a different account at any time, without quitting the program
  • when used with FileMaker Server, optionally integrate with active directory accounts for external authentication:- create AD groups liblight_admin, liblight_entry, liblight_guest, liblight_issue and assign AD members to the groups matching their permissions
  • increased password security

Try it now

Go to the Athenaeum Light downloads page and grab a demo version with dummy data as well as the new manual.



The Athenaeum Light 2014 templates are USD50 and do not include FileMaker Pro nor FileMaker Server.

That fee is a single charge per library per site. That means if you have a school with one library, you pay a single fee regardless of the number of students. If you have offices distributed in 5 cities with 5 libraries, you have 5 fees. If you have a school district, then the fee is per school library, not per district.

You are purchasing a registration code for Athenaeum Light, which you can download from the downloads page. There are no physical goods.

Before purchasing, you must download the trial version and be sure that Athenaeum Light meets your needs

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