Answered Essay: The college library needs a new Library Management System (LMS) to track andmanage its resources. The most obvious resour

Use Case Diagram

The college library needs a new Library Management System (LMS) to track andmanage its resources. The most obvious resource the library must manage is its books. Books are checked out, checked in, and requested by library patrons. Books can also have a special status ifthey are placed on reserve or ifthey are reference books. In either case, such books maynotleave thepremises. Reminders aremailedtopatronswhenresources aremore than two weeks overdue. Patrons are fined $0.25 per day that books are overdue, to a maximum of $5.00 per overdue item. The library also has other resources that may be checked out, including music CDs, software, and videos, each of which may only be checked out for one week at a time. Patrons also have a variety of statuses that influence how long a book may be checked out. A patron’s status also determines what services are available to him or her. Students may check out books for four weeks, and faculty may check them out for three months. Library staff may keep a book for an entire year. Any checkable library resource may be renewed as long as no other patron has requested it. Faculty and library staff may place a book on reservefor theperiodofonesemester,or theymaybringinforeignresources (books,papers, disks, music CDs, magazines, or tapes that do not belong to the library) and put them on reserve. 2 The library must also manage a large selection o fweekly,monthly,and quarterly magazines, which maynot be checked out but are available as reference materials. These magazines are annually bound into volumes or recorded as microfiche. Additional activities of the library staff include reshelving books, renewing magazine subscriptions, and ordering new library resources. Library staff members also provide a number of other services supporting activities in the research community and for the general public. Two dozen computers are scattered throughout the library. These computers provide access to a variety of databases and indexes as well as to the Internet via up-to-date web-browsing software. Designated library staff are available to assist patrons with their research needs using these computer-based tools as well as standard hard-copy indexes. The library must also connect to the holdings of other libraries so that interlibrary loan requests can be fulfilled. A subset of these libraries allow patrons to directly browse their selections. A final responsibility of the library staff is the acquisition and retirement of books in the collection. In acquiring new books, a balance between meeting the requests of patrons and achieving a representative breadth in the collection is sought. Books are retired when their content is deemed to be out of date and of no historical value. Ideally, when a book is out of date, it will not be retired until a more up-to-date resource has replaced it in the library’s collection.

Use-Case Diagram 25 points

Part A: Identify Actors and Use Cases for the Library Management System. Draw the Use Case Diagram that details the high-level functionality of the system.

Part B: Pick any 1 use case from your diagram and provide the complete description of the use case (i.e., participants, entry and exit conditions, the main flow of events, any exceptional flow of events, and special requirements).

I’m not asking anyone to create a Use Case Diagram for me but I need help identifying actors, classes, functions, and so on. I am completely lost. If you can please describe how you knew how to classify everything.

Expert Answer


Purpose of Use Case Diagrams

The purpose of use case diagram is to capture the dynamic aspect of a system. However, this definition is too generic to describe the purpose, as other four diagrams (activity, sequence, collaboration, and Statechart) also have the same purpose. We will look into some specific purpose, which will distinguish it from other four diagrams.

Use case diagrams are used to gather the requirements of a system including internal and external influences. These requirements are mostly design requirements. Hence, when a system is analyzed to gather its functionalities, use cases are prepared and actors are identified.

When the initial task is complete, use case diagrams are modelled to present the outside view.

In brief, the purposes of use case diagrams can be said to be as follows −

  • Used to gather the requirements of a system.
  • Used to get an outside view of a system.
  • Identify the external and internal factors influencing the system.
  • Show the interaction among the requirements are actors.

How to Draw a Use Case Diagram?

Use case diagrams are considered for high level requirement analysis of a system. When the requirements of a system are analyzed, the functionalities are captured in use cases.

We can say that use cases are nothing but the system functionalities written in an organized manner. The second thing which is relevant to use cases are the actors. Actors can be defined as something that interacts with the system.

Actors can be a human user, some internal applications, or may be some external applications. When we are planning to draw a use case diagram, we should have the following items identified.

  • Functionalities to be represented as use case
  • Actors
  • Relationships among the use cases and actors.

Use case diagrams are drawn to capture the functional requirements of a system. After identifying the above items, we have to use the following guidelines to draw an efficient use case diagram

  • The name of a use case is very important. The name should be chosen in such a way so that it can identify the functionalities performed.
  • Give a suitable name for actors.
  • Show relationships and dependencies clearly in the diagram.
  • Do not try to include all types of relationships, as the main purpose of the diagram is to identify the requirements.
  • Use notes whenever required to clarify some important points.

Following is a sample use case diagram representing the order management system. Hence, if we look into the diagram then we will find three use cases (Order, SpecialOrder, and NormalOrder) and one actor which is the customer.

The SpecialOrder and NormalOrder use cases are extended from Order use case. Hence, they have extended relationship. Another important point is to identify the system boundary, which is shown in the picture. The actor Customer lies outside the system as it is an external user of the system.

Use Case Diagram objects

Use case diagrams consist of 4 objects.

  • Actor
  • Use case
  • System
  • Package

The objects are further explained below.


Actor in a use case diagram is any entity that performs a role in one given system. This could be a person, organization or an external system and usually drawn like skeleton shown below.

Use Case

A use case represents a function or an action within the system. It’s drawn as an oval and named with the function.


The system is used to define the scope of the use case and drawn as a rectangle. This an optional element but useful when you’re visualizing large systems. For example, you can create all the use cases and then use the system object to define the scope covered by your project. Or you can even use it to show the different areas covered in different releases.


The package is another optional element that is extremely useful in complex diagrams. Similar to class diagrams, packages are used to group together use cases. They are drawn like the image shown below.

Relationships in Use Case Diagrams

There are five types of relationships in a use case diagram. They are

  • Association between an actor and a use case
  • Generalization of an actor
  • Extend relationship between two use cases
  • Include relationship between two use cases
  • Generalization of a use case
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