How to choose a library? In this case for RTC 3231

I bought a Real Time Clock module with 3231 chip.
I only want to set the date/time once and then use the date/time in a log file.

When I search for 3231 in the Library Manager I see 9 different libraries. Search on the internet brings up some more.

What is the best way to find the "best" library?
I know that best is relative. I.e. I don't care about the alarm and other features of this chip and for other people that is maybe important.

I could obviously download all those libraries and check the details. But that seems to me a lot of work. Probably all those libraries will do what I want. But probably some need more memory, other might be easy or difficult to use, etc.

What is the best way to choose a library?

I guess the 3231 chip is a good example for this topic. But the idea is more general. There are often multiple libraries and I am sure the experts here have a system how to choose the "best" one for whatever project they have in mind.

That is a good question. The only suggestion that I can make is to visit the web sites of the libraries and see which has the best support in terms of API reference and examples.

I start with the library and examples usually recommended by the part supplier.
Then/or google it , see what people like and use it even ask here

In Library Manager, you can click the "More info" link for each library. Usually that will take you to its GitHub repository. That will provide you with a lot of good information in addition to the documentation groundFungus recommended looking for to evaluate the library.

The first place to look for documentation is the readme file, which is displayed at the bottom of the home page of the repository. A less obvious location where documentation can sometimes be found is at the "Wiki" link near the top of the repository home page. Unfortunately, this feature is enabled by default by GitHub but many library authors don't use the feature but also don't make the tiny effort to turn it off. So don't be surprised if clicking on the Wiki link does nothing or just gives you an empty Wiki.

You can check the Issues to see a list of open and closed bug reports. Obviously a lot of open bug reports is a bad thing, especially if they are clearly legitimate bugs that have not been resolved years after being reported. At the same time, a strong community that is actively reporting bugs is a good sign.

The Pull Requests section shows you proposals from the community to improve or fix bugs. Lots of pull requests indicates a strong community but obvious improvements that the repository owner hasn't bothered to merge for years indicated a project that is not actively/well maintained.

The numbers shown next to "Stars" and "Forks" are good indicators of the popularity of a library.

The commits section shows you a history of the changes made to the library so you can see how actively it is being worked on.

Then of course you can also browse through the contents of the library, including examples and source code.

There are also a bunch of nifty analytics graphs under the "Insights" section but I haven't actually found that to be very useful.

Although this information can be helpful, there is no simple equation for determining the best library. A simple library written without any bugs might have only a single commit and have no reason for anyone to submit an issue or Pull Request. A relatively new high quality library will have had less time to accumulate stars and forks than an older library of inferior quality.

The “rtc by makuna” library is comprehensive and actively maintained. No problems in the 2 years I’ve been using it.

RTC library here:

I only want to set the date/time once and then use the date/time in a log file.

You can do that without a library