Tag Archives: Koha

All Bets Are Off

2 July 2012 marked the 500th edition of The Daily News. Much has changed since the first edition on 21 January 2011 and this is the second in a series of brief posts to mark the occasion. The first post is here.

The last 18 months was not just a period of significant change where mobile devices, apps, library funding woes and ebooks fundamentally altered the way libraries do things that need to be done.

It was also a period of significant DISRUPTION. Where individuals decided enough was enough and all bets were off, and David picked up his slingshot.

My top 3 David vs Goliath stories from the Daily News are:

  1. More news on the Koha trademark.  (28 Nov 2011)
  2. Douglas County Libraries Erects Legal Framework for Ebook Purchases.  (20 Jan 2012)
  3. The open access debate. (10 May 2012)

What were your favourite David vs Goliath stories?

Open Source ILS: Much Bigger Than You Think

By guest blogger Chris Cormack of Catalyst IT.

Time and time again I bump into the misconception that free and Open Source ILS like Koha and Evergreen are only for small libraries. While this might have been true for Koha in 1999/2000 it most certainly isn’t in 2012 and hasn’t been for many years now. As for Evergreen, this has never been the case.

Some Evergreen facts to help dispel the myth:

  • 7 Evergreen libraries have over 1,000,000 records in their catalogues.
  • Georgia PINES  has 8.5 million records and circulates approx 18 million items per year.
  • King County Library system contains over 3.3 million records. The library circulates 19 million items per year and serves a population of 1.2 million residents.
  • One of the ‘smaller’ Evergreen consortia MVLC has over 3.2 million records in its catalogue.

Some Koha facts:

  • Koha has 7 Libraries/consortia with over 1 million records in their catalogues and 19 libraries with more than 500,ooo records.
  • Plano Independent School district, which runs an older version of Koha, has 1.2 million records and circulates approximately 1 million items per year.
  • Near East University has 1.5 million records.
  • Corpus Christi Public libraries contain 700,000 records. The library circulates more than 1.3 million items per year and serves a population of 285,000 residents.
  • Biblioteca Nacional de Venezuela has more than 7 million records in its catalogue.

To put that into a New Zealand context:

* Catalogue statistics sourced from Marshall Breeding’s libwebcats site.

Kotui: An Update From Sue Sutherland Regarding Koha

On 29 April 2011, the National Library of New Zealand announced:

Vendors selected to develop Kōtui, a new national shared library system

Three vendors have been selected to work with Kōtui to develop a shared library system operated by the National Library of New Zealand for subscribing public libraries. The vendors are SirsiDynix, EBSCO Publishing, and Computer Concepts Ltd.

Acting National Librarian, Sue Sutherland, says Kōtui will manage the member libraries’ physical resources and offer a new Discovery system which will allow customers to easily search for e-books or digital subscription information held by libraries as well as conventional books, magazines and DVDs.

“Through Kōtui, library customers will be able to easily discover and access resources from home or from school or work as well as from inside a library.”

Ms Sutherland says Kōtui will give member libraries access to centralised expertise and a help desk offered through an augmented Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK) service.

“The shared service will provide a substantially improved service to all member libraries and councils at costs which could not be achieved by councils acting individually to implement levels of service offered by Kōtui.”

The vendor selection followed a rigorous evaluation process which assessed vendor offerings in terms of both functionality and price. Potential member libraries were heavily involved in the development of the specifications for Kōtui and were also involved in selecting the vendors.

Ms Sutherland says that subscriptions from member libraries will fully fund the service with preparatory work for implementation to begin soon after Easter. Kōtui member libraries and councils currently include:

  • Marlborough, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tasman, Taupo, Waimakariri, Wanganui joining in Year 1
  • Buller, Hurunui, Thames Coromandel, Upper Hutt, Waitaki joining in Year 2
  • Hastings and Kawerau joining in Year 3

A number of other councils are currently discussing joining Kōtui.

The three suppliers each have responsibility for different components of the service with SirsiDynix providing the core systems to manage the physical items held by libraries; EBSCO Publishing providing EBSCO Discovery Service, the service that allows combined discovery of both physical and electronic items held by the library, and Computer Concepts Ltd providing centralised hosting services from their Christchurch-based data centre.

On 10 May 2011,  The National Archives Library (UK) announced:

The National Archives chooses the Koha open source library management
system, implemented and hosted by PTFS Europe London, 9th May 2011.

The library at The National Archives has chosen the Koha open source
library management system to replace its existing Unicorn solution. PTFS
Europe are carrying out the initial implementation and providing ongoing
support. The system is hosted at the PTFS Europe data centre in

Koha Library Management System

With Koha, library staff access is completely web-based; acquisitions,
circulation, cataloguing, serials and reports are all done through a web
browser. As well as an excellent search engine the OPAC offers a range of
Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 facilities such as tagging, reviewing, public and
private lists as well as integrating with services such as RSS, Twitter and

Working with PTFS Europe provides the freedom and functionality of open source software together with the benefits of receiving high quality
customer support.

Helen Pye-Smith, Head of Business Support and Library Services at The
National Archives said: “The Koha library management system is both cost effective and meets our high standards in providing user-friendly, easily accessible online resources, plus has the potential to integrate with
future innovations in this area. Combined with the knowledge and expertise provided by PTFS Europe this is an ideal formula and we look forward to implementing the new system.”

Nick Dimant, Managing Director at PTFS Europe said: “We would like to
welcome The National Archives as the first government agency library in the UK to move to Koha. The challenging economic climate is proving to be a catalyst. Libraries are realising that they can benefit from good
functionality and modern technologies in an open environment, all at a
reduced cost.”

And, naturally with both announcements being made so closely together there was a bit of twitter activity expressing disappointment that Koha wasn’t selected as a vendor by Kotui.

Sue Sutherland, former Acting National Librarian and sponsor of Kotui, has responded with the following statement:

Koha was evaluated along with other library systems by a team from National Library and the public libraries involved in Kotui.  The process was peer reviewed by US expert Marshall Breeding.  The requirements were comprehensive and the result was as publicised.  This does not mean that Koha is not a good system – nor does it mean that Sirsi  is better.   It was about the requirements and fit for purpose for the broad range of libraries that are part of Kotui.

Sue, thank you for clarifying the selection process and reassuring me and many other librarians about the care and rigor in which the vendors were evaluated and selected. I am looking forward to seeing what develops.