Friday, December 26, 2014

KOHA- Open Source Integrated Library Software P- 04. Information Communication Technology for Libraries

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

KOHA- Open Source Integrated Library Software

P- 04. Information Communication Technology for Libraries *

By :Usha Munshi,Paper Coordinator


Koha is the first of its kind, an open-source integrated library software (ILS) used worldwide by all kind of libraries from public, school and special libraries. Its growth and development is guided by a nurturing community of libraries and users across the world, who collaborate together to achieve its technological objectives and goals. The name of the ILS become koha from a term called Mãori which means a “gift” or “donation”. The ILS is developed at a modern platform and is a web-based solution for the libraries. Koha uses SQL database (MySql preferred) as backend and its cataloguing data stored is in MARC and is accessible via Z39.50 protocol. Koha is integrated library software that has state of the art web based interface, enhanced content and substance, provides faceted navigation, provisions keyword searching, up-gradation and development through user contribution and provides Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds that make it unique integrated library software in the world. At present Koha has four specific language websites including French, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.


Koha software was originally build up and developed in New Zealand by the company called as Katipo Communications Limited. The Integrated Library Software Solution was first deployed in the year January, 2000 for Horowhenua Library Trust. Since then, with the successful installation and implementation, the software solution has become popular and has been adopted by thousands of libraries worldwide in number, adding and contributing to the features and functions, thus deepening the capability, potential and competence of the software. The powerful Zebra indexing engine was introduced in 2005 with the release of Koha 3.0 version. Koha 3.0 has become a standard viable, scalable solution for all types of libraries. There are about 47 languages of the world that the software is accessible to and has been partially translated into 62 languages. The developers from the world over have always improved its features with the collaborating effort of the user community through a feedback mechanism. The latest release is koha version 3.14.0 which was released on November 21, 2003.

Features of Koha

  • Acquisitions: Koha has a acquisitions module with complete functionality of recommendation, ordering, receiving, invoicing, budgeting, book funding, setting suppliers and exchange rates.
  • Circulation: a complete featured and powerful circulation module with customised circulation rules to suit any kind of library; it fully automates the borrowing and item management.
  • OPAC- Koha has all the elements and attributes of OPAC with a simple and clear interface, and in addition to it also supports content from sources of collections like Amazon, Google Books, etc.
  • Flexible reporting: Koha provides access to the RDBMS, so reports can be easily customised and prepared as per the individual requirements.
  • Customisable item types: The catalogue items can be opted as per the preference and requirements of the individual libraries.
  • BarcodeRFID : The ILS Koha is based on the web browser and its is fully compatible with all kinds of barcode, QR codes, RFIDs and other similar technologies.
  • User management: The software provides incorporation with systems like LDAP, Active Directory, Radius and SAML to allow single sign-on facility for the user’s management.
  • Metadata: Koha has a potential to generate a qualitative metadata, it uses a full text indexing engine to allow for speedy and authoritative searching of metadata.
  • Standards: Koha uses all latest standards including MARC21, UNIMARC, Z39.50, SRU/SW, SIP2 and many more are supported.x
  • Automated overdue notices: Overdue notices are either provided by email or SMS.
  • Consortia Mode: The ILS can work as multi-branch or single-branch mode in the consortia mode.
  • Translations: Koha is translated into many languages and is available in nearly 62 languages
  • Offline circulation: Koha also provides provision to do offline circulations
  • Self Check: Koha also facilitates the use with SIP2 compliant self-check-in, check-out machines.
  • Faceted searching: Koha provides the federated search results which are classified for its users..

LibLime Koha

LibLime Koha is the most leading reliable open source Integrated Library Management System and is used by hundreds of libraries world over and it is completely web based and requires no software to install on desktop computers or servers. Using  cloud-hosting environment, there is for no need for server management or IT resources in the Library, all upgradations, backups and system maintenance are managed by the LibLime's IT experts. The LibLime Koha features includes:
  • Fully developed ILS functionality – It provides fully developed modules including Course Reserves, Acquisitions, Serials Control, etc
  • Web-based solution – The ILS is completely webbased from the functionality like OPAC, staff, administrative features. The self-check-out, check-in interfaces are based on standards compliant with the latest WWW technologies like XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets and Javascript. It is because of these reasons the LibLime Koha is completely known as a Web-based solution.
  • Easy-to-use: The platform is very easy to use and user can set its circulation policies, provides robust patron management system, insightful navigation and wide-ranging permissions for staff.
  • Parent-child relationship: It provides parent child relations for patron records and copy patron feature to promptly and rapidly add families.
  • Extensive support: It also provides widespread support for holds. It includes choice to 'suspend' and 'reactivate' the hold. Patrons are allowed to place holds from their OPAC account, similarly allows staff to re-organize the holds queue. It also provides the option to place holds at the title or item level.
  • Enhanced matching policy: Older records can be updates with a newer record version by enhanced matching rules for the 001 and 035 tags.
  • Batch Mode- Provides the facility to import and export batches from the catalog through a single file upload.
  • Support: It provides support for industry standards and guidelines.
  • SIP2: It provides SIP2 for a wider range of vendors/ publishers and their products, ranging from ITG, 3M, EnvisionWare, Talking Tech, Overdrive, TechLogic, and Librarica. LibLime Koha also works with EzProxy as a twofold authentication source for remote access database.
  • XML-Provides tags for MARC record storage thus provides quicker access to data
  • Clubs and Services: The feature allows libraries to administer group reading, book clubs, and community outreach programs.
  • Support for third party: It supports all the debt Collection solutions, telephone Notices, etc. 

Koha- ByWater Solutions

ByWater Solutions is an excellent and qualitative support for providing libraries with a lower cost, more advanced level of support for their Koha ILS. ByWater Solutions is supporting Koha implementation with library systems of all sizes and variant requirements This Solution not only support Koha for lowering the cost of implementation but also for maintaining the ILS and empowering libraries by giving them the flexibility and freedom of the variable features. In 2009 June ByWater Solutions was started with its first client, Goodwin College and now has a partner base of over 800 libraries, making them one of the largest Koha service providers in the world.
Alternate Text


What is Koha?

Koha is an open source integrated library system (ILS) maintained by and used by libraries all over the world.

The History

In 1999 the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand contracted with Katipo Communications to develop a new ILS before their existing system failed due to Y2K. During the proposal process, Katipo suggested to the library that the software they developed should be released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) to ensure the project lived on and would be able to be supported by other companies.1

The Name

During the development process the new ILS was playfully named C4 or “Cheap and Cheerful Copy of C… {the name of the old system},”2 but the library wanted to come up with a name that meant something and so they decided on the name Koha. Koha is a Māori word (not an acronym for anything) for “gift,” but not just any gift, it’s a gift with expectations. Think of a koha as a bottle of wine you bring to dinner. You are giving the wine as a gift to your host, but you expect dinner in return. With Koha the expectation is that you will contribute back to the project in some way.


With open source software people often think that the only way to contribute is to write code, this is not true. By simply using the product, reporting problems and suggesting improvements you’re contributing. What makes open source software so much better than proprietary software is the back and forth that takes place between those using the software and those writing it. With Koha the developers are very open to suggestions from those using the ILS and always use these suggestions as the building blocks for the next release.

Learn More

To learn more about Koha features please review our Koha Features Overview. To contribute to the project please contact us and/or check out the official Koha website. You can also learn more by reviewing the Koha group bibliography or searching through theFree/Libre and Open Source Software bibliography, both on Zotero.


1 Ransom, Joann, Chris Cormack, and Rosalie Blake. “How Hard Can It Be? : Developing in Open Source.” The Code4Lib Journal no. 7 (June 26, 2009).
2 Engard, Nicole C. “KohaCon10: Keynote.” What I Learned Today…, October 24, 2010.

KOHA - Open Source Library Management Software

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Koha Transcript

  • 1. Open Source ILS Software: KOHA RAJEEV KUMAR Computer Prog. Officer SAARC Documentation Centre New Delhi Email : Web :
  • 2. What does Open Source mean?The term “open source” refers to softwarethat is free and that includes the originalsource code used to create it so that userscan modify it to make it work better source software may be free, adeveloper or distributor may charge forservices, including special programming,installation, training, and technical support.Quality, not profit drives open sourcedevelopers who take personal pride.Simple use it and is not locked any singleperson or institution.
  • 3. Advantages of Open SourceSoftware : Ability to tailor to fit local needs : The availability of the source code means that a user can modify and enhance the software to more closely fit its own needs . No restriction on use : There are no contractual restrictions on how the software is used . Low cost :There is no charge for the software itself. itself. Themajor cost is local development. If the number of development.users is large, and they share their efforts, eachuser’s cost is reduced. reduced.
  • 4. Disadvantages of Open Source Software:Unanticipated Efforts : A library may find that itneeds to do a great deal more work than anticipated toadapt the software to local needs. needs.Lack of coordination : The decentralized developmentof open source software means that progress can bechaotic and there may be delays in addressing bugs.Inadequate technical support : Documentation tendsto be limited and aimed at developers. There usually is technical support, especially for users of thesoftwareCustomization : Open source software may not offer thelevel of customization as it is being done in case ofcommercial software. software.
  • 5. Open Source IntegratedLibrary System Products : MicroLCS, Koha Emilda OpenBiblio Evergreen phpMyLibrary FireFly PMB GNUTeca PYTHEAS Avanti WEBLIS. WEBLIS.
  • 6. Criteria for Evaluating OpenSource Integrated LibrarySystems :There is active current development under way. way.At least the cataloging, circulation, patron accesscatalog modules, acquisitions and serials controlshould be available. It should be Integrated library available.system.MARC is supported. supported.Current source code and documentation are availablefor downloading under the GNU General PublicLicenseThe product is currently in use in libraries. libraries.ScalabilityAdaptability and user friendly system.
  • 7. What is Koha ?Koha is a full featured Integrated Library System(ILS). there is no cost for the license, you have thefreedom to modify the product to adapt it to yourneeds, etc.Developed initially in New Zealand by KatipoCommunications with Horowhenua Library Trust.It is currently maintained by a dedicated team ofsoftware providers and library technology staff fromaround the globe.That by adopting it, the customer becomes "jointowner " of the product. In particular, the customer canfreely install new versions or not, and can take part innew developments by financing them or by carryingthem out them self.
  • 8. Why Open Source Software Koha:Proven, Stable Technologies: Koha is tried and tested andhas demonstrated both stability and scalability, used inhundreds of libraries worldwide.Software Collaboration and Resource Sharing: softwaresolutions that are freely available to all libraries worldwide.libraries benefits from the contributions of other participatinglibrary systems.Long term Support:With proprietary software, source codeis closed and support and future development of the productrely on the success and resources of a single vendor. If thevendor goes under, so does your product support. open-source solutions rely on stable code bases developed andsupported by many providers worldwide.User-driven: open-source software user-driven--you decidewhat features are important and deserve attention ratherthan a vendor. continued----
  • 9. Why Open Source Software Koha:Cost-effective: paying licensing fees for proprietary solutions,users of open-source software can often deploy the productusing in-house resources. They pay only for needed support orany additional vendor services they require.Innovation: code is open, users are free to innovate andimprove the software to meet their needs Free innovation alsomeans that open-source software has much fasterdevelopment cycles when compared to proprietary software.Free/open source software koha is an economical alternativeto reliance upon commercially supplied software. It means thecost involved development, license, upgrading, maintenanceetc., lower than commercial software. koha does not need theinitial cost like commercial software.Free/Open source Koha has all the feature of commercialsoftware.Motivate and encourage staff to creativities.
  • 10. What does it cost Koha?Free/open source software Free downloadunder the GNU General Public License.Users of open-source software Koha canoften deploy yourself using in-houseresources. They pay only for neededsupport or any additional vendor servicesthey require.It means the cost involved development,upgrading, maintenance etc., Koha doesnot need the initial cost like commercialsoftware.Here cost means commitment, dedication,and a long term efforts to sustain anddevelopment of the software.
  • 11. Who uses Koha?More than 300 libraries are using Koha,including academic, public, school andspecial libraries, in Africa,Australia,Canada, USA, France, Indiaand, of course, New Zealand. Alongwith a committed team of programmersits development is steered by a growingcommunity of libraries collaborating toachieve their technology
  • 12. Koha UserName Type websiteAntioch University Academic Bible Baptist Academic Resource and Academic http://circonline.caResearch Unit – University ofTorontoWest Liberty Public Library Public http://opac.wlpl.orgNelsonville Public Library Public http://search.athenscounty.lib.System (7 library branches Library Trust Public School of Business,Trivandrum Kerala school
  • 13. Koha and Commercial LMS:S.N Core services Alice Libsys New Soul VTLS Libsuit Kohao Genlib e01 Acquisition 1 1 1 1 1 1 102 Cataloguing 1 1 1 1 1 1 103 Circulation 1 1 1 1 1 1 104 Web/OPAC 1 1 1 1 1 1 105 Serials 1 1 1 1 1 1 106 Biblio format 1 1 1 1 1 1 107 Data 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 exchange10 Standards 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 Cost(Approx.) 3.5 4.5 Open 50000 8.00 4.5 Open Lakh Lakh Source Lakh Lakh Source
  • 14. Koha FeatureA full featured modern integrated library software (ILS).Award winning and f free/Open-source Software.(no license fee). (noOS independent any operating system. Linux, Unix, Mac.Web based. Web-based Interfaces. We can integrate with website.Full MARC21 and UNIMARC support for professional cataloguing.Multilingual and multi-user support multi-Library-Standards-Compliant. industrial standards & protocols.Z39.50 server.Customizable web based opac.circulation system.Online reservation.Full catalogue, circulation, acquisitions, library stock management.Web based OPAC, public to search the catalogue.Major industry-standard database type (text, RDBMS), SQL,MYSQL. industry-Serial management module.Print your barcode.Export and import records, ISO2709
  • 15. Koha System Architecture:Koha is based on a client-server architecture.Network Server: koha can be installed on a server runningLinux, Unix, Mac.The recommended operating system isstable version of Debian Linux, although Koha can run on anymodern operating system.Client Workstations: Koha requires only a web browser onthe workstation (a graphical browser, or even a text browserfor the OPAC). Koha thus functions on PCs runningWindows,PCs running Linux, Macs, or even UNIXworkstations.Koha runs over any TCP-IP network.Koha accommodates low-bandwidth connections. It is completelyusable on ordinary telephone line connections. This is more true ofthe librarian interface than of the public interface (OPAC).
  • 16. Koha StandardsThe developers of the product have taken care toadhere strictly to international standards.Industry standards: Z39.50, UNIMARC, ISO2709,MARC21.For technical standards: the OPAC is "validXHTML ", and respects the standards ofaccessibility.Web standards recommended by the WorldWide Web Consortium.
  • 17. Koha Requirement:Koha version 2.2.9 Free (download from web server, 2.0.58 free (downloadfrom ( Relational Database ManagementSystem ( freePerl modules 5.8.( (RHEL 3.0, 4.0, 5.0) or Any flavour ofLINUX or WINDOWS Server
  • 18. Koha Server Software:Server operating system: Linux, OpenBSD,FreeBSD, MacOS X, or any other Unix.Web server: Apache.Programming language: Perl.Database:MySQL.Integrated Library software: Koha 2.2.9
  • 19. Koha Client Software:Koha requires a recent Internet browser.Mozilla is advised, but not obligatory. (Kohaworks with Internet Explorer.).Certain data validity checks are made on theclient machine, JavaScript must be enabled.The public interface (OPAC) conforms withXHTML1.0 standards: the utility is thuscompatible with alternate browsers. In particular,the OPAC can be used by people needingspecial assistive technology (Braille browsers,voice synthesis, text-based broswers, etc.).
  • 20. Skill Requirements To OperateSystem: Kohas interfaces are designed with usability in mind and are extremely user friendly. friendly. Staff and patrons with only basic computer skills have quickly learned to use the system efficiently. efficiently. The cataloging module requires an understanding of cataloging practices such as MARC, Z30.50 retrieval tools, how to add 30. holdings information, etc. etc. Administrators should know operating system (Linux, etc.)for maintenance, some knowledge of cataloging in setting up the system preferences.
  • 21. SystemOverview:
  • 22. Koha Modules:OPACFull catalogue.Circulation.Serials.Acquisition.Patron Management.Branch management.Reservations.
  • 23. Koha OPAC Module:Koha provides a full-functioned Online Public Access Catalog full-(OPAC).(OPAC).OPAC users can carry out searches starting from ten fields(Keyword, Subject, Title, Class, Barcode, author, publisher, etc.). Barcode, etc.As in the librarian interface, they can order the results accordingto several criteria. criteria.OPAC users who are logged-in members can place reservations logged-on library items. items.Bibilio basket:Logged-in members can select records from an basket:Logged-OPAC search and retrieve them by e-mall, either in human- human-readable form or in an ISO2709-format file. An ISO2709 file can be ISO2709- file. ISO2709processed using bibliographic software like End Note. Note.OPAC users can submit suggestions for acquisition. Koha acquisition.automatically informs the OPAC user (by e-mall) of the actiontaken on each suggestion. suggestion.
  • 24. Koha Delegation of Authority: :The administrator can allot one or more of the following capabilities to each staff member: Super-librarian: access to all functions. Circulation: carry out circulation tasks. Catalogue: search the catalogue. Parameters: administer the system parameters. Borrowers: manage the public users (addition, modification, restriction, etc.). Permissions: administer staff access to functions. Reserves for others: place reserves on items for any borrower. Reserves for oneself: place reserves for oneself Loan: loan items to borrowers. Cataloguing: manage the catalogue. Charges: manage the fines and fees levied against members.
  • 25. Koha Members Module:The members (borrowers) module makes itpossible to manage not only individual borrowers,but also institutions.Each member belongs to a category. The membercategory defines:The minimum and maximum agesfor members of the category• The cost of placing areservation on an item (when it is applicable in thelibrary)• The rules of circulation.By entering the borrowers library card number intothe librarian interface, the librarian can: See the financial standing of the borrower(charges due). See the borrowers reservations,and his/her outstanding loans. Set permission flags(for the librarian members).
  • 26. Koha Circulation module:Borrowing a book from any branch (not just thebranch where the borrower first registered)Returning an item at any branchReserving an item for at any branch. branch.Circulation rules can be defined very finely bythe library: for each member category, item library:category, and holding branch of the item, theduration of the loan and the maximum numberof books loan able can be defined. defined.Returning items ("checking-in") is extremely ("checking-easy:easy: Simply scan the barcodes of the itemsbeing returned. returned.
  • 27. Koha Cataloguing Module:MARC Management :The cataloguing module is one of theprincipal strong points of Koha.Several "frameworks " can bedefined to do different cataloguing for monographs, electronicresources,periodicals, etc.Export/Import:Importing records in ISO2709 format (the MARCreservoir) and through Z39.50 (client) for fast cataloguing.Copy records:One or more copy records can be attached toeach bibliographic record.Fast cataloguing:To accelerate cataloguing, Koha provides,Management of a MARC record reservoir, in ISO2709 format, AZ39.50 client that can access several Z39.50 serversMARC view and simple view:Catalogue data can bedisplayed in MARC format, in simplified form.Searching:searches can be performed on any MARC field.Advanced functions, search on one word, the beginning of thefield, greater than, less than, etc are also available.
  • 28. Koha Serials Module:It is possible to register subscriptions with reviews, and totrack the arrival of periodicals.Koha manages late issues, skipped issues, and claims withthe suppliers.Koha manages complex classifications, allowing thelibrarian to work with eleven different publication periods(from daily newspapers to annual publications), with delayedpublications, and with publications out of sequence.A state of the collection can be defined which will synthesizethe missing publications, received publications,etc.The state of the collection can be displayed differently in theOPAC and in the librarian interface.
  • 29. Koha Acquisition Module:Simple acquisitions:The simple acquisitions modulemakes it possible to acquire materials and add them directly tothe catalogue.It does not manage budgetary matters, the ordersplaced with the suppliers, etc.Full acquisitions:The full acquisitions module makes itpossible to manage:Budgets and book funds:Budget available,Committed, Spent Suppliers.Orders, via shopping baskets‘.
  • 30. Koha Personalization:The architecture of Koha divides the software into threedifferent layers..The database layer, which manages access to the DBMS(database management system)The processing layer, which manages the processesrequired by the userThe formatting layer, which contains templates for theHTML presentationThe visible interface of the software is thus entirelycustomizable. Kohas Intranet and OPAC by selectingfrom several themesThe librarian interface uses cascading style sheets (CSS).It is more coherent and easier to follow than was the casein version 2.0.
  • 31. Koha Operating Parameters: :Koha allows you to set various parameters which control the operating environment of the library: Library branches: defining branch categories, branches, and contact information. Item types: Define library items.set rental charges of any amount to users for borrowing items. Not for loan" for item types such which do not leave the library; issuing Define Borrower Categories: Set “Category Codes”, “Descriptions”, “Enrollment Periods”, "Upper Age Limit" and "Age Required" for each user type; Issuing rules: define issuing and fines based on borrower categories, item types, and circulation units (matrix-based rule set); Stop words: improve list all of the words Koha should ignore when performing catalog searches or building the index Z39.50: define servers for searching using Kohas Z39.50 client (for cataloging); to add servers, enter the domain name or IP address of the server, the port number to use, and the name of the database to access. Book funds: set up accounts that keep track of expenditures for library materials.
  • 32. Koha Back-up Software:SSH-SSH-tunneled MySQL replication. replication.Database dumps using the mysql dump utilityOn the hardware level, the production systemutilizes a two-disk RAID 1 configuration for two-data redundancy in the event of single-disk single-hardware failure. The system partitions use the failure.Reiserfs journaling file system which providesanother point of data redundancy
  • 33. Encoding & Character Sets in KohaSystem $ echo $LANG en_US.UTF- en_US.UTF-8Apache2:BeApache2:Be sure to have these lines in your http.conf: AddCharset UTF-8 .utf8 UTF- AddDefaultCharset UTF- UTF-8MySQL , Server Configuration, edit your my.cnf init-connect = SET NAMES utf8 character-set-server=utf8 collation-server=utf8_general_ciCheck to make sure the following are set to utf8: | character_set_client | utf8 | character_set_connection | utf8 | character_set_database | utf8 | character_set_results | utf8 | character_set_server | utf8 | character_set_system | utf8 | collation_connection | utf8_general_ci | collation_database | utf8_general_ci | collation_server | utf8_general_ci
  • 34. Koha Resources : koha documentation project The official Koha manual Stephen Hedges Koha migration guideMigrating_to_Koha.html Joshua Ferraros Kohainstallation guide and other Koha documents Koha project CVS host (2.2/2.0source code repository/download) Koha project Arch host (2.0 sourcecode/repository/download) KohaWiki Koha bug reporting system Koha mailing lists page Koha IRC logs Koha Homepage Koha England
  • 35. Frequently Asked QuestionsCollection Size- How many books Record can koha handle? Size-Readers-Readers- How many readers can koha handle?Circulation-Circulation- How many transaction can koha handle per year?Biggest Library- which is the biggest among those who uses? Library- Answers from the users and DevelopersAll the data i.e. records, readers, circulations data is stored indatabase mysql. All the limitation are enforced by database and mysql.your hardware, network connectivity , not by the software. software.Nelsonville Public Library System, Athens County OH, USA 7branches; 300,000 items; 50,000 borrowers; 600,000 annualcirculation OPAC: http:// search.athenscounty.lib.oh.usThe Harward County library system is switched to koharecently and they do transaction 50,00,000 issue per year. 50,00, year.North East University Library, Cyprus 2 million records OPAC:


To install Koha for immediate use we recommend
Koha is free software and is licensed under the GNU General Public License, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version

Get Koha

There are often two versions of Koha being released here during the same period of time. See the release schedule for more information.

Current Release

Debian packages are available – Instructions here
Ubuntu users can use the packages as well by following these instructions
From Not recommended, use Debian/Ubuntu packages –Current Stable Release (.tar.gz)

Koha 3.18

Older Versions, including prior stable and maintenance releases

Install Koha

Once you have downloaded Koha, please unpack it and find the installation and upgrade instructions in the INSTALL file for your system, or the general INSTALL file.
The story of Koha, the first open source library management system
Posted 16 Apr 2014 by 

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A small public library serving a population of 30,000 in New Zealand developed and released the world’s first open source library management system in 2000. Horowhenua Library Trust named the system Koha, which is a New Zealand Māori custom meaning gift or contribution.
This is a story of why we developed Koha and how it has changed the way we, and millions of others, work.

A new library management system

In 1999, with a 12 year-old system running on a 386 server, Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT) needed to replace our library management system (LMS). We followed the usual Request For Proposal (RFP) process, and after reading a staggering amount of papers, found we were not satisfied with any of the options. There were systems available that would over-deliver at a cost we couldn’t afford, systems which we could afford but didn’t meet our needs, and all of the systems had much more expensive communications solutions than we had been using. Plus, none of them used a web browser interface.
We engaged Katipo Communications to develop a web-based LMS for us, and they suggested it be released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) as a way to ensure the project had longevity (they didn’t necessarily want to spend the rest of their days supporting a proprietary system) and this would encourage other people to use it—improving and enhancing it along the way. The GPL would also ensure that subsequent modifications and additions by other organisations were open source as well, benefitting all users.
While "shareware" and "freeware" have been available since the earliest days of computing, open source software had developed in the years leading up to 2000 on a different scale entirely. It was no longer confined to the realm of "hobby" programmes. Open source projects were starting to produce software that matched or exceeded the quality of commercial products at the time, and Linux was starting to challenge Windows in very large-scale projects.

Librarians and FOSS

Librarians and free and open source software have lots in common. They both:
  • believe that information should be freely accessible to everyone
  • benefit from the generosity of others
  • are about communities
However, working with free and open source is a very different way of working for librarians who are traditionally more comfortable in a co-dependent relationship with vendors. A significant mind-shift is required in order to maximise value from open source.
It is NOT about accepting what you are given but articulating what you want. Librarians need to develop new skills in order to interact or participate fully in the community that is the heart of open source projects.

Open source community

Open source projects only survive if a community builds up around the product to ensure its continual improvement. Koha is stronger than ever now because it is supported by an active community of developers, librarians and vendors—who actually talk to each other!
Each partner has a role to play in a successful open source community:
Librarians and the patrons or end users whose interests they represent are the ultimate judges as to whether or not a product or service is desirable, and they define a product or vendor’s success.
Developers who create the code and tools.
Vendors filter ideas and bring only the viable, potentially profitable, and sustainable options to market. 
My keynote address at KohaCon09 in Thane, India explored this community of partnerships and how crucial it is that the interactions between each is balanced.
Vendors and libraries
When the relationship is in perfect balance the relationship thrives; vendors get excellent input and feedback on feature development, exhaustive usability testing for design and function, and truckloads of free promotion. However, if the desire to have a congenial working relationship dominates over sound business decisions, development stops being financially viable and economic sustainability is lost. On the flip side, if short-sighted business decisions override the needs and wants of the library, including the open source philosophy, we get into trouble as well.
Developers and libraries
When it works well, we get speedy development of solutions that do the job. A reality check informs technical development; developers don’t just develop something because it sounds cool but because it’s a ‘good’ solution to an existing problem or will add value. When it gets out of harmony, we risk getting bad features developed at the initiative of either the library or the developers. Libraries may request really useful features but developers may not want to incorporate them, or too many bells and whistles could get developed, sacrificing function over gizmos.
Vendors and developers
Many businesses fall into the trap of focusing most of their energy in the business side (cost savings, process improvements, efficiencies, quality control) instead of taking the time to focus on the people and relationships. When pure business goals start driving development we get bad stuff happening due to corporate greed, but when we get the balance right we get high quality, innovative, viable, rapid, and sustainable development. 
Take a holistic view
While each of the relationships between the partners are important the holistic view is even more important. It is really important that librarians are actively involved and don’t just leave development to the developers and vendors. We need to keep in mind the end user who we serve. For example, if you ask: "Do these new bells and whistles help the people accomplish something or do they just get in the way?" it helps you avoid the "just because you can" syndrome.
Linus Torvalds in an interview by Steven Vaughan-Nichols for a Hewlett-Packard publication had this to say about software development:
The other thing ... that people seem to get wrong is to think that the code they write is what matters ... No, even if you wrote 100% of the code, and even if you are the best programmer in the world and will never need any help with the project at all, the thing that really matters is the users of the code. The code itself is unimportant; the project is only as useful as people actually find it."
Moving to open source was philosophically a good fit for Horowhenua Library Trust. It has also been a good financial and practical decision. But most importantly it helps us to put the end user, our patrons and the people we serve, at the heart of decisions we make as an organisation.


About This Site serves as a landing page for librarians who are interested in the most advanced and cost effective open source automation solution on the market, LibLime Koha. offers a functionally advanced version of Koha and ready access to the most experienced Koha software support company in the industry, LibLime. Of the libraries worldwide using a variation of Koha, over 700 use the version supported by LibLime.

About LibLime Koha

Since the original implementation in 1999, Koha functionality has been adopted by thousands of libraries world wide, each adding features and functions, deepening the capability of the system. With the 3.0 release in 2005, and the integration of the powerful Zebra indexing engine, Koha became a viable, scalable solution for libraries of all kinds. LibLime Koha is built on this foundation. With its advanced feature set, LibLime Koha is the most functionally advanced open source ILS on the market today.
Download LibLime Koha
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Download LibLime Koha now
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Learn more about the new functionality inLibLime Koha by reading the Release Notes
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For additional information check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions
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If you're interested in accessing the source code behind LibLime Koha, go to our public git repository
What's in LibLime Koha
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Support for industry standards and guidelines - Z39.50, SRU, and SIP2
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- XML-tagged MARC record storage provide quick access to data
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Fully developed ILS functionality - including Course Reserves, Acquisitions, Serials Control, etc.
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Support for third party Debt Collect, Telephone Notices, etc.
Support Services
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LiblimeKohaDiscussion mailing list - - Click now to subscribe
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LibLime Koha Consulting
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LibLime Koha Implementation
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LibLime Koha Hosting and Support


Downloading Koha

Getting Started

LibLime Koha and LLEK are developed in Perl, with embedded Javascripts and HTML templates. Both applications use Debian as the operating system, the Apache HTTP server, and MySQL as the underlying relational database. When installing Debian, select MySQL as your RDBMS server – our download includes the database schema necessary to support version selected. Specific installation instructions are included in the download package.
You should also have root access to the server, you should have a reasonable level of comfort working with Linux at the command line level, and a general understanding of database structure will also help. 

How LibLime can help:

The LibLime team is made up PMP-certified project managers, professional librarians (with academic, public, special, and archival backgrounds), ILS system administrators, trainers, data specialists, documentarians, programmers (Java, Perl, Javascript, HTML, etc), trainers, IT specialists, and library support analysts.

Hosting and Support:

• No need for server management or IT resources in the Library;
• Backups, upgrades, bug fixes, server management - all done by LibLime;
• Every Library enjoys multiple Koha instances – one each for production, testing and reporting. Libraries can train staff, try new features and run resource intensive reports without impacting the production environment;
• Customer Support Center with Web Portal interface for placing new requests, tracking existing requests, and researching FAQs. 


Professionally-managed, milestone-based schedules which include : 
• Installation.
• Application configuration (both at the administrative level and at the modular level).
• Data migration. Includes: bibliographic records, item/copy records, holdings records, authority records, patron records, and current circulation transactions covering fines/fees/holds/current status.


• Perl, Java, Javascript, and HTML programmers on staff to enhance existing Koha functionality, or to create new features;
• Creation of design specifications with our customers to map the requirements with existing Koha workflows;
• DBAs and system administrators who support the development team with hardware and database experience.


• Software requirements analysis;
• Workflow studies;
• Legacy ILS/Koha ILS comparative scoping.

Koha Presentation.ppt



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