Koha

The story of Koha, the first open source library management system

open source library management system Koha

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. » Read more

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Lessons from Koha in open source project ownership

brand community balance

While compiling OSS Watch's list of Open Source Options for Education, I discovered Koha, an open source Integrated Library System (ILS). I discovered, with some confusion, that there seemed to be several ILS systems called Koha. Investigation into the reason for this uncovered a story which provides valuable lessons for open source project ownership, including branding, trademarks, and conflict resolution.

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Getting started with Koha, an open source library system

open books

When I think back, I can't remember my first involvement in the Koha community. I remember talking to Chris Cormack on Instant Messenger nearly everyday before ever really communicating with the community has a whole. I remember trying to find a job working with Koha when it was time for me to move on from my first job, but I still don't remember really being involved in the community. I read a great post by Siobhan Mckeown about participating in the WordPress community and I highly recommend reading it, but I thought maybe I should do a Koha variation for those who want to get involved.

My own personal story started with a mentor, Chris, and lead to becoming Documentation Manager and a Koha trainer. But we all have different paths and different stories, so I asked the community to answer a few questions to help me produce a well rounded post for you (following Siobhan's model).

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Why libraries are intrinsically open and should adopt open source solutions

open source libraries

Sharing is a fundamental part of the open source philosophy, and the same goes for libraries. Spreading, disseminating, and breaking down barries to gaining knowledge is a core mission of most library systems and their staff.

That that end, libraries—which are essentially hubs of knowledge and gathering places for learning and continuing daily education—may choose to implement open source tools and software. » Read more

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The year of open source in libraries

open education

I hereby declare 2012 the year of open source in libraries!

If not the year, it was still an impressive year for open source in libraries. It was 2004 when I first learned about the Koha open source integrated library system and started researching what it would mean to our library to make the switch to open source. Back then, when I asked people if they knew what open source was » Read more

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Mashing up library data with open source

When I was approached nearly five years ago now and asked to put together an edited work on how libraries can use mashups to improve services, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that the topic wasn't going to be open source software instead. Before the ink had even dried on my mashups book though I was offered the opportunity I wanted, a book on open source software for libraries. Now when I'm asked to speak at conferences and events the topic of interest is either open source or mashups, but never both. While there are of course differences in these two types of technologies, there are also similarities. » Read more

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