More photos from Córdoba

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 10:16 pm by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Cordoba – The food edition

Posted on October 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kohacon14 Day 3 – Coral

Paul presented about Coral which is an ERM (Electronic Resource Management) software. Paul told us it is well documented, with an extensive manual. It is software for Librarians to use, not end users. It is for managing all your subscriptions for digital resources. Large universities often have hundreds of subscriptions and tracking licenses and url, and acquisitions etc are very hard to track. Coral was developed to manage this.

It is not packaged, but is still pretty easy to set up. Setting up authentication is the hardest bit, but once you have done that, the rest is pretty easy. It has one big problem it is only available in English and it currently cannot be translated. Hopefully since it is OSS we can fix this issue, but it is a big task.

Coral is divided into modules

Organisation

Licensing

Resources

Statistics

Paul then demoed the software for us.

 

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 7:19 am by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kohacon14 Day 3 – EDS plugin integration with Koha

My battery on the laptop went flat, so Tom kindly took notes on this session for me so I could write this blog post
Alvet and Ricardo from EBSCO talked about EDS and the integration work they have done with Koha

To start they began by explaining why they had developed this plugin

They then explained what a discovery service is:

Next the showed us what EDS looks like in its’ native interface so that they could show that it is quite similar in Koha using the plugin

Then they showed what EDS and Koha look like

They explained that support is only available in 3.12+ because integration has been implemented as a plug-in. Plugins allows for features to be added quickly through plug-ins in-between release Koha cycles.They then stepped us through how you install and configure the plugin
Improvements for the future

Where do I get it

If you google for EDS API Koha, you will find a github page that has the newest version available for download. EBSCO also provide a wiki, an Integration Kit as well as training and help

 

 

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 5:43 am by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kohacon 14 Day 3 – Funding the Koha project

Brendan with help from Tomas who was translating talked about possibilities for funding the Koha project.

Brendan mentioned we need money for developments, and other things. He covered the process for getting code in, someone submits, another entity signs off, qa checks, then the release manager checks and pushes or not. Out of this whole process, the only part that is directly funded is the initial development of the feature/fix. Once it is passed to community, we rely almost entirely on volunteers.

Developers get paid for new features mostly, because new things are what libraries want to fund, but there are also things under the hood, often called plumbing problems, that they don’t want to fund. Some of these plumbing issues are big pieces of work. Brendan proposes as a community we need to create some kind of community that can collect and disburse money which we can use to fund fixes to these 2 issues.

Brendan showed the Koha dashboard, showing that today 215 patches need to be signed off, and 64 waiting for QA. He covered the fact that most signoffs are done on volunteer basis, and in a conservative estimate we can see we need at least 700 hours to per 6 months to keep up with development.

Two complementary options:

  1. Add more people to the project to signoff/test
  2. Create an entity to grab funding which we can pay people

Big features take lots of time to test, very hard for a volunteer to deal with these, so they wait for a while. Also this means that if the code has moved, rebasing needs to be done.  So if we can fundraise and have people working on signoffs and QA as their job.

Brendan then talked about stability vs rapid development. Brendan sees that both points are valid and that it is a balancing act. With so many libraries (10,000 ish) it is peoples livelihoods depending on the stability of the product. However we need to continue to innovate as well. So get involved have your ideas presented. Mail the list, come to hackfests, chat on IRC etc. No ideas are bad ideas, only the ones you don’t present.

An audience member asked about the idea of a foundation, Brendan said lets start with a funding organisation, and start small with perhaps a donate now button. But that organisation should not having anything to do with the direction of governance of the project, just collect funds.

Action Plan

Bob and Brendan are going to work on a proposal during hackfest for this funding organisation to present to the community, to get this ball rolling

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 4:12 am by Chris · Permalink · One Comment
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Kohacon14 Day 3 – School Bibliotecology 3

Next up 4 more students presented on their project.

They started by thanking all the teachers of the different subjects who helped them. In their studies they noticed some issues with the display of ISBD, MARC and normal display in the Koha OPAC.

They found some inconsistencies in the display so they wanted to document these problems so we as a project can be aware and work on the fixes of them.

Them main issues they noticed with display was for:

They showed some screenshots, demonstrating the issues they found. If the slides are online I will link them in when I find them. And if there are bugs filed I will link them in here also.

What is even better they proposed some solutions:

 

 

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 3:07 am by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kohacon14 Day 3 – School Bibliotecology 2

Next we had  3 second year library science students presenting their work. I hope I summarised their talk accurately.

They mentioned it is still a work in process, and that they are presenting preliminary findings. Their project was on the uptake u of Koha in the Cordoba province. Researching the changes, and impact. They used a generic survey which they did either by email or in person. They surveyed 56 libraries, public, school, academic and specials.

Their results are still preliminary, but they shared what they have with us.

Results
Summary

More than 90% of librariessurveyed are using Koha and all its modules.

More than 80% of the libraries, librarians have adminstration access

Libraries liked the efficiency in cataloguing, and the flexibilty. They also mentioned the usabiltity and that it is a friendly environment.

The project is still just beginning but there is much more information they can learn.

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 2:46 am by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kohacon14 Day 3 – School Bibliotecology 1

Next up we had a presentation from the school of Library Science,  from 4 first year students.

This was a definite highlight of the conference for me.

Quote of the day in Koha – Quotes from Authors

They talked about how they added quotes from local authors into Koha to help promote reading, using the Quote of the Day Koha function (developed by Chris Nighswonger). This helps to to recognize the local authors and promote the local culture. Literature from Cordoba is very vast and varied. So they selected both classic and contemporary authors, from famous and not so famous authors.

How did they do this?

They first looked at what books people had in their homes, then they searched the library catalogues. They chose the quotes but reading together and working as a group to decide which quotes they would use. They then put a file of all the quotes which you can download and use in Koha at http://www.puntobiblio.com

They then showed us a live demo in Koha of how to edit the quotes of the day. The project allowed them to build a team and to learn more about the local culture and special places. When they started they knew nothing about Koha, but they learnt fast.

It always makes me day when I see features that were developed to suit a single library’s needs being used by others.

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 2:26 am by Chris · Permalink · One Comment
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Kohacon14 Day 3 – Translations, why and how we should translate/adapt the SQL files

First up on day 3 was Zeno Tajoli talking about how to make the MARC frameworks translatable.  He made the point that while you can have multiple languages enabled for most of Koha, in the frameworks you can only have one, so while it is translatable it can only be in one language at once. Other problem areas are authorised values, calendar etc. Zeno then showed how we can translate the files, a lot need to be translated by copying and editing the .sql files themselves.  Thanks to Bernardo we can now translate the frameworks using the translation tool at http://translate.koha-community.org

But we still have the problem of only one language being able to be used at once. Can we fix this?

 

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 1:57 am by Chris · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kohacon 14 Day 2 – Extending Koha using linked data

Next up Galen remoted in to talk about using Koha with linked data.

He talked about what we can do right now with linked data, starting by explaining how the current record based view of the world works. He showed a record in MARC21 and then same record in Bibframe.

He then showed how you can map it to an identifier. But the problem is still that it is massive mindshift to a linked data view of the world from the MARC centric view of the world.

Libraries often adopt new technologies too soon, for example

  1. 1968 MARC
  2. 1969 GML invented
  3. 1978 first SGML
  4. 1998 XML

If we were to start now, we wouldn’t invent MARC

So what can we do, well one option is BURN THE WORLD DOWN and start again. Or we could do the proprietary vendor game, or wait a few years for somebody to tell us how to solve all our problems. But we could also do what Oslo public is doing and being prototyping/experimenting now.

So what we can do right now? Embrace incremental change, take advantage of the fact MARC tools are improving, and let the authority records save us.

So in Koha we can link authority records to biblio records right now, using the $9 subfield. We could also link instead to a global identifier, via a URI which then becomes a link to a RDF identifier. This means we can link to other sources such as VIAF.

He put his slides up, which contain the examples he shows, again it is hard to explain in words.

Tools

 

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 7:17 am by Chris · Permalink · One Comment
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