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.

  • 13 libraries surveyed so far, 12 universities and 1 public
  • 92% of the libraries surveyed implemented Koha
  • Administration access, Advantages, price were 2 big reasons why they chose Koha
  • The advantages identified 76.92% support and maintenance, 25.08% otros, 7.68% ninguna

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.

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.

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?


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.

  • Change is hard
  • Change is unpredictable
  • Change is expensive
  • Change is time consuming

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.


  • Catmandu RDF and MARC
  • OpenRefine
  • Linked data RFC for Koha


Kohacon14 Day 2 – Bokeh

Arnaud talked about how his company AFI changed from a proprietary to Open Source model. AFI merged with Biblibre about 6 months ago. Now people from both companies work on Bokeh.

Bokeh is designed to offer librarians tools to allow managing the digital environment.  It runs on top of any ILS, using ftp and ILSDI.

Bokeh offers

  • Enriched OPAC
  • CMS
  • Content aggregator
  • Digital library

Bokeh can automatically harvest data from the internet and add it to your bibliographic eg wikipedia entries, book covers dvd trailers etc, with no librarian intervention. The CMS is very simple to administer. It can also aggregate content so you can display your catalogue, your resources from OAI or VOD and other catalogues. Bokeh also functions as a digital library allowing you to store your texts, video, images, audio etc. The idea of having it aggregated is to allow for better patron services. Some examples are

  • Personalised mobile services
  • Realtime interaction with social media

You can also use Bokeh as a conference software, to provide and collect information from delegates. Another idea is allow multi channel communication, different displays/interfaces for different devices. Bokeh can also simulate FRBR using an automatic detection algorithm to group manifestations of the same work. Another thing Bokeh tries to do is use words the patrons understand, not library jargon. Bokeh offers tags, built on the fly from the search result, a prettier way of offering a facet.

Bokeh is multilingual, but French is the main language. Only French libraries use it currently. Arnaud showed a bunch of examples, which you probably need to see, it’s too hard to try to explain in words.

Arnaud has put up his slides here

Kohacon 14 Day 2 – MetaBiblioteca: implementando una red de Koha

Building a meta library network, integrating Koha in Latin America

This presentation was about the implementation of Koha in Colombia, presented remotely from Colombia. The presentation is licensed under CC-BY, big props to having the license statement up front.

What is Meta Biblioteca?

  • Formed as a project by a Colombian library and other library professionals
  • The aim was to investigate and provide solutions for all parts of information science, focussed mainly on Open Source systems
  • Started in academic community, changed into a commercial project
  • To offer services to libraries
  • Uses Koha, Scriblio, Zotero, dpasce, joomla etc
  • They believe in Free and Open source software, and know it is the best option for Libraries
  • They provide Open access to digital books

They are always looking forward to new ideas, and new systems to help their users. They have been working with Koha since 2006. In 2008 they created a website http://www.kohacolombia.org which was doctoral thesis. Since 2012 have been active members of the Koha Spanish list. Their aim now is to be more actively involved in the community to share their knowledge.

They offer these servives

  • Help libraries to implement Koha, have 30 projects working with Koha
  • Offer Koha hosting
  • Training
  • Offer technical support in Colombia, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador (for Koha)

They have done these things with Koha

  • Personalisation of the Koha installs
  • Written Spanish manuals they would like to share with the community
  • Integrating with financial systems

One of their Koha implementations is the National Police of Colombia, which has meant a lot of focus on security. As you can imagine, the police systems are under constant attack.

They are very interested in growing Koha in Latin America. They have seen an almost exponential growth in Koha use in Latin America. At the moment there are around 5 new libraries going into production with Koha in Latin America every month. There is a really good chart showing the number of installations, I will link the slides when I find the url.

One of the best quotes was “In Colombia we have Koha fever, all Universities want Koha”. Almost all institutionsare implementing Koha, and there are 6 companies offering Koha support in Colombia alone.  MetaBiblioteca want to not only implement Koha but create a network of Koha libraries in Latin America, so everyone can share and contribute. The aim is to create a Free (as in freedom) and open community, built on Koha.





Kohacon14 – Day 2 – DigiBePé

This talk was about the use of Koha in public libraries in Argentina.

Conabip was founded in 1870, funded by the ministry of culture, since 2003 strategy is to strengthen popular (public) libraries in Argentina. Since 2009 main role to create and promote high quality services to promote and strengthen literacy and training. It offers a platform that allows libraries to tailor their services to match their community

Main parts of digital inclusion plan

  • Hardware
  • Software (Koha)
  • Training
  • Web Dev
  • Content management and production

They focus on 2 things, implementation and collective catalogue.

The purpose of this plan, is to try to reduce the digital gap, socio economic and generational gaps. Also to upskill libraries and their uses in the use of digital technologies. In 2010, DigiBePé was created, which is based on Koha, this runs 1037 libraries with a union catalogue in Argentina. The collective catalogue has 6 million bibliographic records.

They went on to show us a demo of the collective catalogue, it was super impressive, when I find the url I will post it here.

Before DigiBePé, they had a decentralized system, every library got an installed a copy of the system, it was CDS/ISIS which ran on MSDOS. It worked ok, but with time it became obsolete and maintenance became very expensive. They needed a new system that would be usable but be contemporary and be able to be used for a collective catalogue. With these criteria they ran an evaluation of both Proprietary and Open Source systems, testing and evaluating sometime with the help of consultants. While doing the software evaluation, they found that 10 public libraries in Cordoba were running Koha successfully, so it was decided that it would be the base for DigiBePé.

It was a big project, setting up the system and migration of all the library data. Also they had to restructure the hardware infrastructure, network and servers. A really big project. They used OpenVZ for virtualisation, but found it sometimes unstable so are migrating to XenServer. The system was designed to be low maintenance and high interoperability.

The system is set up in this way – 13 servers running Debian

  • 1 proxy http
  • 10 Koha/DigiBePé  servers (running from the Koha .deb packages) for public libraries
  • 1 Koha/DigiBePé  for non public libraries
  • 1 Koha/DigiBePé  server for collective catalogue


The collective catalogue can be found at the conabip site.

For NZ readers, the collective catalogue is very similar to Te Puna, except more up to date. It facilitates Z39,50 searching and web based searching. The fact that the collective catalogue allows Z39.50  allows for copy cataloguing easily.

To conclude this system has been highly successful since 2010, and now not only public libraries are using but libraries of lot of other types are taking it up also. Conabip plan to continue with Koha, and continue helping libraries. This presentation just blew my mind, I never would have thought that a system first used by 4 small libraries in NZ would in14 years time be running 1037 libraries in Argentina.

Kohacon14 Day 1 – Being a citizen : Hints for developing a feature

Jared presented remotely from New York giving hints about how to best get a feature accepted into Koha

  • Project scoping – clear definition, buy in from stakeholders, clear communication
  • Project design – Minimal impact on other areas, measurable milestones, consideration of other ongoing projects
  • Development process – Public code (release early), ask for input early , follow guidelines and best practises
  • Testing – Help people understand and convince them they should care, good faith in testing developments, egoless response to feedback
  • Maintenance – Design something others will use, Expect to maintain site specific features yourself


Kohacon14 Day 1 – Community Organisation

After a great lunch, Paul was up to talk about the community organisation. He talked about the differing wants and needs of developers vs users, and how to reconcile these.  Paul made these following points:

  • Why is the community important? The second thing (after checking the software works) is how does the community work, because the longevity of the project is directly related to how the community is structured.
  • Koha used to do feature based releases, sometimes causing major delays, since Koha 3.4 we have been doing time based releases
  • Time based releases work well, it is predictable.

How does Koha manage these releases, it’s all about people.

  • Release Manager – person responsible for the next major release
  • Release Maintainer  – person responsible for bugfix/maintenance release
  • QA Manager – responsible for checking for code quality as well as functional requirements
  • Doc Manager – responsible for documentation
  • Translation manager
  • Packaging manager
  • Any other roles you can think of

But we also need tools

  • Mailing lists
  • IRC
  • Wiki
  • Bugzilla
  • Jenkins (Continuous Integration testing)
  • Koha dashboard
  • Pootle (translations)

And we need workflows.

Paul also covered what he sees as weaknesses in the community.

Kohacon14 Day 1 – Translating the Koha Manual

Bernardo did a great presentation, with a really smart idea of speaking in Spanish but with slides in English, I wish I had thought of that and got our slides translated to Spanish .. next time maybe.

Bernardo has beeon investigating a lot of different tools to use for translating the manual, and he thinks the best option for us is Publican. The reasons are

  • It is DocBook based, which is what we use for the manual already
  • OpenSource (of course)
  • Used by many big projects

He also suggests we should split the manual into one file per chapter, with one corresponding .po file. This will make it much easier for offline translations or working in teams. He then went on to show us a proof of concept of this. It is looking really fantastic. Where to from here?

  • Migrate current one file to multiple files
  • Integrate with git and the translation server
  • Make it simple to replace images in the manual
  • Promote it!!!