Unsung heroes of Koha 33 – Joy Nelson

Not only does Joy describe Bibframe by using the ontology of Tutu, but she probably currently knows the most about data migrations to Koha. This would be neat in itself, but she never hesitates to share this knowledge by answering questions on the mailing lists, attending and speaking at Kohacons, and participating on IRC.
Joy is a person of great integrity and she brings that to her work on Koha. The community and the project are lucky to have her.

Unsung heroes of Koha 32 – Josef Moravec

I have never met Josef, but according to git it has been 685 days since his first patch was accepted into the Koha code base. He now has 42 patches with a total of nearly 3000 lines changed, which in itself is a great achievement. But even more importantly, Josef is a committed tester. He is currently leading the number of sign offs for April, and is second only to Marc Véron (unsung hero number 31) in terms of sign offs for 2017.
Jo Ransom met Josef in the Czech Republic while on her Koha world tour and speaks highly of him. If I have this correctly he works for a University that has been using Koha for quite a few years now. It is so great to see users becoming contributors also.

Děkuji Josef

Unsung heroes of Koha – Compilation

I’ve decided to put a list, that I will keep updated to make it easier to find the unsung heroes posts, so here goes

  1. Olwen Williams
  2. The Directors of Athens County Public Libraries
  3. Benedykt P. Barszcz and Pawel Skuza
  4. Ambrose Li
  5. Pascale Nalon
  6. Mike Mylonas
  7. Nicolas Rosasco
  8. Roger Buck
  9. Anthony Mao
  10. The Staff at Horowhenua Library Trust
  11. Laurel Barr
  12. Ed Summers
  13. Andrew Arensburger
  14. Rob Weir
  15. The #koha irc channel
  16.  Pierrick Le Gall
  17. Pat Eyler
  18. Glen Stewart
  19. The translators
  20. Georgia Katsarou
  21. The people behind es.koha-community.org
  22. The go it aloners
  23. Frère Sébastien Marie
  24. Owen Leonard
  25. Butte-Silver Bow Public library
  26. Darla Grediagin
  27. Libraries with inhouse developers
  28. Rachel Hamilton-Williams
  29. Jim Minges
  30. Heather Hernandez
  31. Marc Véron

Unsung heroes of Koha 31 – Marc Véron

Marc has been working on Koha since 2012 (maybe even 2011) and has grown into an extremely valued member of the community. He puts a huge amount of work into testing and writing patches. Just in 2015 he has had 125 patches that he had authored pushed into Koha, changing 5199 lines of code. But that’s not all, he tested and signed off on 231 bug/enhancements in bugzilla. Not to mention answering mails on the mailing list and attending community meetings on IRC. And if that wasn’t enough he works on the German translation, and a Swiss German translation of Koha also.

I first met Marc in person at Kohacon12 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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And soon learned that he’s a genuinely lovely person, and a great asset to the community. Thanks Marc for all your hard work, and may 2016 be an even better year for you.

Tschüss (as they say in your homeland :))

Unsung heroes of Koha 30 – Heather Hernandez

We have a few Heathers in the Koha community and they are all pretty great. I’m singling out Heather Hernandez here as she has been really helpful to a lot of other Koha users and developers.
Heather not only takes time to answer a lot of questions on the Koha mailing list, but she answers them in a comprehensive and positive manner. If you combine that with her enthusiasm on Twitter, it adds up to a person that makes you happy to be developing on Koha.
I often say that someone saying thanks is a powerful reward, and Heather never fails in doing that.

So here’s some thanks back to you Heather. I hope to buy you a beverage of your choice at a Kohacon someday.

Unsung heroes of Koha 29 – Jim Minges

I only ever met Jim in person once, at ALA in New Orleans a few years ago but his reputation well and truly preceded him. For those who don’t know Jim is retiring from his role as Director of NEKLS (Northeast Kansas Library System). But in his time as Director, NEKLS have embraced not only Koha but Open Source in general. Here is just a small part of that story, from facts I have gleaned by asking around. Please if anyone has any corrections, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Back in the day, NEKLS had a shared regional catalogue (I’m going with NZ english spelling before someone corrects that:)) called NExpress. They joined another consortium that was running a Sirsi system. Due to a variety of reasons including the desire to be in control of the system, to be able to mold it to their needs and to be in control of the implementation, they decided to move to another ILS. Due to those same reasons it really could only be an Open Source system, other systems simply can not be modified to anywhere near the same extent. Of course when choosing Koha, the monetary cost came into consideration, buying licenses for the 13 libraries that were part of the shared system at that time was a decent chunk of money.

Being the Director, the buck stopped with Jim, and he made the decision (trusting in the skills and knowledge of his staff) to go with Koha. As NExpress is all about resource sharing, the value of a project where sharing is the core became pretty evident. From what I can tell from reading and talking with people who worked with Jim, the values resonated with him personally as well. Under Jim’s leadership NEKLS began to cooperate and share on a world stage, developments paid for by NEKLS are being used by libraries in every corner of the world.

However this certainly wasn’t the only hard Koha related decision Jim had to make, when Liblime moved away from the community, and began to offer support only for their fork of Koha, NEKLS had to decide what it would do. So despite it being a very hard decision to make and that it would most certainly involve ramifications, Jim took the bold choice to move from Liblime before the contract had ended and back to Koha (supported by ByWater Solutions).

The takeaway from me is that Jim is the kind of leader any organisation deserves, but so few get. Someone who can make the tough choices, but who trusts the knowledge and expertise of his people to guide those choices.

So thanks Jim, Koha and it’s community would be a poorer place without you.

Unsung heroes of Koha 28 – Rachel Hamilton-Williams

A few years ago, and I’m sure that everyone would know of Rachel, however over time as new people join the community it’s important to refresh the collective memory.  Without Rachel Koha wouldn’t exist, it’s as simple as that. Not many people would be game to agree to have their company write a library system in 3.5 months, even less would be able to make it happen. Rachel did both those things. She managed the project, provided lots of testing, did all the design including UI and UX, as well as making sure all the other clients of Katipo continued to be looked after.

Even though Rachel isn’t very active in the community anymore, Katipo still provide the hosting of the main mailing list, and Rachel helps to look after maintenance of the list. After 15 years (we started in August 1999) I am sure neither Rachel or I thought Koha would be as popular as it is now, and without Rachel it most definitely would not have been.