Unsung heroes of Koha 25 – Butte-Silver Bow Public Library

The Butte-Silver Bow Public library is special for a few reasons. They have sent people to attend Kohacon09, Kohacon10, and now not only attending Kohacon12 but co-hosting even though the event is in Edinburgh!. The presentation they gave at Kohacon10, with librarians saying what they enjoyed about Koha, was definitely one of the highlights of the conference, and I am sure Lee’s presentation will be great again this year.

Yet another reason they are heroes, is that when things started going wrong with a former Koha support company they decided to stick with Koha and go it alone. Something Koha allows you to do, but still a big decision.

So Lee and the team, hats off to you all!


Unsung Heroes of Koha 24 – Owen Leonard

Owen is not so much an unsung hero, but definitely one that could be sung about more. With a massive 1701 commits to Koha, the first one being in March of 2003, Owen is one of the oldest and most prolific developers.

Owen specialises in UI and UX work and writes a blog that is invaluable to anyone working on Koha look and feel.  What makes it even cooler is that Owen works for a library, not one of the many Koha support companies. That not only makes Owen cool, but it makes his library super cool for understanding the more you put into Koha, the more you get out.

So thank you Owen, thank you to your family, and to Athens County Public Libraries.

Unsung Koha heroes – 23 Frère Sébastien Marie

Most people will never have heard of him, but Frère Sébastien Marie has been helping out with security in Koha. He has spotted AND fixed a number of security issues and can always be relied upon to offer good advice.

I think it’s another example of how lucky we are in the Koha community to have people with a very diverse range of backgrounds, from people in Monasteries fixing security issues to Scouts installing Koha for a merit badge. The community is a great place to be.

Unsung heroes of Koha – 22

The go it aloners

For every Library that contracts with a support company to get Koha installed and migrated, I estimate there are 4 who go it alone. It still amazes me how many Koha installs there are around the world.

On the mailing list we usually only hear from those having issues, its not until you do trawl around the net a bit that you discover how many Koha users there are. One of my current favourites are the public libraries of the Philippines. The National Library there is rolling out Koha to every public library in the philipines. That is a lot of libraries, all done with inhouse support/expertise.

So well done to all those users who do it themselves, pop on the mailing list or irc sometime and say hi.

Unsung Heroes 21 – The people behind es.koha-community.org

I figure while I’m mentioning internationalisation, it would be fitting to mention all the people behind http://es.koha-community.org/. I am not going to name names, because I will miss one of them, but they do a great job of keeping it up to date, and providing valuable information to the Spanish speaking users of Koha.

I suspect the same people are behind the translation of the manuals and Koha itself into Spanish. Well done to them all, and keep up the great work.

Unsung heroes 20 – Georgia Katsarou

Following on from the translator theme, Georgia Katsarou has done a huge amount of work on the Greek translation of Koha. As well as that, she has spent lots of time on translating the Koha manual into Greek. If that wasn’t enough she also runs http://kohaprojectgr.greeklis.org/ which is a very valuable resource for people seeking more information about Koha.

I bet for a lot of you, she really is unsung, but she is definitely a hero (heroine?). I know I’ve said this again and again, but it is the people around Koha, not the software (although that’s pretty good too), that make it a great project to work on.

Unsung Heroes 19 – The Translators

All the people who have ever contributed anything at translate.koha-community.org

One of the things that makes Koha so good, is the countless hours and hours of work that people all around the world put into translating it into their languages.

There are a lot (and when I say a lot, I mean a metric craptonne) of strings for people to translate. We also don’t make it easy for them by switching out templating engines, and constantly adding more strings, but they keep trucking along keeping the translations up to date.

So keep on keeping on, every string you translate, a kitten smiles.

Unsung Koha Heroes – 18

Glen Stewart

Glen Stewart was the first developer outside of Katipo to submit code to Koha. To this day, nearly 10 years later, the code he wrote for decoding cuecat barcodes is still being used. Glen was only involved in Koha for about 6 months but by being the first contributor outside of the original developers, he has a special place in the history of the project.

Unsung Koha heroes – Part 17

Pat Eyler

Us old timers will remember Pat well, but the newer members of the community will not have had the opportunity to meet him. Pat was the first Koha Kaitiaki, and did a huge amount to promote Koha and to foster a strong community. Pat first became involved in Koha in April 2002, and became the 8th person to commit code to Koha. In May 2002 Pat was elected Kaitiaki, some of the neat things he did in that role were

  • A monthly newsletter, which Nicole has now resurrected
  • Wrote and had published a 3 page article on Koha for the linux journal, published both online and in print.
  • Was first point of contact for press
  • Wrote the first scripts to allow koha to create RSS feeds
  • Hung out on irc answering hundreds of questions.

There is little doubt in my mind, that without Pat Koha would not have made such inroads in the US. I know that Pat spent quite a bit of time talking with Stephen Hedges when Athens County Public libraries were first looking at Koha.

Pat thank you for all the work you put in. We think of you often

Unsung Koha Heroes – 16

Pierrick Le Gall

Pierrick was only in the Koha community for a short period of time but he made a lasting impression. With 22 patches to his name and 2021 lines of code changed he made a worthy contribution to development.

He also served as Translation Manager and briefly as QA Manager before the company he worked for stopped Koha work. The contribs.koha.org site is also run on software he wrote.