The 2nd Koha Open day, held at the King’s Fund on Friday was a great mix of those already using the Koha Library Management System and those just dipping toes into the open source water. It was ratifying to see such an enthusiastic group from a bunch of different libraries.
Both the Kings Fund and the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Library and Information Service (CAMLIS) gave presentations covering their experiences in selecting Koha (Gerhard Bissels – CAMLIS), migrating from another LMS (Matthew Hale – King’s Fund), improving the acquisitions module, (Andrea Chandler – CAMLIS), cataloguing (Julia Florin – King’s Fund) and customising the OPAC (Meghan Jones- King’s Fund).
Afterwards, everyone got a chance to try things out on a live installation and see the administrator interface up close.
While Koha has a healthy community around it and technical help is usually just an email away, there’s no substitute for a chance to try out a live system and talk to people who are already set-up either with in-house support or working with local suppliers.
Open Source is becoming more and more of a viable choice for libraries looking for a more flexible solution and events like this are contributing greatly by increasing people’s awareness of and confidence in open source systems.