Category Archives: News

Outta town ….still. thank you, sister


Needed some sun, headed to my sister’s in Fla.
Be back soon. Shopping for a condo…. oh yeah!! Be nice to me!


BSB Library to add a Museum to ILS

View of the Copper King Mansion, Butte, Montan...

Image via Wikipedia

I like to think that there is at least one thing I do here in Butte in a month someone might be interested in. This month we submitted an application to IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Sciences) for grant funding to take our World Museum of Mining‘s sampling of 80 jpeg images that are in comma separated values(CSV) to marc. Then we are gonna add a digital branch to our ILS and let them link to our OPAC from their website.

As it is now they are not discoverable on the internet. We will also batch load the records to OCLC (at our expense) so World Cat will improve searching for the images.

As one of letter’s of support stated:

“This project to create a reusable infrastructure that will result in the cataloging of and creation of multiple access points for a valuable collection of historic photographs is valuable not only for Butte -Silver Bow Public Library and the World Museum of Mining but also for cultural institutions around the state. This project will provide a test for smaller libraries and museums to find a cost-effective way to catalog their unique collections of historic photographs.”

How can we do this on our tiny budget in our small library, you ask? We can do it BECAUSE we are a Koha-Community library and if I can imagine it, chances are it can be done! Many thanks to the Koha-Community for allowing me to reach waaaaay beyond what some say can not be done.

I’ll let you know if we get funded…should be six months or so before we know. (gotta love the government)


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KohaCon 10- The Return of the… Librarian

Art Ferns & Civic Square in Wellington, New Ze...
Image via Wikipedia

I wish I could be as organized as Nicole Engard who has boundless energy and lightning speed in disseminating information. Most of you who drop in here already have access to the Koha monthly newsletter so I am going to put a link here just in case you have stumbled in and want to know more about the goings on at KohaCon 10 in Wellington, New Zealand.

I met so many amazing people at the conference that I could not begin to list them all here. Suffice it to say librarians and developers and service providers can work and learn together with little or no conflict, for a common purpose. All questions and requests for more information were met with professionalism and consideration.

As a presenter of the Librarian’s POV of the open source community and a Koha public library, I was pleased that our little video presentation was so well received. We spend SO much time on a keyboard communicating it is fun to see and hear some one tell about their experiences face to face, here is the link to Bywater’s blip TV link of my video.

I think the most memorable experience was our trip in mass to the Marae in Levin, home of the first Koha library (a public library). Meeting the people of the iwi and understanding the true meaning of the word Koha (gift) connected for me the discussion on governance and the importance of Koha remaining true to its origins and purpose. As Francois Marier presented in his talk about open source and access to information, our freedom to know and learn depends on guaranteeing a creative commons.

So, if you were not able to attend KohaCon 10 in Wellington, I think you might get a lot out of looking at the presentations and pics from the event. If nothing else be sure to look at Bob Birchall from Calyx presentation on Governance, it was some of the most relevant information as we move into Koha’s second decade.

Kia Ora

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KohaCon 10 well under way

Example of Koha's Blobby Man Icon
Image by Galen Charlton via Flickr

The first day of the conference covered a lot of info. especially Bob Birchall presentation regarding the governance of Koha. There will be lots of conversation regarding the topic as we go forward. Getting the definitions and examples out to the community so that all stakeholders are using the same terms and concepts will be of great value in creating understanding/. I suggest anyone interested in Bob’s presentation should check out the links on the right side of this page- most pointedly Nicole Engard’s  “What I have Learned Today”. Her comments are comprehensive and linked to the presentations as they become available.

Day two has a great agenda and the schedule of speakers can be found at KohaCon 10. After lunch Paul Poulain will give “A Brief History of Koha”.

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KohaCon 2010 Countdown

New Zealand - Punakaiki, fern
Image by vtveen via Flickr

I am headed to New Zealand to attend Kohacon 10, which really is just an excuse to hang out in the flesh with some of my favorite librarians and developers. I am amazed sometimes why we are all so continuously excited about libraries and the work of libraries. Then I remember the faces of the people our library in Butte serves.  It is about “lifting all boats” and improving the quality of life for everyone.  As I look over at the huge pile of wearables and connectables I have to stuff into two bags, I realize that what I really need to bring is in my heart and what I need to bring back doesn’t require a bag.

The time to get on the plane is rapidly approaching.  Suddenly the “how to” and “what for” doesn’t really matter. I feel incredibly lucky to be attending KohaCon 10 and New Zealand IS a trip of a lifetime, (or so everyone keeps telling me)! 😉

My parting comments to those of the Koha Community who will be watching from a far, are as follows:

First, we are all in this together, so where ever you are, WE are.

Second, the Koha Community lifts all boats, those who are major players, big consortia, vendors, and developers as well as the smallest of small libraries in the most remote corners of the world, the independent developers, and those of us who rely on IRC or a twitter feed to stay in touch with the Koha project.

Here is a link to the Kohacon 10 Connect Live Twitter feed, drop in when you can…

KohaCon 2010.

A state consortia employee once commented that the Koha devotees were “enamored with open source and free stuff” that really isn’t free. Well, that may be true. What else is true is that we belong to a virtual community that grows exponentially every year welcoming all who want to participate. People contribute back to the project because they “get” the idea that “we” is bigger and better than “me”. For all our squabbles and growing pains at the end of the day, the sun is rising on a Koha library somewhere.  See you all soon.

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Butte Public Library moves to 3.2 test server

Koha (software)
Image via Wikipedia

Greetings all!

Yesterday we brought our test install of Koha 3.2 on Ubuntu 10.04 up for a look see at the Butte Silver Bow Public Library. There are a few enhancements we had added missing (minor- drop downs for city and state in circ) also we “forgot” to migrate our custom reports so we have that in the works. Happily there were no 404 pages in the circ module so we are doing business for the most part.

Staff are noting any issues and Blaine and I will address most of them over the week-end, I hope. 😉 The acquisitions module is a concern for our Tech Services Librarian, so I will be reading up on the Koha wiki to see if I can work out the issues or at least identify them.

We missed several updates and patches over the past years, so no one thought it was going to be a snap to go live. After we tune it up this week-end I will let you know what our issues were and how we fixed them( or not!) in case anyone else has similar issues.

Our optimistic hope is to have our production server up with the new OS (we had Debian etch previously) and a tighter instance of Koha 3.2 by the end of the month. Many of you might know Blaine (aka selfishman) he is providing the service for our ILS that LL did originally. He also supports the Livingston Public Library’s Koha ILS, they are about  100 miles from us. He does everything remotely which works for both of us.

Any features that we might consider will of course be available to the community. Blaine and I are committed to the principles of open source we hope to continue to be contributors to the Koha community.

21 days until KohaCon 10. Hope to see everyone in NZ. For those not attending there will be pics and video from me, right here, so stay tuned. Kia Ora!

Love this article- if you missed on the list-serv check it out!

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LibLime thoughts

KohaCon 2009 Day 1
Image by nengard via Flickr

Koha Friends,
We are a Koha library and I am just a librarian. We migrated with LibLime in 9/09 and I was one of LL’s biggest fans. One of the things LL did right was allow libraries to decide for themselves on install and config issues. We are self-hosted (thank God, in hindsight) and we have customized a little. We liked having developers that we could go to- to get our needs met for our installation and contributed our customizations (Overdrive SIP) to the community (except it is in the manual on I think).
When the craziness started almost a year ago I was sad to see something with such potential crash and burn (LL and Koha-Community). It made me physically ill.
Now we have PTFS. I guess the  money is in  creating one hosted product with one solution so that it is economical to manage in “the cloud”. I am sure other librarians feel as I do that I like having my “stuff” on this box right here (pointing under desk). I won’t even presume to understand the complexities of “taking Koha to the next level” in the PTFS world but it is a different animal with  the same genus as Koha – Community. As Nicole Engard tweeted, it is not even the same concept of Open Source.

I will take the higher ground and say I wish PTFS well as they create some hybrid version of Koha (forked code). Librarians stake their careers on the concept of free information and universal access to the information. Open Source = universal access to information for me. Maybe the community should start thinking of a way to help those who thought they were getting FOSS Koha migrate out of LEK and Koha Express. Maybe a vendor could provide that service? I can tell you if I was in their shoes that’s what I would be looking to do. I am just saying, it’s not enough to just move on as the community. There are some casualties from this deal and I hope some one offers a solution to help them back to where they thought they would be, a part of the Koha-community. I am glad (tickled pink actually) my library is part of the community.
Cheers and see ya in NZ!
Beer and Pizza on me.
Lee Phillips

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