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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New Zealand and Me

Greetings to all my Koha Community friends and to those of you who are interested in the open source community. I have been spending my days working on our library building and launching new programming for YAs and Adults with our new Adult Services Librarian, Regan de Victoria. With the new school year under way we have been busy with plans for banned books week, library card drive, Montana Library Day snap shot, outreach to schools and teachers to get the word out about our library resources and setting up after school homework help.

As if that isn’t enough – our library needs a new roof desperately (it rains in the building when it is raining outside or snowing). We received the funding from the Council of Commissioners to our great relief and hopefully will have a roof soon. Some sad news, one of our longest serving Library Trustees passed away on the 5th of September. Le Roy Cottom was a retired architect and was an avid supporter of the library being up to speed with the latest in technology, even though he had spent little or no time on a computer. He prided himself on being a Luddite who knew the value of what the library could do with technology.  His memorial service was very touching and over 300 people attended because he was such a supporter of our community and served it faithfully.  We have started the install of a new OS and Koha 3.2 on a second server to be sure we can address any glitches in the migration of the database and our SIP connections. We have a few customizations but I don’t think it will cause any major delays. We hope to cut over to 3.2 by  the first part of October.

Most of my waking hours I have been putting together the presentation for KohaCon 10. After weeks of work I just trashed my presentation and have decided to take a fresh approach. I will post a link to the presentation here when it is done. The topic is ‘Why do I love Koha’!!! Where does a librarian start!

A highlight of a recent Economic Summit here in Butte Montana was my chance to meet the New Zealand ambassador Mike Moore and let him know about our library’s relationship with Kiwi ingenuity. He is a gracious and humorous gentleman who let me get a picture with him before I left the secret service green room enclave. Koha diplomacy

Finally,  a side note about the latest PTFS offering of negotiations for bridging the gap that now exists in the international Koha community regarding the LibLime/PTFS  claim to the Koha trademark and domain issues. Let’s see how the wiki conversations go and what the propositions lead to, so productive resolutions are at the ready when we get together next month in Wellington. I will post here as I learn more…until then, Kia Ora!

See you in Wellington, NZ in October!

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July 4th Parade

BSB Library makes parade in Butte for the 4th of July

Lets get the show on the road!

The weather was perfect. The car a 1950 Buick classic. The “driver” is  my daughter. We had a great time in the parade inviting the onlookers to come to the  library.

staff sargent and cybrarian

Red White and Blue all over.

Ruthie Ann and Regan, the new cybrarian at BSB Public Library.

Great Day- Koha 3.2 beta is released!!!

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

It is like a birthday/Christmas present! I can’t wait to open it and see how it works! Many thanks to all the developers and Galen our most excellent release manager. Just in time, we are ready for an update!!LOL

Here is the link to the wiki and the tarball.

Doing a little dance…Happy days are here again!

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