Tag Archives: Koha

Nicole Engard of Bywater Solutions lands in Montana

Nicole Engard @ Jenkins Law Library

Image by nengard via Flickr

I know you are all jealous! We get Nicole for two and a half days. Training and a Conference Presentation at Broad Valleys Federation Spring Conference. It will be SO great to have Nicole in Butte where we have just reopened after being flooded in November. We plan on showing her the town and taking her for a soak in the Fairmont Hot Springs…. yeah, you’re jealous! I will update here as the week progresses.

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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!

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LINK2.0 Koha

Koha Camp @ Code4Lib
Image by nengard via Flickr

I stumbled on the site for migration at Vicki Teal Lovely’s library group, LINK (Library Interchange Network). The are keeping a “log blog” of their migration from Dynix. We did this as well, right here,  over a year ago. After an massive inventory effort using Koha’s “last seen” feature, we are ready to move to Koha 3.2 with support from the Koha Community.

Butte is also looking at Kete for a platform for our digital collection…so we will blog our experiences with Kete over the next few months.

For those who are thinking about migrating to Koha let me say it has been a very satisfying experience for us. Even though we are be a bit behind on updates and bug fixes everything runs smoothly (Results of the LibLime meltdown). We are self hosted and very glad we decided to control our own box.  We have on site and local support which many libraries don’t have.

Thanks for sharing your experience Vicki and SCLS.

Here in Butte, we will be cheering you on!

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And so it begins….

Today we finished up cataloging and ftp-ed the bib records to the Liblime server. Tomorrow we will review department punch lists to correct any issues or settings.  Wednesday is the first in house training in circ. We will review the client interface and everyone will be trained in circ over the next week. Friday our updated user records and circ records are loaded on the production server. Saturday we will start up Koha leaving one machine running Winnebago Spectrum as a safety. Monday the 29th we will be closed for the final test and trouble shooting. Sept 30 we will complete the migration shut down the Winnebago server and use the Koha client and OPAC.  We will launch the new OPAC and our databases on a new library website.  We are using a content management system called WordPress.  I will post the links to the new website and the OPAC on Monday the 29th.

SO! Take a look and see what you think! I will be at Chico for ASLD/PLD to present LibLime and Koha on Monday first thing in the AM so bring you questions.

Cheers!

Test set for next week

Well Ryan (from LibLime) Zack (our server guy), Stef (systems) and I met on line to talk about testing the data load and the server compatability with our plug ins. Althought I am not too concerned with the plugin issues (scanners and printers) I am concerned about the records and circ info. So we will get to see what our Koha ILS will look like in production ahead of the final data load and “Go Live”.  This will give us a chance to fine tune what we have.  Mostly to take full advantage of the features in Koha we need to have data in specific fields. There is a shelf browsing feature that requires a shelf location in the bib record…something I don’t think we currently have in Spectrum. So we will try to see if we can create that data to link to…maybe. Zack has given Ryan root access to our server and he will SSH the install and data to a test installation.  We will probably keep the test install so we can continue to customize our ILS and opac with out working in the production side after we are up and running. What is cool in this application is that the test server will update automatically from the production server side every night so we have current data to play with. 

The other issue was customizing our opac which we will do with Owen from Nelsonville PL.  He has the features on his opac we covet most. More on that as we get closer to the go live. Onward! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Testing the Server and the test data load

We had our Thursday chat with LibLime’s Bev today and we agreed we are ready to test our server and data load. All our circ records and transactions have been created in an excel format for data conversion.  Zack, Ryan (LibLime) and I will meet in a phonecon on Tuesday to discuss the logistics of the test.  Zack and I are hoping for a Secure File Transfer from LibLime’s test server to our server.  We will then be sure that all our appliances work(scaanners, reciept printers etc.) and that the OPAC pulls data correctly from our MySql databases(created by LibLime).  In the event that all goes well 😉 we will be able to set a “go live” date.  Even tho’ our original plan was to run Winnebago and Koha side by side -after much discussion we have decided to step from one ILS platform to another.  We plan on being down (closed) for two days as we get the new system up and running. Ryan will also help us customize our OPAC page.  We have been looking at other library sites and we are looking forward to creating something that is all our own. In the mean time I am building the library webpage with Word Press.  It should be visually different and easy to edit and/or change. More next week! Cheers!

Implementation Checklist

We have been working on setting our preferences and permissions this week.  Our bibliographic records are on the test server and our patron records too.  We are getting ready for testing our own server with the test OPAC.  After we get the kinks worked out I think we will only have our circ records to migrate in an Excel format to the MySql database.  These records will be mapped into the preferences we have set in Koha and if everything goes well with the migration we should be able to step from one platform (Winnebago) to Koha in 48 hours.  I am going to give you a link to our OPAC to check out our records.  If you look at a record you will see a box to the right that says “download” in the drop down you can choose MODSXML or Dublin Core.  Your PC will need to have a program to open these records but MODS opens nicely in Firefox.  What are you looking at? You are looking at a MARC record converted to an XML format that is easier to convert into  digital formats. 

Don’t get me wrong it is not perfect and some bibliographic info is sacrificed but I believe it is the future of interoperability.

Here is the link to Butte’s Newborn OPAC

And here is Nelsonville Ohio’s grown up OPAC