(From left to right) Gracian Chimwaza, Executive Director ITOCA; Murali Prasad, Library Director, Public Health Foundation of India, Hyderabad; Paul Johnson Information Landscape Librarian, Staffordshire University
Two Commonwealth Fellows currently being hosted in the UK visited the University of Staffordshire for very informative discussions to learn about Koha open source software which has great potential for Low & Middle Income Countries.
In 2010 Staffordshire University became the first UK Higher Education institution to choose an open source library management system (Koha) to replace their existing system. Koha is an advanced open-source Integrated Library System in use today by hundreds of libraries worldwide and although this was the first UK University implementation, Koha is widely used around the world by a growing community of libraries collaborating together to achieve technology and service goals.
It hosts a range of features including: Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) module, Full catalogue module, Circulation module which fully automates borrowing and item management, and Acquisitions module which assists librarians with both acquisitions and more generally with budget management.
Koha is designed to work on Linux, but will work on Windows with the installation of a series of additional modules. It is operable in English. Spanish, Arabic and French, with other languages being developed and translated by the community members. It is released under a GNU General Public License (GPL) .
The use of Koha means that there is no vendor lock-in, or annual licence fees. Libraries are free to use the software and – if required, to contract hosting and support from established service providers. Below are two case studies of African instituttions that have adopted the Koha solution.
- Koha Case Study from Library of the Faculty of Medicine Pharmacy and Dentistry, University of Bamako, Mali
For more info on Koha visit
Contributed by Chipo Msengezi (ITOCA IT Outreach Center for Africa)
Thanks to Chris Cormack I have put in the URL for the version that Staffordshire is using. Jean Shaw, Phi