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Benefits of working as a Library Consortium: A Case Study of MALICO on the Use of KOHA Free Open Source Software Integrated Library System eIFL General.

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Presentation on theme: "Benefits of working as a Library Consortium: A Case Study of MALICO on the Use of KOHA Free Open Source Software Integrated Library System eIFL General."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benefits of working as a Library Consortium: A Case Study of MALICO on the Use of KOHA Free Open Source Software Integrated Library System eIFL General Assembly Lund- Sweden, 5-9 August 2010 Lidia C. Chiotha Country Coordinator Malawi

2 Background o The University of Malawi (UNIMA) the biggest member of MALICO with five colleges has been using Library. Solution a commercial software which the rest of the members could not afford and were on manual systems UNIMA has been using Library. Solution (L.S) software at a cost of US$12,120 and ITS.MARC at US$2, 000 per annum from The Library Corporation (TLC) of USA since Feb 2001. ITS.MARC is a facility within L.S which allows librarians to get the latest bibliographical details on line

3 The demise of L.S o Library.Solution was part of a package from a Japanese Aid towards UNIMAs Library Automation Project o The funding for the Library Automation project ended in January 2006 and UNIMAs five colleges have been struggling to pay for the subscription of US$2425 per college per annum

4 MALICO Technology Research Group The story of KOHA FOSS ILS for MALICO began with the formation of a Technology Research Group and a sensitization workshop on open source software in July 2006. The mandate of the group was to search for technologies for use by consortium members At the end of the workshop two Pilot sites (National Library Service in Lilongwe and Domasi College of Education in Zomba were selected to use KOHA on Ubuntu Linux. An agreement was made to move to other sites upon evaluation/success.

5 Why KOHA ILS Compared to a commercial software there are no costs to download and install There are no recurring licence fee therefore sustainable Can be customized to suit the users requirements Can be shared with other small & medium libraries amongst other advantages

6 Use of KOHA in MALICO Libraries MALICO gathered momentum in its study of KOHA after attending the Kick off Meeting of eIFL FOSS Programme in Cupramontana, Italy in October 2006 From 2007 MALICO intensified training meetings and workshops that introduced the library and technical staff to KOHA. Both Library Staff and their ICT counterparts would meet regularly to allocate tasks and get feedback on follow up meetings.

7 Pilot study sites by region The members from the Southern Region met at Chancellor College before eventually moving to Domasi because of lack of the appropriate equipment at Domasi Kamuzu College Nursing was a meeting point for those from Mzuzu University in the North and the Central Region.

8 Mzuzu University (MZUNI) Pilot Site A follow up, eIFL FOSS meeting, on training in choosing pilot sites held in Yerevan, Armenia in June 2008 saw MALICO recommending piloting KOHA ILS at MZUNI in earnest as a national site MALICO received a small grant of 3,000 USD from eIFL under FOSS Skills and Tools program that was used for two training sessions on Linux. Institutions has continued to provide financial support for the training sessions on KOHA at MZUNI and other designated places.

9 Technical and Administrative Challenges Library staff learning new IT skills Lack of thorough knowledge in Linux which is a good operating system for KOHA Issues of data migration Best practices for back up of database Generation of new barcodes as the existing ones were not transferable to the new KOHA Catalogue Lack of appropriate computers Network problems between servers and client workstations In most cases starting from scratch

10 Addressing the Challenges as a consortium Discussing during meetings the problems encountered with those who had attempted installation but failed or visiting them Having a KOHA email discussion list Stressing patience and perseverance for retrials Recommending procurement of appropriate computers to authorities Sourcing funds for training and procurement of hardware (GTZ on KOHA in Teacher Training Colleges and INASPs NLS in-house training on Linux) Distributing copies of Debian Linux and KOHA Packages on DVDs/CDs for offline installation. (This was good for those with internet problems or little Linux expertise)

11 Introducing KOHA into the Library School Curriculum Coincidentally MZUNIs Faculty of Information Science and Communication runs Diplomas and Bachelor Degrees in Library and Information Science and has included hands on training with KOHA ILS. Students along side the theoretical lessons also experience real electronic cataloguing

12 Conclusion MZUNI has now become a popular training ground for KOHA ILS and between last year and now it has hosted over four MALICO training sessions. The National Library Service (NLS) also had an in house KOHA training for its staff from 12 branches with funding through MALICO. The majority institutions have managed to use the cataloguing module, a few have gone to use the circulations and OPAC module. MZUNI itself is using the cataloguing, OPAC, circulations, acquisitions and reports modules. It is yet to try the serials module With the success of MZUNI pilot site the ground breaking work has continued in two other Universities, One Teacher Training College, 9 Nursing Colleges, 3 Health Science Colleges and the NLS. THANK YOU!!!!

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