Koha free Library Management Software under consideration by NZ National Library
Koha, a free, open-source Library Management Software platform originally developed in New Zealand, is among the options being considered for the proposed New Zealand Public Libraries Shared Library System Service.
Koha is a robust, proven, free-of-licensing-fees Library Management platform that is in use by over a thousand institutions worldwide.
Although the result of a public benefit project and costs nothing, Koha has all the features of hugely expensive proprietary offerings.
Joann Ransom, Acting Head of Libraries for the Horowhenua Library Trust, originally conceived of and solicited the creation of Koha in 1999. She believes the system could be an ideal choice for NZDL.
“I strongly believe that the time is
right for Koha – as evidenced by the massive growth
overseas – and LsynCNZ is timely, given the work
coming out of not only Australia and NZ but the States and Europe, and that it would be an appalling waste of the nation's resources to NOT
choose Koha. Any perceived shortfalls can be addressed immediately by investing a small portion of the savings from a vendor led system
into Koha enhancements for a NZ Koha Consortium.”
Koha is being deployed in more and more schools around the world and the response has been extremely favourable. Albany Senior High School recently chose Koha as its integrated library system and Deputy Principal Mark Osborne says it has made a real impact on the learning that occurs in the school.
"Koha has allowed us to engage students with reading and research in ways that no other software can. They can write reviews and comments, tag items with keywords, give books a rating out of 5 and create and share book lists. There's even a feature that allows them to go to their favourite book and find books that are similar. We're also in the process of setting up meta-searching so students searching for a book by Charles Dickens will see results not only from our collection of physical items, but also from digital video libraries, e-book repositories and podcast and talking book sites. With Koha it's easy."
The Koha response, submitted by Catalyst IT – NZ's largest Open Source software speciality company – specifies that, as is always the case with Koha, the software will be provided free of any licensing or version upgrade fees in perpetuity.
It is expected that once the business case regarding the New Zealand Shared Public Library System is complete, an RFP will be issued for procurement of the Library Management System software.
For information about Koha: http://koha.org/
For information about Horowhenua Library Trust: http://horowhenua.kete.net.nz
For information about Albany Senior High School: http://ashs.school.nz
For information about Catalyst IT: http://www.Catalyst.net.nz