Meet Koha: Our New Library System

Penn Manor’s libraries are benefiting from a major upgrade to their online catalogs and circulation software. This August, all 10 district libraries will begin using a new library management system titled: Koha.

Koha LogoFollowing the open source model, Koha is a free, community-driven library management system developed by worldwide teams of programmers and librarians. Koha is a full-featured, Integrated Library System (ILS) and the first fully open source ILS. Referring to the the Maori custom of gift-giving, Koha was initially developed for libraries in New Zealand between 1999 and 2001. Since being released to the world, Koha has been installed in thousands of libraries worldwide.

Nearly 10 years have passed since Penn Manor installed the previous Follett CircPlus card catalog system. The Koha migration replaces the aging Follett system and provides an extended menu of system benefits and efficiencies. Additionally, by choosing the free open source Koha platform over commercial library systems, Penn Manor will realize approximately $50,000 in cost savings over three years.

Penn Manor’s Koha conversion began last April with a pilot test at Central Manor Elementary School. CM library staff and students worked side-by-side with PM IT staff to migrate from the previous system and test Koha’s new functionality. During the summer of 2010, PM library staff trained on the new system while the tech team further refined and tuned Koha for full implementation.  During the upgrade, the district also enlisted Savitra Sirohi and the team at OSSLabs for data conversion help.

We’re proud of the new system and hope you will be too. Please visit our new library catalog at http://library.pennmanor.net.

To learn more about Koha, visit the main community hub: http://koha-community.org/.

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