[Koha] Questions about Koha features
baljkas at mts.net
Sat Feb 11 10:14:01 NZDT 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006 14:52 CST
In quick answer to your questions ...
> From: Kevin O'Rourke <nti at caboose.org.uk>
> Date: 2006/02/10 Fri AM 05:11:55 CST
> To: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
> Subject: [Koha] Questions about Koha features
> I'm a volunteer from the UK working with the National Teachers'
> Institute in Kaduna, Nigeria, to help them make better use of IT.
> At present they have started to set up a web library of electronic
> documents using Mambo and its DocMan module (http://www.mambodocman.com/).
> They would like to move from card indexes (inaccessible from outside the
> library) to a computerised catalogue that users all over the country can
> After that (long) introduction I have a couple of questions:
> 1. Can Koha be used as an interface to both the catalogue of physical
> books and the electronic books?
> The list of features on the website mentions virtual libraries but I
> couldn't find any more information.
1. Yes, Kevin, Koha can be used to provide access to an OPAC (online public access catalogue) of diverse materials of information, including but not limited to physical books (traditional monographs), journals (serials, periodicals, magazines) and electronic books (journals, etc.).
For teachers in particular, it would be relevant perhaps (now or in the future) to distinguish various other sub-categories of printed or electronic text such as lesson plans, curriculum guides, testing standards, etc. as well as other categories of non-print materials such as maps, pictures, charts, audio-visual resources, etc., etc.
I have long been curious about the virtual libraries out there. If someone from a virtual library -- or even a more conventional library that happens to have found a way to provide live access to electronic resources via Koha -- reads this message, perhaps that person could take a moment and sound off on listserv and let the Koha community know where they are and how they have managed their Koha.
Kevin, I know that Koha can support inclusion of electronic resources after a fashion (see NPL site e.g.), but I was sure that someone had posted (or perhaps sent me directly? if so, since lost apparently) a solution to a question I had asked a while back about providing live-link access to electronic resources. In looking at my favourite model of Koha, the NPL site, I have found examples of electronic resources, but the only way to find the URL is to look at the MARC view and even then that is not a live link to the site indexed.
In terms of MARC21 cataloguing, providing a live-link/active URL would entail Koha being able to process the 856 field properly; as usual, I have no idea what that entails in the computer programming side of things.
*** If someone does have the solution to providing live-link access, please, please share. ***
> 2. Are there any Koha users in Nigeria?
> It would be very useful to be able to discuss how local issues (lack of
> electricity, difficult communications, etc.) have affected your use of Koha.
2. (Obviously) I have no idea if there are other Nigerians out there making use of Koha, but I would hasten to add that if you have difficulties with lack of electricity and reliability of communications links, you may *not* want to go completely electronic.
One option to consider might be pursuing Koha while at the same time using the MYSQL to query the database you are developing in order to create, at the same time, on the side as it were, print (book) catalogues -- which could be updated monthly, quarterly, annually, whatever -- so that, when the power was out or telephone lines down, staff would still be able to conduct their research.
When OPACs were first coming into fashion here in my home province of Manitoba, it was quite common for larger libraries to have COM (computer produced microfiche) catalogues kept around, just in case. In fact, some libraries even kept their old card catalogues (often hidden in the back in the technical services area) for staff use, again, just in case.
Just a word of advice, which you can treat as you will.
Hope that this helps a little and that someone will get back to the listserv regarding live-linking of URLs.
In the meantime, Kevin, welcome to the Koha community and good luck with your Koha efforts for the ITC.
Steven F. Baljkas
library tech at large
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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