[Koha] Introduction - Plans for the Future

Rosalie Blake rosalie at levin.library.org.nz
Thu Aug 31 03:11:51 NZST 2000

Hello Mark and everyone,
I'm the librarian whose itch started the koha process. From the 
standpoint of one who understands bibliobabble, but not a lot of 
geekspeak, here are some answers to some of your questions.

> I wrote down a quick list of the functionality that I needed to get working
> in terms of a library system: acquisitions, borrowing, returns, import of
> existing system, OPAC  featured highly on my list

That's pretty much what we needed to get koha working in 
Horowhenua's three libraries. Katipo did the conversion from our 
former DOS system. 

We use the Telnet interface for the borrowing/returns process, 
because speed down an ordinary (copper, analog) phone line was 
critical to our branches. It's not as pretty as the Web browser, but 
it's fast, which is a pretty compelling argument for a library handling 
450,000 issues a year, compressed into a 40 hour week. I'm sure 
in the near future someone (you?) will write a circulation module 
using the Web interface for use in libraries where speed is not such 
a critical factor.  

Cataloguing and Acquisitions are tied together, because I needed 
to have an audit trail of where our new stock was coming from - 
how many purchased, how many donated, how many created in-
house (like photocopies that are catalogued for one reason or 
another). So you can't create a new biblio without leaving a trail in 
Acquisitions. Anything with no purchase price is entered as a 

The OPACs are one of the nicest things about Koha. Our patrons, 
especially the youngsters, love it. We're adding new functionality 
all the time - page numbers for long hit lists are now in the staff 
searching section, and Chris (chief programmer) will have it in the 
OPAC in the next release. Also some developments in Boolean 
searching working better every week.

> > (Rachel) We have basically finished phase one of about 3 
phases as identified by us 
> > and Horowhenua library.
> > 
> Can you elaborate on this more?

The remaining bits of stage one are some work on classes of 
borrowers and accounting trails for budget spending in 
Acquisitions. Then, apart from bug fixes, we're pretty much done 
with stage 1. 

Stage 2 brings in some functionality with borrowers able to do DIY 
renewals and reserves, and look up their own loan records. 
We also need to add
- means of sending overdue loan reminders automatically by email 
or fax as alternatives to phoning and mailing out reminders. 
- some stocktake/valuation/depreciation work to keep our auditors 
- some other databases that have been developed locally, eg a 
local history/archives database in Past Perfect (which is a 
museum/archives programme), and our local cemeteries record (in 
- keeping track of stock circulating through our branch libraries.

Stage 3 is not yet defined, but will probably include translating the 
OPAC front screens into Maori (NZ's second official language). 
We're hoping for a bit of language help from the team who 
developed greenstone (another NZ open source library project, 
dealing with digital resources).

Rosalie Blake
Head of Libraries
Horowhenua Library Trust

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