[Koha] Ahoy!

Marty Jongepier bluejaydesign at sympatico.ca
Wed Jan 24 16:03:56 NZDT 2007


I don't know filemaker, but if you can export as a tab delimited format you
are half done. With some free tools, (especially MARCmaker, see
http://www.loc.gov/marc/marctools.html) you then will be able to transfer to
MARC21 (assuming you use that format) and then run bulkmarcimport, to get
your existing fields into Koha. I had to play around a bit, but it wasn't
really hard and I have transferred all information I had from a tab
delimited file.

Again, assuming MARC21 (I don't think UNIMARC is all that different), once
you have entered a few items manually you will have the hang of it. Koha
wants minimally an author and title, with less it will refuse to add the
book. For our library, we enter way more information than that, (Dewey
numbers, barcodes, branch etc.) but author and title is the minimum. And,
you always can go back and change things.

What we think is a really great feature is the Z3950 search, we mostly use
it when we have an ISBN number because that seems to be the fastest, but it
is possible to search on title or author, although that tends to be (a lot)
slower. Once it finds a book, it will ask you whether you want to import it,
and if you decide to do so, it will fill in almost all fields.
We use that a lot, because the old system only tracked title and author, and
we like to be able to search on more than that. (Do you know what a book
titled "Out on a broken limb" is about?.... Reincarnation... well, we did
not really figure that from the title...)

Our library is not on-line (yet), from what I learned about Linux, I would
say that with SSH you are safer than Windows, but I am not a computer
expert. Maybe someone else can help you out on that.

I am not a computer expert, as I said, I am a CAD designer (computer aided
design), and work with SolidWorks on Windows XP. I did not know a thing
about Linux when I started with Koha, and we ran Linux because the Z3950
search at that time did not run on Windows. I believe it does now, but we
will stick with Debian. We like to run legal software (church library :-) )
and, from work experience, I find Windows over priced and over rated.

Here and there I have had some minor issues, but almost always solved
quickly by posting in the Koha group or searching Google.

As for limiting access, I cannot answer that question.

Hope this helps a bit,

Marty Jongepier
Cedarview Community Church Library
Newmarket, Ontario

-how much trouble am i looking at to import our extant cataloge into 
koha, multiple steps is fine, but manual is not pretty.  i can get us 
running *reasonably* well for the time being and even online with 
filemaker, but clearly migrating to a standards compliant software 
sooner rather than later is a better option.
-how hard is it going to be for my marginally computer adept, but 
intelligent, and data input adept volunteer who's a bit of an old dog to 
learn to input more titles?
-how hard will it be to search/compare/semi autonomously add LOC 
cataloge numbers to known volumes?  i know we have a number of privat 
printings that are probably not catalogued thus far, and will need to be 
hand numbered, but it'd be nice to not have to look up ALL of them.
-how secure is koha when on line?
-are there multiple levels of access?  i.e. can i mask certain books 
that are flagged as do not check out from being seen by remote users, or 
a specific class of users, and yet leave them accessible to local users, 
or authorized logins?

that's all i can think of for the moment.  feel free to abuse me for my 
lack of knowledge about the software, etc.


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