Fwd: [Koha] Comparing Koha with commercial systems

John Brice jbrice at meadvillelibrary.org
Wed May 16 09:08:22 NZST 2007

Dear Mr. Bissels:

Joshua Ferraro forwarded your e-mail to me concerning documentation of 
Koha publicity and sales materials. 

Early last year the Crawford County Federated Library System decided to 
proceed with the Koha ILS.  We compared Koha with some other commercial 
software.  Of the nine libraries only one was convinced to go with Koha 
at the start the other eight preferred a commercial vendor software.

When CCFLS was considering Koha and other commercial software packages 
there were not any sales brochures.  We went to the developers web site 
and we did a site visit to Nelsonville to see Koha in action.  However, 
the biggest sales tool we had was the actual program.  Since Koha is 
open source we downloaded the software  installed it on an old computer 
we had lying around.  We then imported two libraries Marc records.  We 
called this our proof of concept presentation.  When we demonstrated to 
the librarians, with their own data, they were really impressed.  
However, one library complained that they did not like the look of the 
templates.  So one of our IT staff revised the template to look the way 
the librarians asked.  This really impressed the libraries that with 
open source if you don't like something you can always change it 
yourself. Or if you can't do it yourself hire someone to follow YOUR 

With the proof of concept we were able to show all of the libraries that 
we could import the records, change the look and feel of the program to 
our specifications and get it up and running.  With all of these steps 
proven in the selection process we really did not need sales materials.  
CCFLS did develop a number of documents internally mostly comparing and 
contrasting Koha and a couple of other ILS's.

In fairness, and with the idea of giving you all of the information we 
currently have a relationship with Liblime.  Liblime came and give our 
libraries a demonstration of the program and also demonstrated the 
program through a video conference.  We also hired Liblime to add the 
Zebra index to the program.  .Currently CCFLS and Liblime have a 
contract for support. 

If you have any questions about Koha please feel free to email me at 
jbrice at ccfls.org.


John Brice
System Administrator
Crawford County Federated Library System

Joshua M. Ferraro wrote:
> -- 
> Joshua Ferraro                       SUPPORT FOR OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE
> President, Technology       migration, training, maintenance, support
> LibLime                                Featuring Koha Open-Source ILS
> jmf at liblime.com |Full Demos at http://liblime.com/koha |1(888)KohaILS
> ----- Forwarded Message -----
> From: "gerhard bissels" <gerhard.bissels at uclh.nhs.uk>
> To: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
> Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 9:34:02 AM (GMT-0500) America/New_York
> Subject: [Koha] Comparing Koha with commercial systems
> Dear All,
> I am starting a small specialist library and have to select a Library 
> Management System.
> Opting for one of the big vendors seems easy to justify because 
> everybody else does it. However, before I can seriously look at 
> something as unusual as Open Source I need to be able to present a 
> watertigh, fair and thorough evaluation method.
> I would be interested in the procedure and related documentation which 
> other libraries used when they had to select a LMS. If you had 
> documents you could share with me I'd be very grateful!
> Kind regards,
> Gerhard
> Gerhard Bissels
> Librarian
> The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust
> 60 Great Ormond Street
> London
> WC1 3HR
> Gerhard.Bissels at uclh.nhs.uk
> ++44 20 7391 8825
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