[Koha] questions from prospective Koha user

Robinson Mcclellan rmcclellan at kaufman-center.org
Fri Dec 7 08:23:39 NZDT 2007

Dear list,

I recently became the sole librarian for a small music library in NYC (Birnbaum Music Library at the Kaufman Center). We are currently running an ancient Mac (circa 1998) running system 8.1 and an old version of school library software from Sagebrush/Winnebago, which is no longer supported by its parent company. 

I have to upgrade computer and software, and am thinking of switching to Koha, but had a few questions:

1. I have approval to get a new computer for the library. For my home and freelance work I usually use a Mac and prefer them in general, but obviously the budget is tight at the library and PCs are cheaper. I was told by someone at LibLime that Koha runs better on a Mac, but a 2006 document by Stephen Hedges says Macs can't run the full program. Has this been fixed since then?  Is there good reason to pay more for a Mac to run Koha, or would a PC be equally good, or perhaps preferable?

2. Would it be possible to transfer our current computer catalog from Sagebrush/Winnebago to Koha without reentering every record? If so, how? I am quite new to library software in general, so no answer can be too basic for me. I did manage to export the catalog as an Excel file, but it looks awfully disorganized and I don't know whether it can be used to transfer info. 

3. For Koha, would our library computer act as the server for web-based searches, or is there a remote server available? How do data backups work in Koha? Would we have an onsite backup system?

4. Does Koha have any quick way to enter records, either for books or music scores - for example, I've heard of systems which allow one to enter only the ISBN #, and all the info gets entered automatically. Our music scores for the most part do not have ISBNs, but perhaps there is a similar system for them?

Thanks very much for any and all advice,

Robin McClellan, librarian
Birnbaum Music Library
Available Sundays 10-5:30,
Tuesdays + Thursdays 3:30-7:30

For urgent concerns at other times,
Contact Lucy Moses School staff 
at 212-501-3360 or by email at
lucymosesschool at kaufman-center.org

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