[Koha] Investigating Koha: import formats

Lucy Pearson lucy.r.pearson at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 4 22:02:02 NZST 2008

Hi all,

I'm new to the list, and have only just begun investigating Koha, so
apologies if I ask any silly questions! I'm at the stage of investigating
Koha to see if it is suitable for my needs, and I'd really appreciate it if
I could draw on your collective expertise. I have a specific question about
Koha, but I'll also give a bit of detail on my circumstances, in case anyone
has any more general ideas which can help me.

*A bit of background:* I work for a new archive which has a relatively
substantial book collection (c. 20,000 items). Up until last year, these
were completely uncatalogued and unlisted, so we've been working on a
project to list our holdings. The plan is that once we have a handlist we
can assess the collection, weed substantially and then put in place a formal
cataloguing strategy. This last will include identifying a suitable LMS - we
use DServe's CALM for the archive material, and may also put the books on
there, but as it's primarily a museums / archive platform we have some
reservations about that. To get a handlist quickly, we've catalogued using
Readerware <http://www.readerware.com/> , which lets you scan barcodes and
searches the web for the data associated with those ISBNs. Now we're at a
point where we would really like to make it easy for people outside our
library site to access this list, even though it's not a proper catalogue.
So, we basically need a web OPAC - Readerware is not at all equipped to
supply this. In the long term  it would be really good to be using a
standards-compliant library catalogue. so if I can migrate my data over to
Koha that would be great for forward-planning.

*My Koha question: *Is it possible to import data to Koha in CSV or
tab-delimited format? Unfortunately, none of my existing data has MARC
records - I can export into those tewo formats, so I need a database which
can accept those.

I strongly suspect the answer is no, but I wanted to be absolutely sure
before I abandoned Koha completely. In addition, I'm hoping that if this *
isn't* possible, this list of tech-savvy librarians might have good advice
on alternatives. At this stage, I don't actually need a full-scale LMS - I
just want a web app I can import my data to and which will allow users to
seacrch by title, author, etc. (I've already explored LibraryThing, but for
various reasons it's not really suitable.) It needs to be free software or
very cheap, because we're so low on funds and this is an interim project.If
I *could* get my data into Koha,a it would be perfect, because the
full-scale LMS features are there if we need them, and the organisation
would be able to buy in support if they found themseves without enough
tech-savvy in house.

Any advice? I'll be most appreciative of any and all help!


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