Ils on a shoe string budget


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ILS on a shoe-string budget: open source software in a non-profit organization
Jolene Bennett and Zachary Osborne
Without the budgetary means to purchase proprietary software or hire consultants, the
Weston Family Library at the Toronto Botanical Garden embarked upon an
ambitious project to migrate its catalogue from InMagic to Koha, an open-source ILS platform. This session outlines the resources and processes that were used,
including volunteer technical expertise, freely available software, and other web
applications in order to migrate non-MARC bibliographic data from InMagic to a usable
format for the new Koha platform. We describe the win-win process of using
volunteer talent in a tight labour market to create an ILS in a non-profit organization.
By recruiting library technician and librarian volunteers, the library gained its necessary catalogue upgrade, and volunteers gained incomparable and marketable experience.

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Ils on a shoe string budget

  1. 1. Zachary OsborneHead Librarianlibrarian@torontobotanicalgarden.caJolene Bennett, VolunteerLibrary System Support
  2. 2. Toronto Botanical GardenAbout
  3. 3. Toronto Botanical GardenMission & Vision
  4. 4. Toronto Botanical GardenEducation
  5. 5. Toronto Botanical GardenCommunity
  6. 6. Weston Family Library• Context and History– History– Library in a non-profitorganization• staffing, collectiondevelopment, budget– Collections– Users– Systems
  7. 7. Vision: Library Updates• Update and modernize both the physicaland virtual space of the library– Introduce new seating options– Re-consider space and furniture– Introduce rotating art gallery exhibitions todraw visitors into the library– Expand web presence– Modernize the library catalogue
  8. 8. Vision: Library Updates• Physical Space– Laptop bar with stools for added seating– Couch and quiet reading area– New lamps and lighting– Artwork– Removal of storage cabinets to create morecomfortable environment– Improved signage
  9. 9. Vision: Library Updates• Virtual Space– New web-based catalogue with addeddiscovery and improved end-user experience• Something that the library volunteers could usemore intuitively and with fewer challenges.• Financially sustainable alternative to proprietarylibrary software.• An integrated library system (ILS) that is dynamic,flexible, and interoperable with the TBG’s websiteand the Internet.
  10. 10. Research: What?“Which platform should we implement?”“What are our options?”“What are similar small libraries using?”Considerations:• Budget• Proprietary or Open Source?• IT or Vendor support options?
  11. 11. Research: Why?• Open source ILS:– Free (i.e. no related costs to download & use)– Customizable– Powerful enough for our small library• Why :– Established community of support– Web-based, z39.50 compatible, modern features– Intuitive layout, and familiar design
  12. 12. Research: Why?Inmagic• Bibliographic fields• Limited authority control• No interoperability withlibrary or TBG website• Challenging for libraryvolunteers and users• Annual maintenance feesKoha• MARC fields• Authorized values• Seamlessly embeddedwithin TBG website, andinteroperable.• Intuitive and basic design• Free, and open source
  13. 13. Research:Now for the big question: How?How will we…• …Carry out data migration from Inmagic to Koha?• …Without a budget for vendor or IT support?• …Or a budget for dedicated library staff tosupport the new ILS system and conversionprocess?
  14. 14. Research: How?• Volunteer assistance:dfdBrian Stewart:– Download and install a Debian server, Apachesoftware, MySQL, and KohadfdfLibrary System Support Analysts:– To help establish Koha parameters for the library andmigrate approximately 10,000 records• Identified readily-available, inexpensive or freeresources to help carry out the project• Flexible attitude, creative problem-solving, andopenness to problems and challenges as they arose
  15. 15. Resources
  16. 16. Methodology - First Steps1. Download & Install Koha2. Set System Preferences3. Export records from InMagic
  17. 17. Spreadsheet “Before”• 9704 records• Each record with 67 fields• Many fields blank (null)• General bibliographic fields
  18. 18. Sample Record (portion)Title: The rose : ready to be mapped to MARC field 245 subfield aSubtitle: myth, folklore and legend Ready to be mapped to MARC field 245 subfield bAuthor: Mayhew, Ann | Pollard, Michael, ill.Subject: Roses – Folklore | Roses – MythologyPub. Place: New York  ready to be mappedPublisher: Walker  ready to be mappedPub. Date: c1979  ready to be mappedNotes: Out of print 1981. | Includes bibliographicalreferences.
  19. 19. Methodology - ResourcesExcelMarcEditKoha (import records)
  20. 20. Exceli. Reorganize recordsii. Analyze records and field structureiii. Restructure fields using Excel Functionsiv. Restructure fields manually where appropriate
  21. 21. Reorganizing Records
  22. 22. Reorganizing RecordsDecision:• Separate out records with more than 1 subject• Separate out records with more than 1 copy• What records remain?-5,017 records (over half our records) contain just 1subject and 1 copy
  23. 23. Field Deletions• Null fields• Irrelevant data• Outside library scope• 36 fields deleted
  24. 24. Label Info RetentionCopy Management IndexedSource Special IssueWhen Approved HoldingsOrder # Renewal NoteSupplier Title No. ExpirationInternal Acct. Number Start DateP.O. FrequencyRequestor due date Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 CostOrder Date LC CardOrder Received Record CreatedOrder Received StatusSent to Requestor Due DateOrder Type Recatalogue DateSupplier List PriceInvoice # Actual CostOrder Notes
  25. 25. Field Additions• Koha field requirements– Mandatory Fields (i.e. 003, 040, 942)– Authorized Values (item and location)– Item Records (952 field)• Parsing data from one field across multiple fieldsin ExcelAuthor: Mayhew, Ann | Pollard, Michael, ill.
  26. 26. Helpful Excel FunctionsAdvanced SortFind + ReplaceText to Columns
  27. 27. Advanced Sort FunctionData analysis:• List of unique entries• Find inconsistenciesAnswers the Question: “What have we got in our data?”i.e. the Location field in spreadsheet
  28. 28. What values do we havein our location field?
  29. 29. 1. Main Shelving Area2. Back room (please ask at desk for assistance)3. Reference shelving area4. Special collections area (west wall)5. Behind circulation desk (ask for assistance)6. Children’s Corner7. Multimedia area (near printer)8. Green Roofs (by magazines)Now what’s left?
  30. 30. Mandatory 952 FieldKoha Location Code
  31. 31. Mandatory 952 FieldKoha Location Code
  32. 32. Use Find + Replace Functionto Create Authorized Values
  33. 33. Use Find + Replace Functionto Create Authorized Values
  34. 34. Mandatory 952 FieldKoha Item Type
  35. 35. Mandatory 952 FieldKoha Item Type
  36. 36. Text to Column Function• Some fields include multiple items that could be re-allocated to more specific MARC fields• Parse data over multiple columns in Excel• i.e. Authors:Grossman, Mary Louise|Grossman, Shelly, jnt. aut.|Hamlet, John N., jnt. aut.• We can use Text to Columns function in Excel andchoose the vertical bar as our delimiter
  37. 37. Text to Column Function
  38. 38. “There‟s more than one way to peel a banana:we can build a machine to do it for us,or use „BFI‟– Brute Force & Ignorance”~Lee Benson
  39. 39. Parsing Fields Manually• Some fields had numerous unique entries• Must parse manually• Out of the 9704 records there were:1647 unique entries in the Distributor field3871 unique entries in the Subjects field5009 unique entries in the Notes field• Notes Field:Values parsed into various 5XX fieldsSome parsed into various non-5XX fields• i.e. edition (250), varying title (246), ISBN (020)
  40. 40. Limited edition, no. 333 of 496 | Signed by authorReprint of the 1706 ed., London|Limited ed., no. 309|Or, the gardners almanac, directing what heis to do monthly throughout the year; and what fruits and flowers are in primeSubtitle: A world directoryText in German. Von der Schonheit der Pflanzen und Garten.Includes index. |Elementary and junior high school.Includes index.|Describes birds found commonly in North America.|Ages 7-10Reprinted from the Paris ed., 1635|Text in Latin.Introduction by Charlotte Gray|Signed by the author|Includes bibliographic references and index.Copy 1 autographed by the author. Ideas and inspirations for your gardenIncludes index.|Foreword by Beth Chatto.|Preface by Fergus Garrett and RosemaryAlexander.|With contributions by Anna Pavord, Alan Titchmarsh, Dan Hinkley, and HelenDillon.|Book Contents: Arrivals - Gardens & gardening - The plants - The house - Family - Visits -Christopher - Travels.Foreword by C. Colston Burrell|Autographed by the author Plants and ideas for natural andcreated water gardens
  41. 41. Excel - Technical Difficulties1. Cell Formatting• Set to Text : “Text format cells treated as text even when a number isin the cell. The cell is displayed exactly as entered”• Fields with numerical or alphanumeric values had to be formatted tothe “Text” Setting i.e. ISBN: 9.78E+122. Truncation of data• Abstract Field: lengthy descriptions cut• Data Recovery using previous spreadsheet iteration3. DTF (date time format) - yyyy-mm-dd• International Standard Date and Time Notation
  42. 42. DTF – Koha Settings
  43. 43. DTF – Excel Cell Formatting
  44. 44. Spreadsheet “After”• 5017 records• Approximately 150+ volunteer hours• Started with 67 fields– 36 Field Deletions– 47 Field Additions• Finished with 78 total fieldsNow we‟re ready to begin mapping fields!
  45. 45. 1. Delimited Text TranslatorMapping fieldsJoining subfields to construct MARC fields2. Marc EditorView / edit MARC records3. Marc MakerCreate the file format needed for upload to Koha3 Functions Used in Marc Edit
  46. 46. 1. Joining Fields2. Keeping file formats straight!Technical Difficulties
  47. 47. Joining fields in MarcEdit was necessary to:• Create strings of Marc subfields• Create item recordsBUT…..When an Excel field is being mapped to a joinedfield in MarcEdit, it cannot be empty (null)• When encountering a null cell in the Excelspreadsheet, a joined MarcEdit field pulls a valuefrom the next available cell in Excel• “work-around” : used underscores in null cells• Removed underscores after mapping processJoining Fields
  48. 48. • You can use .csv or any Excel file formats• After the mapping process you end up with:.mrd  this is your mapping template generated by the DelimitedText Translator function.mrk  Contains your MARC records, the .mrk is created using theDelimited Text Translator, but can be opened, viewed and editedusing the MarcEditor Function.mrc  this file format is created using the MarcMaker functionand is the file format needed for importing records into KohaKeeping File Formats Straight!
  49. 49. Importing Records• Uploaded 5017 records into the catalogue• We searched the records that had justbeen added to the catalogueBUT …..
  50. 50. Detour:Where are the records?• None of the 5017 newly created MARCrecords added to Koha were searchable...• We had a mild heart attack• Reached out to the Koha community for help• Zebra indexing was required to index thenewly added records, so that they could beretrieved in catalogue searches• So we scheduled a command in the Crontabto rebuild the index every week.
  51. 51. Destination:What we accomplished• Through a combination of resources, we createdusable MARC records from Inmagic’s output ofbibliographic fields.• The library gained an upgraded web-based ILSthat offers:– Increased interoperability– Seamless branding between catalogue and website– Publisher, book covers, and other links withincatalogue records– Z39.50 capability– Improved ease of use for staff and users
  52. 52. Destination:Next steps• Complete OPAC customization• Import patrons• Finalize training documentation for libraryvolunteers• Complete the migration/addition ofremaining catalogue records
  53. 53. For the Future• Project is ongoing – Cataloguing “FlashMob” event, May 4th and 5th, 2013.
  54. 54. Zachary OsborneHead Librarianlibrarian@torontobotanicalgarden.caJolene Bennett, VolunteerLibrary System Support