Open Source Software forimplementation of Union Cataloguefor KenyaBeatrice Adera AmolloHead Librarian, Australian Studies Institute (AUSI), Nairobi, KenyaPaper presented at a Workshop on‘Modalities of Establishing a Union Catalogue for Kenya and theStandardized Integration of Local Content into a UnionCatalogueVenue: United Kenya Club, Nairobi, KenyaDate: 4th – 5th May, 2011
Contents Union Catalogue - Definition Desirable features of a good library catalog Prerequisite for a good union catalogue Cataloguing software used in libraries found in Kenya Open source solutions and their suitability Selecting software for catalogue OSS recommendations ◦ Koha ◦ Evergreen Conclusion References Questions/Disscusion
Union CatalogueA union catalog comprises of listing of information materials, of more than one library accessed online from a single point of access. It aggregates the bibliographic details of the collections of a number of libraries.
Advantages of union catalogueFor the LibraryProvides facilities for cataloguing and improvements in speedQuality recordsMutually acceptable standardsDocument supply serviceJoint collections and shared resourcesLinks to document suppliers and electronic journalsOngoing discussion, planning and programming among librariesNational bibliographic networkReduction in acquisition and cataloguing expenses
Advantages of union catalogueFor the usersconfirmation of the existence of an itemaccurate known locations for an itemavailability at those known locationstimeframe for user needlicensing controls and authorization
Desirable features of a goodlibrary catalogSingle point of entry for all library informationWeb interfaceEnriched contentCategorized searchingRelevancyRecommendations or related materialsUser contributionRSS feedsIntegration with social network sitesPersistent links
Prerequisite for a good unioncatalogueBibliographic Database Standards ◦ Patron access to all the libraries’ resources ◦ Enhanced circulation services to patrons ◦ Resource sharing ◦ Item conversion and maintenanceCataloguingstandardsCommunications formatLanguage and script of cataloguing
Cataloguing software used inlibraries found in KenyaKCAInstitution Not online as at 25 March, 2011 SoftwareKCAAUSI Not online as at 25 March, 2011 KohaKenyatta University education KohaCommission of Higher KohaKIMEgerton University Koha AMLIBKNLS UniversityGretsa Not sure KohaMoi UniversityILRI In progress InMagicSt. Paul’sUniversityInoorero University Koha MandarinStrathmoreJomo Kenyatta University of Koha KohaAgriculture and TechnologyUniversity of Nairobi VUBISUSIU Polytechnic UniversityKenya Custom made by Polytechnic IT SymphonyWorld Agroforestry Centre department. This is currently down. InMagic(ICRAF)
Some of the reasons whylibraries migrate to opensource softwareDisillusionmentwith current vendorsOpen source is seen as a solution to: ◦ Allow libraries to have more flexible systems ◦ Lower costsNot be vulnerable to disruptions that come with mergers and acquisitionsOpen source is beginning to emerge as a mainstream option.No vendor lock in.
Infrastructural and costrequirements: Proprietaryversus OpenCosts shifted from traditional software licensing models. There is no initial purchase of license or annual license feesHardware costs are the same for bothVendor support costs. This is optional for open source but almost mandatory for proprietaryHosting and Conversion services same in bothLocal technical support may be higher in the open source option
KohaIt was the first Open Source Library Management System and is widely used all over the world by all types of libraries. It is a fully featured library system with all the common modules you would expect from a modern ILS. It includes Searching, Circulation, Cataloguing, Acquisitions and Serials.
Koha’s key CataloguingfeaturesKohasMARC frameworksAuthority Control & Authorized valuesMigrating data to Koha To import the data into Koha, one has to first convert the source MARC File into a Koha- compatible file using MARCEdit—a free MARC editor. The converted file is then imported using one of Kohas imports tools: ◦ bulkmarckimport.pl: A Linux command-line tool usually used to import large MARC files ◦ GUI import tool: A more flexible import tool available in Kohas staff client
EvergreenPines library search page, gateway to 275 libraries
Features suitable for localizationServer side of Evergreen runs on LinuxEvergreen fully supports Unicode Transformation Format 8 (UTF-8)Evergreen leverages the Tsearch2 for indexing and searchingEvergreen stores records in MARC XML format.
Migrating data to EvergreenRequired ◦ Advanced ILS Administration experience ◦ Knowledge of Evergreen data structures ◦ Knowledge of how to export data from the current system or access to data export files from the current system is necessary.Several tools for importing bibliographic records into Evergreen can be found in the Evergreen installation folder
Other reasons for recommendingKoha and Evergreen ◦ Sustainable communities ◦ Networking and sharingFor cataloguing and OPAC ◦ Both have effective utilities for Authority control record import record creation and record export duplicate checking thesaurus management search capability documentation web-based visibility saved search capability
Conclusion Adapting open source for a union catalogue in Kenya is not impossible. Of importance, is the agreement between the participating libraries. This is the hurdle that must be overcome before any progress is realized in this direction. There are libraries in Kenya that have implemented open source ILS for long enough to provide the necessary expertise or input to help in the actual implementation. Koha seems to have gained much mileage in Kenya as observed earlier on. The experiences with it by the different libraries will come in handy when deciding on which software to adapt for the union catalogue. Evergreen has blazed a new trail and as a result of its design, its development philosophy, and developments in information technology, it has spread rapidly and others are in the process of emulating it. That is for the good, because more consortial software and more cooperation among members of the open source communities in the library world will make libraries stronger and give them more choices in available software to run their libraries.
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