BLDS Migration to Koha (KohaCon12)

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BLDS Migration to Koha (KohaCon12)

  1. 1. 5 June 2012 Migrating to Koha: A British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) Journey KohaCon12 Edinburgh, Scotland Presented by Nason Bimbe (Email: n.bimbe@ids.ac.uk )
  2. 2. Discussion Background Why a FOSS ILS - Koha Choosing an Open Source Software Implementation Strategy Lessons Learnt Conclusions
  3. 3. Background: BLDS British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) is based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton BLDS has extensive holdings built up in the 1960s, constituting Europe’s most comprehensive research collection in development studies BLDS holds over 1,000 journal titles, over 10,000 magazines, annual report and newsletter titles and over 84,000 monographs BLDS serves over 1000 patrons and these include students, staff and visiting fellows Through document delivery service, BLDS also serves users from developing countries (Africa and Asia)
  4. 4. Background: The Problem with old bespoke LMS Bespoke LMS became unstable, needing a lot of staff maintenance, and was leading to a very poor customer service experience for our users The role of BLDS had changed substantially since the initial design of the system, and is now much more global in reach, requiring new functionality LMS technology had advanced exponentially, and with it the demands of library users for a more flexible, user-led search experience Bespoke LMS was not future-proofed in terms of further developments
  5. 5. Background: The Search BLDS had a limited budget to work with We looked at a number of commercial LMS and almost settled for one I was apprehensive of FOSS at the time – though we were running Koha only as a Z39.50 server Through networking, Koha kept cropping up but put off by the amount of messages on the mailing list Having read Tristan Muller’s paper – I had a change of mind Visitation to Koha sites and talking to people in Koha development helped sway our decision
  6. 6. In 2005, Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems quipped that open source software was "free like a puppy is free." Just as you can pick out a puppy from the pound without paying expensive breeder fees, you can download and use open source software without buying a single license. But puppies become dogs, and dogs need food, toys, training and lots and lots of love. Even with all this attention, there’s no guarantee your cuddly puppy won’t develop a vicious streak. Will you need endless obedience classes and a chain and muzzle to control it? The same goes for open source software. As soon as you introduce open source into your organization, the real costs, commitments and risks become clear. Why a FOSS ILS? Myth or Fact?.....
  7. 7. Why a FOSS ILS? The software was developed and maintained by a worldwide community We could install and modify it ourselves We could also use a third party company to install and manage it for us We would have been freed from lock in with a single supplier Going FOSS aligned BLDS with our new objectives of building capacity in the developing countries Our funders were also pointing us towards FOSS
  8. 8. New Koha Installations in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Source: Marshall Breeding: Integrated Systems turnover in 2009, 2010 and 2011 http://librarytechnology.org/ils-turnover.pl 2009 2010 2011 Koha 171 172 283 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 AxisTitle Koha
  9. 9. Choosing an Open Source Software Tristan Müller, (2011) three stage analysis was very useful in evaluating FOSS Process involves – Evaluating software licensing – Evaluating the community – Evaluating functionalities Tristan Müller, (2011) "How to choose a free and open source integrated library system", OCLC Systems & Services, Vol. 27 Iss: 1, pp.57 – 78
  10. 10. Choosing an Open Source Software Adapted from Tristan Müller, (2011) "How to choose a free and open source integrated library system", OCLC Systems & Services, Vol. 27 Iss: 1, pp.57 – 78
  11. 11. Evaluating Software Licensing: Categories of licenses by usage rights Public domain Free Software Open Source Software Freeware Shareware Proprietary Software Patented Software Just because software are offered under the designation of “free license”, does not necessarily mean that all aspects of the product are free and open. We had to take a close analysis of the licensing terms offered
  12. 12. Evaluating the Community: Categories of community assessment Inactive – No observed development activity going on Just released – Community do not currently have a critical mass of developers, contributors and users – Some procedures, methods, practices and tools remain unimplemented and are not freely available
  13. 13. Evaluating the Community: Categories of community assessment Emerging – Has a growing community of developers, contributors and users – Has failed to implement procedures, methods, practices and tools to ensure sustainability Sustainable – Has obtained critical mass of interested developers, contributors and users – Has in place a very solid collaborative infrastructure made of development tools to help manage goals, function, architecture and design, outlining the responsibilities of developers and contributors • Is FOSS Community engaged and dynamic? • We were always alive to the fact that when you choose a FOSS, you are also joining the community
  14. 14. Evaluating Functionality: Categories of maturity of functionality Immature Improving Mature Does the functionality of FOSS meet our needs? Of the Open Source LMS identified, Koha was seen as the most functionally complete with worldwide support
  15. 15. Implementation Strategy: Three Options ‘Self Management’ [Option 1] – Installation – Configuration – Customisation – Migration – Hosting (Some) Third Party Help [Option 2] – Installation – Configuration – Customisation Complete ‘Outsource’ [Option 3] – Installation – Configuration – Customisation – Migration – Hosting – (Server) Management
  16. 16. Implementation Strategy: The Challenges Time and Resource Availability Skill Availability Environmental Consideration IDS Future ICT Strategy – Utilising cloud based services/systems where possible After assessing the challenges mentioned above and also looking at Koha implementation landscape in the UK we went with Option 3
  17. 17. Lessons Learnt Always talk to people/organisations that have done it before Research – web has lots of information Plan well and plan ahead Have enough time on data mapping (if migration involved) and document well – if not using ‘standard library system’ Don’t be discouraged by what is perceived to be different in the way you work – decouple systems and componetize Develop a high level architecture showing all the different functions/services you are offering – so that you avoid making the LMS do what is not its ‘core’ function Develop good working relationship with your contractor - if using outsourcing model Join the community – mailing list
  18. 18. Project Time Scale From go ahead to launch: took approximately 8 months From contract signing to launch: took approximately 7 months Implementation – Installation, Configuration, Customisation, Training, Data Migration and Testing took approximately 5 months Search Planning Implementation Jun – Aug 2011 Oct – Dec 2011 Jan – May 2012 23 June 2011 – Go ahead given 19 Sep 2011 – Contract signed with PTFS Europe 19 Dec 2011 – Planning, Configuration completed 15 May 2012 – Koha is launched at http://bldscat.ids.ac.uk/
  19. 19. Conclusion We now have a great library management system that we can build on as a platform We will be looking into integrating it with other systems/ technologies – Resource discovery tools – Mobile – Linked data Though we are still sorting out a few problems, we consider the implementation to be a SUCCESS – no complaints from our core users, only praise! I would recommend Koha to any library that is thinking of upgrading their LMS or just considering automating their library processes Lastly but not least, I would like to thank PTFS Europe for their support
  20. 20. http://blds.ids.ac.uk (website) http://bldscat.ids.ac.uk (OPAC) http://ids.ac.uk (website) Email: n.bimbe@ids.ac.uk

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