Thursday, 19 January 2017

OS Readings Series: Avery

Avery, Joshua M., ‘Implementing an Open Source Integrated Library System (ILS) in a Special Focus Institution’, Digital Library Perspectives, 32 (2016), 287

These notes have turned into a list of advice... the start of the article contains a very nice literature review on similar projects, and observations about same.


  • A list of ILS selction criteria are listed in Bossels 2008, Muller 2011, Pruett and Choi 2013. Sing and Sanamann 2012 and Yang and Hofmann 2010
  • Current literature shows Koha is a better fit for small less complex library systems. 
  • Opac is highly customizable
  • Discussions with local IT began well in advance of migration. A task management system (Asana) was put in place (manage, schedule, track and update stages)
  • Knowledge gathering via listserv, chat-boards, weblogs, tutorials, documentation and contacts
  • Read online handbook 
  • Talk to institutions of same size
  • Test server allow release and updates to be tested before going live
  • Koha implementation check list is available online
  • Install than, branches, item types, patron types, collections. Locations and other rules and preferences > then data migration
  • Migration means questioning rules, config., etc. 
  • Data mapping > MARC EDIT USED to edit marc records for import
    • 952 = holdings data
    • 942 = class and item type
    • Data is loaded in batches so carefully label each batch using the comment function in the koha batch upload tool 
    • Try to keep batches <10,000
    • Batch load Circ data via offline circ
  • One month before live = final opac customizations and intensive training for staff on new system
  • Old system was kept live for 24 months and staff did harvest data from it on occasion. 
  • Each library’s migration and day to day experience is different.  
  • Consider formal per and post measures of staff and student satisfaction with the ILS
  • Local understanding of the limits of MySQL, CSS, HTML, Linux, Apache and Perl is needed
  • Clearly determine who is responsible for which task
  • Waive fines and fees
  • Have regular meetings with all parties – face to face


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