Tired of your automated library system, but can’t afford to upgrade? Koha could be the solution.
Koha is an open source (free) software system for libraries. Based on the Web 2.0 philosophy of sharing and collaborating, Koha’s downloads are free and users can contribute to the wiki to help solve any problems. The Koha website also lists people (at least two are based in Australia) that can provide (paid) support, although they are not affiliated with Koha. There are live sites (mostly academic and public libraries) that you can search, so you can see what Koha looks like and how it works. Have a look at Hartland Public Library’s site here:
If money is an issue for your library and you are unhappy with your current software, Koha is certainly worth investigating. A conversation with your IT support at school would be ideal as you may need assistance converting and importing your current data to Koha.
For reasons I won’t go into here, the latest stable version of Koha is not available from koha.org. Instead you can download Koha 3.0.5 from here:
and from here:
Watch for the forthcoming release of Koha 3.2 with a new acquisitions module and many other neat features.
If investigating the software-as-a-service option, beware of forks masquerading as the real deal.
Australian schools have been surprisingly slow to jump on board with Koha. For a US example, see here:
and for a NZ example see here:
Enjoy your exploration of Koha!