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KohaCon10: Koha in Schools

Oct - 25 - 2010
Nicole C. Engard

Mark Osborne from Albany Senior High School, New Zealand’s first open source high school, was up next. Slides are already online at Prezi.com.

At the high school, they pretty quickly found that there weren’t going to be any proprietary solutions that met their goals. Among those things were that the system be web-based, include web 2.0 features and have crowd-sourced metadata. One value at the school was “without sharing there is no education” – I love that!! That is very much in line with Koha (and open source of course). I also like the way their physical building is set up – it’s not the traditional classroom style, instead they have a series of “living environments.”

The school differs from many public libraries because they had a specific set of users (students/teachers) and had a separate database of users (from the ILS). They use LDAP in Koha to handle connecting Koha to another ‘patron’ database. They also have a single-sign on system that Mark calls “slick.” They also added a 5-star rating system to Koha and a recommendations feature (is this code public somewhere? is it going to make it into 3.2.x/3.4?). Like many other Koha libraries they have a recent acquisitions section on their main page (something I think we need to build a tool for so people can customize it for each library). Finally (and this required no development) Mark figured out how to search the library catalog from his smartphone.

What other features do they hope to see/develop? Federated searching (which I think we could do with the cool stuff that Walter showed us yesterday). They might start using from RFID in conjunction with the built in self-check module in Koha. They would also like to grow the consortium and improve upon the recommendation engine both within the consortium and amongst all Koha libraries worldwide (that want to participate).

Awesome talk – awesome things done and awesome ideas for the future!

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2 Responses so far.

  1. To answer your questions, the code has always been public, recommendations in the Catalyst Koha repo, and 5 star ratings in the KohaAloha public repo.

    All Koha development done (at catalyst at least) is always open and public from the beginning.

    I will rebase and submit recommendations for QA for 3.4 and I assume Mason will do the same for 5 star ratings. Both features missed the feature freeze for 3.2

  2. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the info Chris. I did find that out later in the talk, not sure why I left my questions in there.


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