Farasat Shafi-Ullah from SCME National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad, Pakistan was the first up this morning and we all gave him a huge round of applause for taking a 5 day journey to get here! I have to add yet again that this conference is an awesome way to see how much we all love Koha and how strong the community really is.
Now on to Farasat’s talk. First and most importantly LAMP in this talk does not stand for what we’re used to – instead it stands for “Library Automation and Management Project.” LAMP was in charge of developing the country’s first library automation system in the 1990s. It wasn’t until 2007 that Koha was looked at in Pakistan.
The transition from LAMP to Koha took a lot of exporting and importing (but it didn’t really take that long):
- from LAMP (a DOS system) to Windows using Winisis
- from Winisis to ISO format data
- from ISO to MS Access by using PakLAG data converter
- from MS Access to MARC21 with MarcEdit
- the new data was imported direct from LOC and CHOPAC
With all of these steps why move from LAMP to Koha? First was the fact that it was based in MARC21 (a standard), next it was open source, and finally there were many updates and support via the public mailing lists. Also, the fact that there was no local support was a big advantage.
Koha alone however did not meet all of the needs of libraries in Pakistan so the Pakistan Library Automation Group (PakLAG) made some customizations to Koha to help their local libraries perform services with Koha. Learn more about PakLAG Koha on the official site.
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