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Library Automation Software – Koha
Author:
Dr. Susan Mathew K
Dr. Susan Mathew K
  • Literary Analysis
  • 30-04-2022
Library Automation Software – Koha
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Library Automation Software – Koha

By Dr. Susan Mathew k

 

Library Automation refers to the application of information and communication technology (ICT) to computerize the services of modern libraries. Library automation is a term used to replace a manual system in the library. An integrated library system comprises of a common database sharing all the operations of a library system. With the help of computers and latest communication technologies, many repetitive jobs can be avoided in library operations. An integrated library management system can be a part of the local intranet or it can be installed in a standalone system. In a typical automated environment library management software helps to automate all the activities of the library. viz: acquisition process, cataloguing, circulation management, serials control, inter library loan and services of online public access catalogue (OPAC).

         A Library Management Software (LMS) forms the focal point of an automated library system. These LMSs are usually based on relational database management system. In such a system any change or deletion will affect all the modules of the LMS.

         Several open source and proprietary library management softwares are available today. Open-source library management softwares like KOHA, can be freely downloaded from the website of KOHA (https://koha-community.org). With some amount of training, a library professional can manage a library system using KOHA software. Other examples are E-Granthalaya (NIC), Libsys (Libsys Corporation), SOUL (INFLIBNET Centre) etc.

 

KOHA Integrated Library Software (ILS)

 

Koha, an open-source ILS, was first released in the year 2000. It is the first free open-source library management software. It was developed by Katipo Communications Limited of Wellington, New Zealand. The software was first implemented in the public library system of New Zealand. The software is supported by a Koha community with a worldwide base. New versions with updated features are continuously released in every six months.

The base of KOHA software is LAMP architecture, in which L depicts Linux, A-Apache web server, M-MYSQL database management system and P- PERL. The application of Web 2.0 tools, OPAC accessibility in more than 25 languages, support for social networking, are some of the unique features of KOHA.

 

Important modules of KOHA include:

 

  1. System Administration: This module helps to define the different settings for each module. For e.g., defining the users in a specific library.

 

  1. Circulation: All functions of the circulation section can be automated using the circulation module. For e.g., Issue and return, overdue, reminders, facilities for reservation, integration with barcode scanners, RFID system etc. are enabled in this module.

 

  1. Acquisition:  Setting of different library budgets, allocating funds to different departments, generating details of suppliers are all managed in the module.

 

  1. Cataloguing: Data entry of purchased books, both printed and online, is easily managed through this module, which can also be integrated with Library of Congress, British library and other global cataloguing resources in MARC 21 format, using Z39.50 protocol.

 

  1. Serials Module: The processing of journals and periodicals is controlled in this module. This allows the management of serials and back volumes, automatic issue of reminders, subscription management etc. It is linked to the cataloguing and acquisition module.

 

  1. Reports: A library needs different types of reports regarding statistics of books, circulation statistics, with provision of sorting and filtering of results. Various types of customized reports can be generated in this module according to the needs of the parent institution.

 

  1. OPAC or Online Public Access Catalogue:  OPAC is a helpful resource for any library to search for the required documents according to the users’ needs. Different types of searches using keyword, subject author, title, class number, advanced and simple search options are provided in OPAC module. The module also has options for individual user login. 
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