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: