Koha (software)

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This article is about Koha, the Integrated Library System. For other meanings of Koha, see Koha (disambiguation).
Developed by Katipo Communications Ltd.
Initial release January 2000
Latest release 3.0.1 / February 19, 2009
Preview release -
Type Integrated library system
License GNU General Public License
Website www.koha.org

Koha is an integrated library system (ILS) and was the first open source ILS. Koha was created in 1999 by Katipo Communications for the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand. The first installation went live in January of 2000.


[edit] Features

Koha has most of the features that would be expected in an ILS, including:

  • Simple, clear interface for librarians and members (patrons)
  • Customizable search
  • Circulation and borrower management
  • Cataloging module with integrated Z39.50 client
  • Full acquisitions system including budgets and pricing information (including supplier and currency conversion)
  • Simple acquisitions system for the smaller library
  • Ability to cope with any number of branches, patrons, patron categories, item categories, items, currencies and other data
  • Serials system for magazines or newspapers
  • Reading lists for members

[edit] History

Koha was created in 1999 by Katipo Communications for the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand. The first installation went live in January of 2000.

In 2001, Paul Poulain (of Marseille, France) began adding new features to Koha, most significantly support for multiple languages. Koha has been translated from its original English into French, Chinese, Arabic and several other languages. It supports the international records and cataloguing standards MARC and Z39.50 which was added by Paul Poulain in 2002. Sponsorship for MARC and Z39.50 support was taken up by the Nelsonville Public Library.

In 2005, an Ohio-based company, LibLime, was established to support Koha and they have been adding new features, including integrating support for Zebra, a high speed contextual database that has dramatically increased the speed of searches within Koha as well as improved the scalability of the system (can now support tens of millions of bibliographic records). The addition of Zebra integration was sponsored by the Crawford County Federated Library System.

[edit] Development

Koha version 3.0 was released on August 11, 2008. Its new features include a new user interface design, more advanced search functions, better multi-branch capabilities, user tagging, and many generic enhancements.

[edit] Obtaining Koha

Koha version 3.0.0 may be downloaded from the official Koha page along with the 3.0.0 release notes. Extensive documentation is available from kohadocs.org and the Koha manual as well as the Koha Wiki.

See Requirements below.

[edit] License

Koha is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

[edit] Requirements

[edit] Server

The server-side of Koha is written in Perl and requires:

  • Perl
  • Apache Web Server (2.0 is preferred)
  • MySQL Server 4.1 or later (4.1 to properly handle encoding)
  • Perl modules for some functions

[edit] Client

[edit] Web browser

The OPAC interface side of Koha is written in XHTML with CSS 2.0, uses PNG graphics and will display correctly in any operating system under any browser that follows CSS 2.0.

The librarians' interface has similar requirements, but it requires a Javascript-enabled browser to work correctly.

[edit] Koha and Windows

Koha works primarily under Linux. Theoretically it can also work under Windows. Under Windows however, it requires the complicated installation of several modules which have to be downloaded from elsewhere on the internet, which come under versions which have changed since the publication of the documentation provided with Koha.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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