Koha Community Newsletter: May 2018

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May 2018

Volume 9, Issue 5
ISSN 2153-8328
Edited by Chad Roseburg, Koha Community Newsletter Editor

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Table of Contents


Koha 18.05 Released

by Jonathan Druart
It is with great pleasure that the Koha community announces the release of Koha 18.05, a major release of the Koha open source integrated library system.

Koha 18.05.00 is a major release, that comes with many new features.

It includes 12 new features, 257 enhancements, 360 bugfixes.

Read the full release notes here: https://koha-community.org/koha-18-05-released/

If you do not usually read the release notes, you should at least read the new “Important notes” section at the top.

The Debian packages for this new version will be available soon. Stay tuned!

They are supposed to work out-of-the-box on: * Debian Jessie (8) * Debian Stretch (9) * Ubuntu Xenial (16.04 LTS) And should work without too much trouble under Ubuntu Bionic (18.04 LTC), check the install wiki page for more information.

Koha 17.11.06 Released

by Nick Clemens
The Koha community is proud to announce the release of 17.11.06. This is a maintenance release and contains many bugfixes and enhancements.

This is my sixth and last release as the 17.11.x release maintainer, good luck to Frido in continuing. Thank you very much to everyone who helped along the way.

Koha 17.11.06 is a bugfix/maintenance release.

It includes 4 enhancements, 35 bugfixes.

Read the full release notes

Koha 17.05.12 Released

by Fridolin Somers
The Koha community is proud to announce the release of Koha 17.05.12.

Koha 17.05.12 is a bugfix/maintenance release.

It includes 1 enhancement, 22 bugfixes.

Read the full release notes


Community Gossip

Excellent article from Galen Charlton on being wrong, wrong, wrong.

New Koha Libraries

Koha Tips and Tricks

by Alex Buckley, Koha Junior Developer at Catalyst IT
Koha is a Library Management System used worldwide by approximately 15,000 libraries. The Koha team at Catalyst are passionate about using Koha and helping libraries (big and small!) get the most out of their Koha LMS.

On 22nd March Whanganui Libraries hosted the 2018 New Zealand Koha User Group day. This event took full advantage of the wealth of Koha knowledge brought together in one room, by running sessions ranging from Q & A to U.X./design enhancement and bug fixing to consortium history sessions. In the first instalment of our ‘Koha Tips & Tricks’ series, here are a few questions that came up and the learnings over the user group day.

1. How do I add or modify text and styling on the Koha OPAC main page?

The OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) is the publicly accessible interface of Koha. If you want to have a very swish looking OPAC, you may wish to have a designer/programmer set this up for you, but you could try some parts out for yourself too. As well as being styleable, the OPAC main page can have custom content added to it which is something someone with a basic knowledge of HTML code can do, here’s how:

System preferences are configurable settings that control how Koha works, if you don’t know the code you need you could take a look at this list of code examples to pick a change you would like to see. The below diagram illustrates which system preferences edit each region of the OPAC main page.

Sign in to your Koha intranet

Go to Administration->Global system preferences->OPAC

Scroll down to find your chosen system preference or you can search for the system preference in the search box at the top of the page.

Put your HTML code (found from a website as above if you don’t know it) into the system preference to add content to its OPAC region.

Save your changes.

For a more detailed explanation of each system preference go to the OPAC Configuration section of the Koha manual.

2. How do I get a new language added to the OPAC and staff client of my Koha (eg Te reo Māori)

Once you have had a developer install the language package to your Koha instance, you will need to follow a few steps to turn it on:

  1. Go to Administration, click ‘System preferences’
  2. Click the I18N/L10N tab on the left hand side, down a bit in the list
  3. Look for the preference OPACLanguages and tick the box next to Te reo Māori. Do the same for the language preference.
  4. Look for the preference opaclanguagesdisplay, and set this to Allow.

Your users should now be able to switch between English and Māori on both the OPAC and staff client. The switcher button will turn up at the very bottom of the page as highlighted below.

3. How can library staff and patrons who don’t know how to code still contribute to the Koha project?

Knowing your work is included in a worldwide project being used by thousands of libraries is a very motivating and exciting prospect. A good way for engaging library patrons is for them to contribute to the Koha translation project, where they can translate English content on Koha pages to whichever language they are experts in. Once translated text is submitted to the project, it will be pushed upstream and integrated into Koha, so libraries that update to new versions will show your personal work in their live Koha system!

Here’s how:

1. Log in to Koha Translation Project

  • http://translate.koha-community.org/ sign up as a new user
  • check your email and click on the link sent to you to verify your new account
  • You are now a member of the Koha Translation Project and should now see a screen similar to the one shown below:

2. Select a Koha version or manual link (highlighted)

3. Select which non-english language link you want to translate to, for example Turkish.

4. A list of files with completion progress bars is displayed. Hover over the progress bars to learn what percentage complete they are and select a file to translate which is less than 100% complete, i.e. the green colour is not spanning the whole progress bar.

5. Scroll down and click on the ‘Continue translation’ link (highlighted in the below screenshot)

6. Translate the English text after the final hash # symbol.

This means translate the text including the code tag (which in the below screenshot is
) to your selected language, which in this case is Turkish. Please note in the below screenshot highlighted in yellow the English text to be translated. Write the Turkish translation in the input box.

7. Select the ‘Submit’ button

You have now submitted a translation to the Koha translation project!

4. I’ve heard people talking about a ‘carousel’ what is it and what can it do?

A carousel is a very cool moving display that slides side-to-side, showing the cover images of your library’s newly added catalogue items. Here is an example from Rangitikei Libraries, you can have a play on the live version here.

A carousel is something that you will need to have a developer install and configure for you, but you will be able to make the following decisions about the functioning and look of your carousel as these settings are configurable:

  • -Number of cover images displayed
  • -Speed of the carousel automatic slideshow
  • -Whether you want arrows on the left and right of the carousel so that users can skip through the carousel faster than the automatic speed
  • -Size of the cover images in the carousel
  • -Whether you want the carousel to play automatically
  • -How often the carousel updates with the newly added items.

Learn more about Koha at Catalyst

Upcoming Events

June General IRC Meeting

The June General IRC meeting will be held May 2nd at 21:00 UTC.

The agenda, links to the minutes, and other information is here.

June Developers IRC Meeting

The June Developers IRC meeting will be held May 9th at 14:00 UTC.

The agenda, links to the minutes, and other information is here.

June Documentation IRC Meeting

The June Documentation IRC meeting will be held May 9th at 21:00 UTC.

The agenda, links to the minutes, and other information is here.

Past Events

Poetry: My Favorite Tools

by Fred King
Fred King, Medical Librarian at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and koha-US Member-at-Large presented Koha Rap during a session on “My Favorite Tools” at the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting on Sunday, 20 May 2018, in Atlanta Georgia. The full text can be found at:
As with Koha itself, users are encouraged to download, use, and modify the text for their own silly purposes. Introverts like the author will find performing this work to be especially enervating.

One Month Advance Level Training of Koha & DSpace

by Sher Afzal


The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) organized one month extensive workshop for the IT and other officer of National Assemblies Staff. The training workshop on Koha & DSpace was started from April 02 to 06, 2018 at PIPS Islamabad. There were 45 sessions in totality and each session lasted for 60 minutes. This was the 1st ever comprehensive workshop on Koha & DSpace in Pakistan. Mr. Sher Afzal Khan lead trainer of Open Source was the key resource person of the one month long Koha & DSpace training.

Miss Irum Deputy Director training and coordinator of the workshop delivered the welcome address highlighting the objectives of this workshop. The Executive Director PIPS Mr Zafrullah Khan highlighted in the inaugural address emphasized the need to organize such IT training activities for professional development of IT and librarians working in different department in Assemblies. He further highlighted that organizing such like comprehensive hands on training workshop for the IT and Library professional will improve the status of adopting new technologies in all type of organizations.

The workshop was attended by IT and library professionals working in different sections of parliamentary affairs departments. Different modules of the training were briefly discussed. The training was start from the basic modules of Linux, Installations of Koha, DSpace.

The LIBSOL Package, were introduce to the participants which contain a complete library solutions Koha and DSpace Latest and updated version. The others modules were comprehensively discussed and hands on training sessions were given to all the participants. The Complete Knowledge on MARC 21, OAI-PMH, Dublin Core Metadata, Different modules of was discussed with practical demonstration. Basics of DSpace software were demonstrated and explained as to how this software could be applied for building of databases and creation of digital repositories. The Resource Person Mr Sher Afzal explains that software development and computer technology are shifting and developing at an incredibly rapid pace. The library automations and digitation has become a bare necessity for all kind of libraries. Koha has the distinction of being the first open source integrated library management system, which includes all the main functions related to library management. It is web-based open source software distributed under the general public license. Koha supports windows as well as Linux platform. The first version of it was released in year 2000. The ‘KOHA Development Team’ offers to host the website for KOHA library system on its server. KOHA also has the capacity to manage digital libraries and online and offline electronic resources. KOHA is web-based Integrated Library Management System (ILS), with a SQL database (My SQL preferred) backend with cataloguing data stored in MARC and accessible via Z39.50. The user interface is very configurable and adaptable and has been translated into many languages.

He further explains that DSpace is an open source software package that provides the tools for management of digital assets, and is commonly used as the basis for an institutional repository. It supports a wide variety of data, including books, theses, and 3D digital scans of objects, photographs, film, video, research data sets and other forms of content. The data is arranged as community collections of items, which bundle bit streams together. D-Space is also intended as a platform for digital preservation activities.

D-Space was released by HP-MIT Alliance in 2002 and since its release is very popular open source software. It has been installed and successfully working extensively and widely in universities, higher education colleges, cultural organizations, and research centers etc. It is shared under a Berkeley Software Distribution license, which enables users to customize or extend the software as needed.

Scope of the Training:

This one month long advance level training workshop address the issues being facing by the IT and Library Professionals in various Government organization especially National Assemblies during day to day library operations. The hands on training provide a platform to implement both the software in their libraries.


Open Source Software is an effective way to automate library operations without undertaking substantial financial investment. Libraries are taking up Open Source Software as a way to reduce the costs of expensive commercial products and as a viable alternative to the often expensive proprietary library automation systems. “The benefits of Open Source Software can potentially reduce costs; give users more control and increase software performance” (Courant and Griffiths, 2006). Librarians need to understand open source license for promotion the use of Open Source Software. This is the only way to face the challenges posed by commercial software in the market. It will also increase the autonomy and control of the professional over software solutions. In conclusion, the advent of open source library software has ushered in a revolution in the field of library and information resources management, and has become popular choice for most library and information professionals.

Objectives of Workshop:

This long workshop was planning to provide the best source of implantations of Koha and DSpace Software in all Parliamentary Assemblies Libraries of Pakistan and to make the Union Catalogue of all Parliamentary libraries. The key objectives were:

  1. To develop a strategy of advance feature of Koha and DSpace for the IT professionals.
  2. To introduce the LINUX operating system to the IT and library professionals.
  3. To acquaint the participants with the installation of Koha & DSpace.
  4. Provides tremendous freedom for customization of all modules of LMS including Acquisition, Cataloguing, Circulation, OPAC, Membership Management, System, Administration, Serial Control, etc are available
  5. Help participants to develop necessary skills in installation, server and client configuration, system parameter setting, MARC 21 cataloguing and DMA (Digital Media Archiving) management.
  6. Ability to cope up with any number of Branches, Patrons, Patron Categories, Item Categories, Currencies and other data.
Training Outcomes:

After successful completion of this training the participants will be able to:

  1. This training will enable IT and LIS professional to implement Koha and DSpace in their respective libraries.
  2. Train the trainees in the use of Koha and DSpace Digital Library (GSDL) Software.
  3. Deploy / Install Koha & DSpace on your own computer /server Learn basic commands of Linux which may be helpful to use and customize Koha and other FOSS software more effectively Configure / customize Koha and DSpace according to your needs Learn the advanced features of Koha, GSDL and DSpace.
    Content of the Training Programme “Koha”
  • Module 1 – Introduction to Information and Communication Technologies
  • Module 2 – Introduction to Library Automation
  • Module 2 – Digital Libraries and Open Access
  • Module 4 – Introductions to Linux with Important Commands
  • Module 5 – Introduction to LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl)
  • Module 6 – Koha Architecture, Staff Client, User Interface, Core Code, Templates and Design, Intranet
  • Module 7 – Koha Installation, Configurations, <koha Upgradition, Customizations, Live DVDs of FullStack Solation “LIBSOL Complete Library Solation’s.
  • Module 8 – Installations on Server, downloading the DVD, Deployment on Server. PC and Laptop etc.
  • Module 9 – Setting Global System Preferences Module
  • Module 10 – Koha Basic Operating Parameters Module
  • Module 11 – Patron and Circulation Parameters Module
  • Module 12 – Catalog Parameters Module
  • Module 13 – Acquisition parameters Module
  • Module 14 – Koha Circulation module
  • Module 15 – Koha Serials Module
  • Module 16 – Koha Tools Module
  • Module 17 – Koha Reports Module
  • Module 18 – OPAC Module
  • Module19 – Staff Client
  • Module 20 – Backups/ Through command and Manual , Koha Support, Data migrations to Koha , Import data to koha, export data from koha , Cron Jobs
  • Module 21 – Digitization of Parliamentary Libraries- ideas and Technologies , Parliamentary research and library services Challenges, Parliamentary Library Clients/Users, Useful Research databases, websites etc., taking the next steps for Parliamentary Libraries:
    • New technology for parliamentary library
    • Digitization, Automations and ICT
    • 21st Century Preliminary library services
    Content of the Training Programme DSpace Modules
  • Module 1 – An introduction to DSpace
  • Module 2 – What can DSpace be used for
  • Module 3 – What does DSpace look like
  • Module 4 – Customizing the Dspae item submission
  • Module 5 – Overview of import and export functionally
  • Module 6 – Introductions to community
  • Module 7 – How to create Dspace User
  • Module 8 – Important command of DSpace
  • Module 9 – Backup and Restorations of Dspace
  • Module 10 – Data management and entry of different type of items
  • Module 11 – Instructions to Data Management
  • Module 12 – DSpace Administrator introductions
  • Module 13 – E User Management
  • Module 14 – Introductions to different file and entry

About the Trainer:

Mr Sher Afzal Khan is a key resource person for Koha and DSpace in Pakistan and organized 86 workshops in Pakistan. He is also the approved trainer of Higher Education Commission Pakistan on Open Source Software and pioneer country Ambassador for Pakistan. He successfully implanted Koha and DSpace in 43 plus organization/Universities within Pakistan. He is also running the official blogs and Facebook page and provides free assistance and gaudiness to koha and DSpace users in Pakistan as well as globally. He also participate activity in kohacon 16 and kohacon 17 conference as speaker and represent Pakistan. He also organized Pakistan Open Sauce Summit in which a large number of people participated. Free and Open Source Software is his area of expertise/research. He is also the founder of LIBSOL (Complete Library Solution) packages which is available free of cost for everyone. The LIBSOL can be found at the following link:

Latest Version of Koha & DSpace Live DVD “LiBSol Version 3.2.1” Pakistan

The link of his blogs and other voluntary Facebook page are as follows:

  1. The Link of Official Blogs of Koha and Dspace Pakistan
  2. The link of Facebook page for Koha and Dspace Pakistan
  3. https://www.facebook.com/sher.a.yousafzai
  4. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sher-afzal-13647248/
  5. http://opensourcesummit.pk/

May General IRC Meeting

The May general IRC meeting was held on the 2nd at 21:00 UTC.

The agenda, links to the minutes, and other information is here.

May Development IRC Meeting

The May development IRC meeting was held May 9th at 14:00 UTC.

The agenda, links to the minutes, and other information is here.

May Documentation IRC meeting

The May documentation IRC meeting was held May 9th at 21:00 UTC.

The agenda, links to the minutes, and other information is here.


Editor, Koha Community Newsletter