Koha Newsletter: Volume 3, Issue 6: June 2012

Official Koha Newsletter (ISSN 2153-8328) Subscribe
Volume 3, Issue 6: June 2012


Edited by Daniel Grobani, Koha Community Newsletter Editor.
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Table of Contents

Koha Development

Koha 3.8.2 Released
by Chris Cormack

The Koha community is proud to release Koha version 3.8.2.

This is a bugfix release, and contains a large number of fixes.

You can obtain Koha 3.8.2 here.

Release notes are here.

Koha 3.6.5 Released
by Jared Camins-Esakov

The Koha release team is happy to announce the release of Koha 3.6.5.

This is a stable release and contains bugfixes as well as updated translations.

You can download Koha 3.6.5 here.

Release notes are here.

Koha 3.6.6 Released
by Jared Camins-Esakov

The Koha release team is happy to announce the release of Koha 3.6.6.

This is a stable release and contains bugfixes as well as updated translations.

You can download Koha 3.6.6 here.

Release notes are here.

Koha Statistics

Chris Cormack, unofficial Koha Community Statistics Wizard, has posted statistics for Koha 3.6.5, May bugs & enhancements, Koha 3.8.2, and Koha 3.6.6.

Release Manager Newsletter

Paul Poulain, Koha 3.8 Release Manager, is publishing a monthly newsletter dedicated to Koha 3.8 development. It can be found on the Koha Community website in the Koha News category.

The latest issue is here.

Experimental Support for MARC Records as a Proper Datatype in the PostgreSQL Database
by Marc Balmer

Sitting in one of the nice pubs in Edinburgh during KohaCon, I had this idea to add MARC records as a proper datatype to the PostgreSQL database server. After a discussion with Marc Véron and Dobrica Pavlinusic about what that could mean, I decided to just try it and I have now a basic implementation (or, more a proof of concept). Here is some information on this:

If MARC records are a proper datatype, that means they are stored right in the database, are backed-up, can be restored, replicated, etc., just with the standard database tools. If a function is provided to access individual fields of a MARC record, then this can be used in SQL expressions, e.g. for selects or to create views, etc. As PostgreSQL supports functional indexes, you can create indexes on individual MARC fields, giving you super fast access to your data.

How does it look?

There is a datatype called ‘marc’ for now:

CREATE TABLE books ( id serial, sig varchar(16), marc_record marc );

MARC records are loaded into the database as raw, binary records, encoded in hexadecimal:

INSERT INTO books (sig, marc_record) VALUES (‘a01b’, ‘3030383830…..’);

To access individual MARC fields, the function ‘marc_field()’ was created; it returns VARCHAR:

SELECT id, marc_field(marc_record, ‘020’) AS isbn FROM books WHERE sig = ‘a01b’;

Of course MARC fields can be used to search data:

SELECT id, marc_field(marc_record, ‘020’) AS isbn FROM books WHERE marc_field(marc_record, ‘245’) like ‘whatever%’;

An index on a specific field can easily be created:

CREATE INDEX books_isbn_idx ON books (marc_field(marc_record, ‘020’));

As syntactic sugar, the expression marc_record@’020′ is equal to marc_field(marc_record, ‘020’).

Marijana Glavica kindly let me use a MARC database of ~250,000 records to make some tests, here are some real world examples:

books=# \d test_marc
Table “public.test_marc”
Column | Type | Modifiers
id | integer | not null default nextval(‘test_marc_id_seq’::regclass)
marc21 | marc |

books=# select count(id) from test_marc;
(1 row)

How many Croatian books do they have?

books=# select count(id) from test_marc where substring(marc_field(marc21, ‘008’), 37, 3) = ‘hrv’; count

——- 52582 (1 row)

Of course much more complex queries are possible with this, and using the right indexes it is really, really fast. One query I tested went from 8.4 seconds to 0.21 ms with the right index. That’s a speedup of 40,000 times.

Thanks to Marijana, Dobrica, and Marc for feedback, interesting discussions and ideas!

Feedback and suggestions are of course more than welcome at marc@msys.ch.

Adding VIAF Autosuggest for New NAME Authorities
by Stefano Bargioni

The Pontificia Università della Santa Croce has written a script to enhance authority cataloguing using VIAF.

While adding new authorities of type *NAME, the VIAF catalog can be browsed using its autosuggest API. The script adds a field on top of the /cgi-bin/koha/authorities/authorities.pl page. Typing three or more letters, a popup will be populated with the first ten names. Upon selecting a name, information about the sources of the authority name will be displayed, as well as the full authority record from VIAF, or LC if available.

This is an initial version. The next version will try to copy the VIAF authority record into Koha. Comments and help to bargioni@pusc.it will be appreciated.

Koha Community

New Koha Libraries

  • Bethlehem Public Library (via ByWater Solutions)
  • Cooperative Information Network (via ByWater Solutions)
  • Fresnes-en-Woëvre (via BibLibre)
  • New Zealand Education Institute Te Riu Roa Library (via Catalyst)
  • New Zealand Ministry of Education Library (via Catalyst)
  • Pierrefitte-sur-Aire (via BibLibre)
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (via ByWater Solutions)
  • Spincourt (via BibLibre)
  • Université Rennes 2 (via BibLibre)
  • Valley Automated Library Network (via ByWater Solutions)
  • Vigneulles-les-Hattonchatel (via BibLibre)

Community Gossip

Silvia Giannitrapani, a student of Library and Information Studies at London’s UCL, is researching open source library management systems for her dissertation “Can Koha and other open source library management systems compete with proprietary systems?” To support her research she is inviting Koha community members to share their views and overall satisfaction with Koha in a brief survey. For more information, email silviag@bu.edu.

Four French libraries are now using Koha with Solr.

Nicole Engard has created a version of Koha 3.8 release notes addressed to users and librarians.

A discussion on the Koha-devel list addressed alternatives to having to participate in an IRC meeting in order to vote on a question before the community.

D Ruth Bavousett posted her thoughts on diversity in open-source communities.

Mirko Tietgen has Koha running on a Raspberry Pi, “An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25”. More information is here.

Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, blogged about her experience with setting up Koha.

An RFC on the Koha namespace has been posted to the wiki.

Gaetan Boisson reports that Biblibre recently submitted to the Drupal community an opac module that allows Drupal to connect to Koha (or other ILS’s). More information is here.

Koha-Kobli News
by Domingo Arroyo

The Koha-Kobli release team is happy to announce the second stable release of Koha-Kobli 1.8, based on Koha 3.8. Kobli is a customized version of Koha ILS developed by the Working Group of BAGEs (Spanish General State Authority Libraries). Kobli 1.8 is released in two versions: one for normal installation, and one as a VMware virtual appliance.

Koha-Kobli’s 1.8 download is here. More information is here.

Recent implementations of Koha-Kobli include the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency Library and the Library of the Center for Analysis and Forescasting of the Spanish Civil Guard. More information is here and here.

Past Koha Events

June General IRC Meeting

The June general IRC meeting was held on 13 June 2012.

More information, including the agenda and links to the minutes, is here.


KohaCon12 has come and gone! David Nind (with others) has done an excellent job of updating the conference’s schedule page with lots of links to blog posts, photos, slides, and more. The Hackfest page has also been updated with links to some slides, posts, and tools.

Upcoming Koha Events

July General IRC Meeting

Details on the July general IRC meeting are not yet available as we go to press.


The deadline for posting bids to host KohaCon2013 is almost here. See the conference’s wiki page for the current bids or to add yours.