Brooke has done a fantastic email about the upcoming Kohacon, and has given me permission to post it here, so here it is.


You might not have realised it, being neck deep in the hypnotising pages of your AACR2R, or perhaps your tawdry RDA, but

There’s a Conference!


It’s happening where the tricksy Hobbitses live!

Yeah, yeah, I know the lame yet understandable and valid excuses you’re about to spout about it being very, very, very far indeed as well as quite expensive. But here’s how I look at it. I am young right now at this very moment. Folks that I served committee with have since taken the West Road, so now is the best time to reward myself with the trip of a lifetime, seeing as how I have no terrible lower back pain, fake knees, heart conditions, et cetera. Also, Chris has hauled hisself to the US who knows how many times on our account, not to mention totally missed the millennial New Years programming Koha. Consider the same for Paul, and think about how bad the US will look if we don’t play nicely with the other Koha kids that swim many miles of rough choppy dolphin infested current to come and visit us every time we put on a conference.

If you know me at all, you know at least three things

1) I am painfully cheap. Some people think that it’s frugal or Foolish, but I see it as cheap.
2) I am quite stubborn and will spend a very long time indeed handling a Reference question or researching summat.
3) I can be quite squirrelly and do not generally enjoy being pent up in confined spaces, such as airplanes, for prolonged periods of time.

If I can get mahself to NZ, so can you.

Und nao, to ze point.

I finally broke down this very morning and secured passage to NZ. While trying to figure out the cheapest/fastest/best way to get there, I learnt many things. I considered just about every option – private jet, freight on a steamer, becoming an air courier, upgrading my tickets, swimming from one island to the next, et cetera. Hopefully some of these are useful to other people that haven’t yet booked their trip.

* You’re prolly gonna have to fly through Los Angeles. (LAX) That said, it was very much worth flying cheaply from the right coast to the left coast. I had daydreams about taking Amtrak at one point, but I didn’t want to super duper prolong the inevitable. So, went with Southwest from my backyard to LAX for $250 roundtrip. Be extra super duper careful when you break up travel to LA, as you’re wrestling with the dreaded International Date Line, not to mention connecting flights. Large mice have been spotted in a neighbourhood known as Disneyland about a half hour to an hour south of the city, so mind your purse and any cheese you might have on your person. In theory, you could win a sky auction from LAX to WLG for about $900, but I’ve never done it myself before, and I didn’t want to experiment this time round.

Tagged with:

It is with a sense of pride that Horowhenua Library Trust launched its new Koha library management system late last week, the public face of which is the new website:

The new site is built on the Koha 3.2 Alpha2 release and the work was led by Chris Cormack from Catalyst IT. The site features the work of Wendy Hodder, renowned children’s book illustrator and muralist. The site development was carried out by the team at Katipo Communications and incorporates digital content from a Library Trust Kete, an open source digital library application developed by Walter McGinnis at Katipo for the Library Trust.

Koha is an open source library management system originally developed by Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand in 1999. The Trust would like to acknowledge and thank the many libraries and developers from around the world who have contributed to Koha 3.2.

Lars Wirzenius has been working on packaging Koha for Debian, and has set up an apt repository at  From his email to koha-devel:

I have built some Debian packages for Koha, and configured an apt
repository for them at, kindly set up by
Galen. Right now, only I can upload packages to the repository, but if
that turns out to be a problem, we’ll add an upload queue later. This
way, we got something to work now.

See for instructions.

Note that the repository and the packages are ALPHA level. I have tested
them a bit locally, but I do not know if they will work for anyone else.
Also, I may have forgotten some important steps from the documentation.
Please notify me of any problems, I will attempt to fix them promptly.

DO NOT install this on a production server. It will break things.

There are two packages:

* koha, if you just want a Koha up an running
* koha-common, if you want to host several Koha instances

Either way, you’ll need to do some post-installation configuration. I
have not attempted to make the Debian packages configure everything
automatically, or to use debconf to ask questions from the user and use
the answers to configure things. At least at this stage, I think it is
better to go for something simple that works.

As Lars says, this is experimental and should not be used for production systems, but if you want to test the Koha package, you can do so by following the instructions in the README.

Waswa has done a fantastic write up on the work to automate the National Library in Malawi using Koha.

They are well underway and have just completed 4 days of training. I encourage people to read the full article and send them all your best wishes.

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This arrived via email with a request to post it to the Koha site:

This is a call for participation in a survey about technical support for your Integrated Library System. This survey is part of a research project, funded by IMLS, comparing the technical support of Open Source Integrated Libary Systems with technical support of proprietary Integrated Library Systems.

This is the second survey for the project. In first survey we collected data regarding expectations of libarians for the technical support of thier ILS. If you participated in that survey Thank you very much for your participation. We really appreciate the informative, quick and large number of responses we got!!!

Now, we invite you to participate in the second survey which is assessing the effectiveness of your current ILS technical support. We will then compare this current status to the expectations to idenify any gaps or accolades!

If you are willing to participate in this study and fill the survey, please follow the link below:

If you know of anyone who would be interested in the study or taking the survey please direct them to this site where they can fill the public survey.

You can also direct any queries or suggestions to with the subject “ILS Survey” in the subject line.

We really appreciate your time and support and look forward to reporting back the results from this study!

The OSS Lib Tech Team

Principle Investigator
Vandana Singh, PhD
Assistant Professor,
School of Information Sciences,
University of Tennessee Knoxville,
449 Communications Bldg.
1345 Circle Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-0341

The next official release of 3.0 is now available for download at According to Henri-Damien Laurent, the Koha 3.0 Release Maintainer, Koha 3.0.6 has over 100 patches to fix bugs and enhancements.
You can download one of two versions of Koha 3.0.6, the one with all of the translations, or the English only version.
Head over to the official Koha Download page to grab the most recent release if you don’t already have it!!

Official Koha Newsletter (ISSN 2153-8328)
Volume 1, Issue 5: May 2010

Table of Contents


I just sent an email to the koha-devel list, outlining my plan for integrating the code in PTFS’ public repository into mainline Koha. With the eye to it being included in the 3.4 release.

Hi All

I'm sure most of you are aware that on May 10 (us time), PTFS made a
whole pile of their hitherto private changes public in the form of a
public git repo.

Galen (as Release Manager for 3.2) has gone through them and marked
the ones that are able to be included in 3.2 and in fact in the last
day we have integrated most of those. But since we are well inside
feature freeze, the new features need to wait for 3.4 (along with
everyone else's new features).

So it becomes part of my responsibility (as RM for 3.4) to work on the
integration of them, new features from everyone else, and to make sure
the work on things like C4::Search, C4::Languages, DBIx::Class, etc
which are slated for 3.4 doesn't get lost.

To that end, we have a wiki page where we
will be tracking integration. What my plan is, is to get each of the
features isolated into a branch based off master. Then QA (Colin) can
look at them and make any recommendations needed. Once they pass QA,
then I will apply the usual RM rules: does this feature or bugfix
cause any regressions, does it change the default behaviour in
unexpected ways, and so on. Then if problems are found they can be
fixed and the code resubmitted for inclusion.

Just to reiterate, there is no special treatment involved here, the
same rules that apply for every other developer apply, what makes this
different is that there are just a big pile of commits to work through
at one time.

Here is a feature branch  that I have created  by cherry-picking the
relevant code from the ptfs/Bug3469 branch.;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/new_features_ptfs_lost_cards

I'm hoping that PTFS can help creating these branches, but anyone can
do so at let me know where to pull from. They need to have the changes
isolated if possible and be based on new_features. (Which at the
moment tracks master). The faster we can get these feature branches
created, the sooner we will be able to step through the next parts of
If there are dependencies - and I have been warned granular
permissions is a prerequisite for a lot of the new features - this
should be noted clearly on the wiki page.

If we have the features isolated as much as possible, then they can be
integrated independently, which would mean that one features' failure
to meet the test for inclusion would not stop all the others being
included. So this is our first step. It also allows people to merge
that feature and test it only.

Looking forward to having many of you helping create these branches :)

Chris Cormack
RM Koha 3.4

The default password for the kohaadmin user is katikoan. When running Makefile.PL, you will see this prompt:

“Please specify the password of the user that owns the
database to be used by Koha [katikoan]”

Rather than hitting the enter key and moving along, take a moment to change this password to something different and something strong. Remember, every person who has ever installed Koha knows the default username and password. Furthermore, according to one researcher, it only takes about 58 hours to crack an 8 alphabetic character lower-case password using software and non-dictionary words. If you cannot think of a strong, unique password, you can create a few which no one will guess here.

Remember to create your database user with the same username/password combination you selected during the Makefile.PL run. If you need to change the username and/or password at a later time be sure to change it in both koha-conf.xml and in the database. For more information on how to change the username/password in MySQL, see any of the INSTALL files that come with the source of Koha. You may also view one here.

Good security is always a wise investment, and implementation of this recommendation will cost you only a few minutes.

Marathi Grantha Sangrahalaya, Thane, Maharashtra, India a 100+ year old public library has decided to dump its proprietary ILS and migrate to Koha. It’s OPAC  has been available on Koha as part of the union catalouge project for over a year. Now they have chosen to completely migrate to Koha by adapting it for daily use in their library and branches.
Anant Corporation a Koha support provider has been chosen for this task of migration, user training and support as they have been maintaining the union catalouge based on koha with over 550000 books and 14 participating libraries. Also Anant Corporation have in the past successfully migrated public libraries such as Dombivali Grantha Sangrahalaya.