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Chinmay Mukhopadhyay, Librarian, St. The study aims to develop an understanding about strengths and weaknesses between the two software viz. LibSys4 and Koha 3. Koha software has an extremely user-friendly interface and it is cost effective which makes more challenging to the traditional LMS software like LibSys.
Keywords: LibSys, Koha, Patron, Circulation Introduction: One of the important challenges of the librarians for automating libraries is the selection of good integrated library management system, which caters the needs of the library. Proprietary as well as open source library automation software is available in the market. Most of the libraries are not in a position to buy high priced commercial software due to their financial constraint. LibSys and Koha. The paper is based only on circulation module of LibSys4 and Koha 3.
The paper is mainly concentrated on the day to day experiences gathered out of using the two softwares in the library. It was initially developed in COBOL language but now it is converted into C language and covers all the activities of library related to acquisition, circulation, cataloguing, serial control, articles indexing, abstracting, OPAC, etc.
It has some special characteristics, viz. Koha: Koha is widely used open source software. Koha is the first choice of the librarian who wants to automate library with open source software and those who wants a transition from commercial software to open source software. The software developed initially in New Zealand by Katipo Communications in Apache web server is required to serve the Koha on web.
Perl is the programming language used in Koha. Acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, serial control, report, administration are the basic modules available in Koha. The Library: An Overview The library is the heart of every educational institute which scatters information and knowledge to meet the needs of the user community. All these three departmental libraries were merged into one centralized system since January 16, The St.
Now, the library is fully automated using barcode and RFID technology to issue and return books with the help of open source library software Koha. In this library open access system is followed. Problems encountered during day to day transactions in St.
Circulation module of LibSys and Koha: An Observation Below is a detailed discussion of our observations for some of the functional areas in the circulation module. Circulation through Koha: Circulation work in a library involves a group of operations that are specific, repetitive and systematic.
Circulation systems through Koha require minimum set of essential data for carrying out circulation activities.
Circulation systems are designed to capture and manipulate three kinds of datasets i. Lost, Damaged, Hold etc. Circulation through LibSys: The circulation system is the most important function of LibSys as it provides for all the front-desk operations of a library. The circulation system facilitates the registration of members, maintenance of their status, knowing about the status of titles in the library, maintenance of the database, inter library loan, collection of fine from members and online searches.
Before starting the use of the circulation system, some parameters can be set by the system setup function of this module. The major difference here is that Koha forces the administrator to choose the patron category under which the patron will be added. This might appear beneficial; however, when the list of patron category becomes very long it may become difficult to handle.
The structure of the form is different in the two softwares. Koha has one long form whereas in LibSys it has two sections. One very useful function that both the software have is to generate duplicate record notification; in Koha it will be based on any two of the three fields namely first name and surname and card no and whereas in LibSys membership no i. Alt ID is sufficient to get the notification. Both in LibSys and Koha login and password are automatically generated if it is left blank.
During member creation in Koha access privilege of the staff member is also to be set up. For any modification, in LibSys category of the patron can never be changed. In LibSys during member registration parent child concept so far as the privileges of circulation rules of staff members is not there, which is available in Koha. In Koha for patron registration there is no group under category concept, this facility is, however, available in LibSys.
Koha searches patron card number and name fields whereas, LibSys searches using ID no i. Alt ID and name fields. Both handle partial inputs in searchable fields. Enter the member card no or name of the user. Document will be issued to the user. In the case of LibSys only for overdue items a note will appear. In LibSys when the borrowing capacity crosses the maximum limit, the check out facility will be disabled.
Check-in: In Koha, a document can be returned using check-in option. In LibSys at the time of return library staff can change status of the document i. In Koha after returning the borrowed document only cataloguer can change the status of the document.
In Koha all borrowed items can be returned at a time but in LibSys it is not possible. Renewal: Figure 3 — Renewal Screen in Koha Renewal of items from the patron account is a more user-friendly option. In Koha, renewal status and renewal options appear beside checked out items in the patron account area assuming that online renewal is turned on.
In both the software item wise renewal is possible and system generated due date can be changed manually; whereas in Koha all borrowed items can be renewed at a time but in LibSys it is not possible.
Both the software allows grace period during fine calculation. Hence fine calculation becomes more complicated in the presence of complex calendars. In Koha directly bills edit not possible unless reversing. It will be transferred to the destination library. This utility does not display any list or information about the item s ; it simply changes the holding location.
Circulation can take place even when server is off. Later, the same can be uploaded to update the circulation detail in Koha. In LibSys there is no off line circulation module. Finding and Observation: LibSys Vs. Koha LibSys allows module and sub - module specific privileges to staff. It is possible to ensure a high level of security in the use of functional modules, based on privileges for library staff.
This was not seen in Koha. Koha does not have this feature. This is useful and required in public library networks. Status and availability of a particular document we can easily identify from any branch library.
By default LibSys excludes holidays in due date calculations. Conclusion: Koha software has an extremely user-friendly interface and it is cost effective which makes more challenging to the traditional LMS software like LibSys. The unique feature of the browser-based facility of the software means that multiple operations can be performed at a time. Ultimately, only specialized staff with appropriate knowledge and skills in programming knowledge can operate these specialised functions.
Acknowledgement: The authors gratefully acknowledge the valuable suggestions received from Mr. Abhishek Shaw, Avior Technologies Pvt.
Ltd, Kolkata. Reference: 1. Mukhopadhyay, P. Library automation through Koha. Kolkata, West Bengal: Prava Prakashani. Related Papers.
Koha 3. By Nicole C Baratta. Bsad- project report. By samah kp. By Md. Mizanur Rahman. By Wasim Rahaman and Sourav Patra.
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