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Implementing the open source integrated library system Koha into the

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centres Library


LIS 503: Emerging Technologies - University at Buffalo

Jessica Generoux

Table of Contents
Purpose, Description and Objectives .. ...2
Projected Solutions....3
Integration Challenges: A Budget Overview....5 - 7
Evaluation Criteria ....7
Illustration 1:......8

The integrated modules of Koha function as one to enhance the information delivery of users requests at the SICC
Citations ...9

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (SICC) is an cultural education institute managed by
representatives from the cultural groups of Saskatchewan that protect, preserve and promote the culture
and languages of the First Nations people, which are swampy Cree, woodlands Cree, Plains Cree, Dakota,
Lakota, Nakoda, Nahkawe (Saulteaux) and Dene. SICC is evaluating their library and information
services and seeking a recommendation for a current and updated, low-cost Integrated Library System
(ILS) that will fit both their needs and budget. Currently, SICC uses LexWin, which is not meeting the
needs of the cultural centre. SICC is also looking towards a digitized future of their library services, with
the need to digitize their oral history currently stored in hard copies for over 50 years. An open source
integrated library software system called Koha provides an ideal solution. Koha is a low-cost and highly
functional open source software licensed by GLA that is widely supported and continuously developed
and maintained by librarians, for libraries worldwide. With Kohas versatile web-based system, it also has
impressive features that organized and harmonize all the functions of a library as well as provide an userfriendly online catalogue.

Purpose, Description and Objectives

Purpose: Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (SICC) currently operates their library and information
services department using LexWin. The Board of Governors of the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre
expressed their concern with the current state of the library. Three main areas were identified in the last
board meeting held in June 2015. They stated that 1) the collection was inaccessible to online users 2)
from a staff evaluation, the current system is not user-friendly and is outdated. 3) Increased organization
and productivity needs to be implemented according to library standards. SICC would like to take full
responsibility of implementation and maintenance of a new integrated library system.
Description: According to the Koha website, Koha is an open source software, which means there is no
high cost or restrictive license agreement to adhere to. Although the code for Koha is free and accessible,
implementing Koha is relatively easy according to case studies of other library implementation programs1
. Koha is highly supported program has an impressive list of features that makes it the most appealing
choice for SICC to implement as their new Integrated Library System. Koha will provide a system that
will manage the collection, patrons, circulation, acquisitions, serials and an OPAC and reporting
templates. Koha has a dual database design that can meet the transaction load of a small or large library.
SICC Library has over 5,050 items catalogued and will need to exporting from LexWin and imported into
Koha ILS. The web-based interface of Koha is based on standards compliant WWW technologies,
XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript that makes it flexible into any existing system.
Objectives: Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centres Board of Governors identified the three main
problems of the current system that are inaccessibility, unsustainable current software and disorganized
system. The solutions of Koha increasing accessibility through its web-based OPAC, implementing
Kohas impressive dual database structure and organizing the SICC Library with Kohas management
modules that operate the delivery of all the functions of a library.

Ahammad, N. (2014) Implementing the Koha integrated library system at the Independent University, Bangladesh,

Timeline: 9 - 12 months
Phase 1: Discovery and Planning 3 - 6 months
During phase one of the project timeline include supplementing the proposal with an extensive literature
review that will give a much broader picture of implementing open source software into a library system.
Since Koha has worldwide support, SICC staff that will be supervising the library would join the Koha
community and begin reviewing the manual and online tutorials to gain a greater understanding of the
expectations and processes of operating Koka ILS. The duration of this phase will include developing a
literature review of OSS ILS and implementation processes and experiences as well.
Phase 2: Installation and migration 3 months
At this phase, a full download and installation will take place. This will involve downloading and
installing the program into the staff computer, the public workstations and on the computer of the SICC
Director. Records of the collection currently contained in LexWin will then migrated into Koha. With the
support of three summer students, this process is expected to run smoothly but also there are expected
glitches, bugs and processes to face as well. The migration period will be ensuring the records from
LexWin are fully exported and are accurately represented in Koha.
Phase 3: Product Launch 3 months
Phase three will consist of a full implementation with staff training using tutorials and tutorials found in
the Koha community forums. Promotion will be the key to getting the word out to old and new users, a
website launch and demo video and informative bookmark for users will be released. The bookmark will
be promoted through social media, emailing many of the partners, funders and friends of the
Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre. The bookmarks will provide the link and explanation of the new
features of the library and a brief how to guide on searching with the new system. The bookmarks will be
used at the circulation desk and at trade show booths. An online demo will be uploaded to SICCs social
media networks.

Projected Solutions
Koha open source software modules will provide increased organization of SICCs library
acquisitions by generating invoices, building and managing ordering and receiving new materials. This
means orders; vendors and budgets can be tracked easily and seamlessly through this module. Patrons can
also place holds on items that are on order as well as suggest a purchase through their account.
Processing acquisitions would enhance the productivity of library staff and collection development.
Kohas cataloguing module would provide a large variety of solutions for SICCs current library
processes, which were one of the concerns of the Board of Governors. The cataloguing module offers an
impressive list of features that will increase organization of the collection as well as its subject
descriptions, which would enhance the bibliographic data of the current records, which would improve
the search results during reference consultations. The circulation module also will enhance the library
current state by managing circulation processes with SICC Library policies. Due date slips can easily be
printed out and holds can be placed and fulfilled. There is also a web-based self check-out feature that can
easily be facilitated by SICC staff in an absence of a librarian.
The OPAC or the public interface for users is the solution to main problem, which is the
inaccessibility to the current collection. Kohas OPAC is fully responsive to all devices, and functions
well with a general computer and regular Internet connection. The users experience is key to the
proposal, Kohas OPAC has an engaged patron experience with placing holds, circulation history, fines

and payments tracking, reading lists, new patron registration, borrowing notices, purchase suggestions
that all result in an increase in accessibility. Furthermore, Koha is appealing for it has keyword and
advanced searching, digital retrieval features important to successful library research, enhanced display
information, imagery and tagging, commenting and rating of items are allowed. Koha OPAC provides a
rich network of searching for the user, with a variety of displayed information and links for greater
engagement in the library experience. There will also be greater engagement such as a virtual selfbrowser and social network connection. The short-term effects include improved organization and
precision of library functions through Kohas modules as well as long-term benefits that include an
increase circulation of materials as the online catalogue provides a greater accessibility through Kohas
online catalogue. Staff will have an increased knowledge of the collection, and thus provide improved and
informed reference services with Kohas user friendly OPAC. From the users experience, searches would
be more intuitive with Kohas online catalogue as well as increased satisfaction from time-efficient
circulation for both patrons and staff.

Integration Challenges - A Budget Overview

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Research & Development

Staff Wages: $6,000.00
3-6 months of 15 hours a week
of research2 to prepare literature

Grant Funding
Summer Students (3) Grant:
Province of Saskatchewan
Community Initiatives Fund
$5,000.00 x 3 = $15,000.004
Option 2: Propose a work
experience with LIS students at
local college.

Promotion Plan
Printing Bookmarks
Ad space $450.006
Trade Shows $350.007
Provide online catalog searches
as demos using a lap top to raise

System upgrade
upgrade Library hardware and
Software - 3 workstations.

Technical Support (IT)9

Unpaid support through Koha
Paid support through Koha
specialist and local IT supports.

Evaluation Plan
Focus Groups10 $250.00
Online and Print Surveys11
Statistical Analysis Report

TOTAL: $11,390.00

Grants: $25,000.00


FSIN fund Library Technician wages during this phase.

Government of Saskatchewan Employment Initiatives Fund http://www.economy.gov.sk.ca/ssw

Community Iniatives Fund http://www.cifsask.org/grants
Based on rough estimate from SICCs publishing house.
Eagle Feather News is widely distributed among the First Nations groups in Saskatchewan.
Based on trade show booth costs with LSSAP (Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal People) Conference
in April 2015.
According to FSIN IT Department, before any new software or hardware is implementing, a full system upgrade
takes place. SICCs Library may need two new public workstations as well as a powerful system for the checkout
desk for the main functions of Koha.
Saskatchewan Indian Federated Nations (FSIN), the provincial First Nations political organization, funds the
Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (SICC). FSIN thus will provide technical support in exchange for printing
services provided by SICC publishing house. http://www.sicc.sk.ca/board_governors.html
Focus Groups would include SICC Staff, Board of Governors and Public. Participating public users will be
awarded $50 each for their involvement and feedback.
Use Survey Monkey for online edition and print edition can made accessible in-library only.

Background Information
Although Koha is under a GPL as an open source software project, Koha is free to acquire and
but there will be unpaid and paid costs associated with the technical support. The technical support that
may be in need will include installation and questions on the functions. The migration portion of the
phases may require support that is free and can be researched and assessed through Kohas community
page. Generalized networking IT support for the system upgrade of the current 3 computers in the SICC
Library may be needed in order to optimize the implementation process. According to the manuals from
the Koha website, the web installation is general and straightforward for current staff to manage. and
coordinate. Configuring Koha for SICC librarys needs would require full-time staff on a librarian with
access to both Kohas free technical support as well as access to IT support for a smooth implementation
process. This process would require support staff to migrate and confirm items are correctly integrated
into Koha from the old system. This will require applying for a governmental grant to hire post-secondary
summer students. The grant covers the wages of three summer students per year. The wages will be based
on the amount recommended by the Government of Saskatchewan, which is a maximum total of
$15,000.00 for project support. The summer students will be targeting from the Sask Polytechnics
Library and Information Certificate program. Many students from this program are eager to set up
internships to gain course credit as well as gaining work experience in the library field.
If the governmental grant is unsuccessful, Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre will propose a
summer internship program with the LIS certificate program. At the moment, the Board of Directors have
not identified any financial support outside of maintaining one library staffing position, which would the
librarian, formerly the Library Technician. A summer internship would unpaid part-time work experience
for an LIS technical certificate student. A formal internship with Sask Polytechnic LIS certificate program
will be explored in the future, as SICCs library is further developed and digital projects are organized
with partnering organizations. The students will ensure the cataloguing in Koha are accurate to the
various factors of bibliographic data from the course the migration phase. This would include inventory
and inputting date such as item type and subject headings according to library standards as requested by
SICCs Board of Directors.
Koha can run on any standard desktop or laptop as well as any server12. It really depends on the
complexity of the needs and library size. Since Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre is a small library,
with only 5,050 items, the system requirements are general for the space needed both on the serve and the
desktop. According to Koha users from the community website, Koha hardware and software
requirements include 15 - 25 GB of space for every 100,000 records, so at least 500 MB of RAM for
Zebra and some memory and space for backups of course. Typical processors are expected to handle the
workload of users needs with Koha with a strong network for a growth in users and the amount of users
accessing the system through the online catalogue. SICC Library currently has two public workstations
with routine upgrades noted over the years as well as a workstation for the library technician that is
currently being upgraded through SICCs IT contractor that not only takes care of the librarys IT needs,
but also the other departments of SICC.
Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centres Library Technician will engage in general training will
take place on a one day event that would include the basics of creating a new patron, editing an existing
patron, checking-in/checking-out materials, placing holds for materials and how to understand
bibliographic information on each item for improved reference services. Training for the Library
technician will take place with the support of Kohas training manuals and video tutorials found on the
support site. The modules include acquisitions, processing and cataloguing new materials, weeding,
creating circulation reports and notices, integrating circulation policy. Training practice can take place in
the software, Sandbox, for functionality exercises. Once SICCs Library Technician has reviewed the
training module and videos provided by Kohas collaborative site, training for the public would be


uploaded onto YouTube detailing how to manage their library account, search for items using the online
catalogue and directions on placing or cancelling holds. Self-checkout is a possibility in the future as well.
Once Kohas training resources have been reviewed and SICC Library develops their own instructional
videos for the public, a manual in PDF format of the training can be downloaded from the website as well
as distributed for future instruction and modifications.

Evaluation Criteria
Focus Groups: A questionnaire will be developed that will explore the functions of the functions of Koha
from a library staffing perspective as as a user perspective. Three focus groups will be formed to evaluate
the new system before any media release or promotional launch takes place. The first group will consist
of SICC staff, which includes 17 language speakers that work towards the goals and visions of SICC as
stated in the summary. SICC staff will participate in exercises designed to utilize the modules of Koha.
The second focus group will consist of SICC Board of Governors, those who identified the library needed
technological attention, and will thus participate and offer feedback for the greater awareness and
understanding of Koha. The third group, and most important group, will be the public, the users of the
SICC Library. To encourage greater involvement, participants will be rewarded with $50 gift certificates.
This is a popular method brings in participants. The users will be solicited from the mailing lists of library
volunteers and a social media request.
Statistics: In order to track the progress, a statistical analysis will be generated after 3, 6 and 9 months
after implementation. Statistical data that will be collected with include new library patrons, circulation
statistics and holds placed. Acquisitions and reporting will capture the satisfaction of library staff as well.
Surveys: There will be online surveys promoted on the public catalogue that can be filled out quickly.
The data and/or information utilized for determining the success the implementation of Koha with
SICC will be the results from the carefully constructed questionnaire of the focus groups, follow-up from
the survey distributed for staff and the public, analysis of circulation and patron statistics as well as
meeting the timeline deadlines and coming within the proposed budget. The engagement of participants
will involve critical participation through testing scenarios that include circulation procedures, processing
new books and basic and advanced searches. The main idea is for the action of quantitative analysis will
play a large part in the year following implementation in order to extract the processes and successes.

Illustration 1: The integrated modules of Koha function as one to enhance the information delivery of users requests at the SICC

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evaluation, The Electronic Library, 31(5), 608 - 634.
Mller, T. (2011) How to Choose an Free and Open Source Integrated Library System, OCLC Systems
& Services: International digital library perspectives, 27 (1), 57- 78.
Radniecki, T. (2013) Study on Emerging Technologies Librarians: How a new library position and its
competencies are evolving to meet the technology and information needs of libraries and their patrons.
IFLA SIngapore WLIC 2013.
Singh, V. (2014) Expectations versus experiences: librarians using open source integrated library
systems, The Electronic Library, 32 (5), 688 - 709.
World Wide Web: Official Koha Community Site: https://koha-community.org. Accessed December 11,