ByWater Solutions, an open source community supporter and the U.S.' forefront provider of Koha (www.koha-community.org) support, announced today that they will be donating hosting for a Koha instance for the students in "Library Systems and Software" at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information MLS program in the Fall.
Nicole C. Engard, Vice President of Education, spoke of the project:
"When I was in library school we did all of our cataloging on a spreadsheet, I always wondered why we didn't have an actual ILS to experiment with. I love that Kurt Wagner is willing to offer his MLS students an opportunity to see the inner workings of an ILS before leaving library school. I think that having an open source ILS available in class will teach the students both about the ILS and about open source software in general."
Kurt Wagner, Library Systems and Software Instructor, talked about his decision and course plans:
"I have been aware of Koha since about 2006 when I saw it demonstrated at the Computers for Libraries conference in Washington, DC. When I was approached to teach this class at Rutgers it wasn't long before I began thinking about all the things I do as a Systems Librarian, and even more importantly, the difference between what I learned in Library School versus the realities of my current position. Having some hands-on experience with a state-of-the-art library system, particularly a web-based, hosted environment such as Koha, will be an invaluable experience for my students. I intend to devote an entire unit of the class, approximately 1/3 of the semester, to work based in Koha, ranging from the policies, configuration and settings controlled by the Systems Administrator, to the daily workflows that are a part of the work in acquisitions, cataloging and circulation. The ability to experience Koha as a part of their library education will, I'm confident, leave every student feeling empowered to make the best use of cutting edge technology at their future job. I see the modern library system as no longer being the sole domain of the System Specialist. Today, it's everyone's responsibility to integrate these tools to make their work the best it can be. As someone who has served on many library selection committees, I can say with confidence that an applicant who can cite hands-on experience using Koha as a part of their library education will have an important advantage in these tight employment times."
About Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I)
SC&I was created in 1982 with the merger of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, the School of Communication Studies, and the Department of Urban Journalism. SC&I's educational, scholarly and public mission affirms the premise that communication and information processes must put people first. Our faculty excel in educating graduates to lead their professions. Their lasting contributions shape the communication, journalism, media, library and information science fields. The sum of this expertise is second to none, and forms the heart of our teaching success. Our communication and information scholarship aims to understand such pressing issues as: the new media and democracy; social networks; virtual environments and collaborative design; health and wellness; leadership and policy. For more information about Rutgers SC&I, please visit http://comminfo.rutgers.edu
Koha is the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS). In use worldwide, its development is steered by a growing community of libraries collaborating to achieve their technology goals. Koha's impressive feature set continues to evolve and expand to meet the needs of its user base. It includes modules for circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, reserves, patron management, branch relationships, and more.
About ByWater Solutions
ByWater Solutions is a full service, high quality support and implementation company dedicated to providing libraries with a lower cost, more advanced level of support for their ILS than a traditional proprietary solution can offer. ByWater Solutions has a proven track record in first rate Koha implementation and support with library systems of all sizes. Our highly ranked, comprehensive support is what sets our company apart from any other vendor in the industry. Partnering with ByWater Solutions to support Koha not only lowers the cost of implementing and maintaining an ILS, but more importantly empowers libraries by giving them the flexibility and freedom they deserve. For more information please visit: http://bywatersolutions.com