On Friday, January 15, 2016, Farmington Libraries Executive Director Jay Johnston, Library Board Chairman Alan Sherman, and ByWater Solutions Co-Founder Nathan Curulla gathered to sign a 6-year extension of the Koha integrated library system software. In 2011, the Farmington Libraries became what at the time was the largest library to adopt the Koha software with ByWater Solutions. In the years since this decision was made, the savings and increased efficiency afforded by Koha has allowed the Farmington Libraries to double their collection size and offer better, more streamlined services to the community.
Transitioning to Koha to manage the library collection and circulation was a no-brainer for Libraries Executive Director Johnston, who saw the advantage of 90% savings over the Libraries' previous system, along with constantly improving features and functionality. "The benefits of the Koha system have enabled the Farmington Libraries to build a strong collection and meet the ever-evolving needs of our community," says Johnston. "I'm happy with the knowledge that we have 6 more years ahead of us with Koha and ByWater Solutions. The savings we have seen in conjunction with the strong and stable relationship we have with ByWater has been integral to the Libraries' growth in the past several years."
ByWater Solutions has also grown exponentially since 2011–according to co-founder Curulla–growing in reputation, client base, and staff size. Confidence in the software they support has been the most important contributor to this growth. "Koha provides all the features and functionality of a system that costs 10 times as much, and because it's open source, the software continues to improve with new features and innovations while the price stays the same." One new feature being used by the Farmington Libraries allows patrons to have their photo taken so that they can still check out items if they don't have their library card or other identification on hand, a huge convenience for busy patrons. Forthcoming innovations include streamlined access to eBooks.
The Farmington Libraries Board of Trustees agrees the decision to adopt the Koha software was the right one in light of its successful implementation, huge cost savings. "The Library Board is reassured that Koha will continue to offer great service and improving functionality at the same great price range," says Chairman Alan Sherman. "As the needs of the community continue to change at a rapid pace, the Farmington Libraries are able to keep up, thanks in part to Koha," says Johnston.
The Farmington Libraries are part of the Farmington Village Green and Library Association.