Toi Ohomai library is now live with the Koha library system, supported by Catalyst IT. Students and staff who search for library resources now have a single library catalogue that replaces the two separate systems that previously operated from the Tauranga and Rotorua campuses. Liberty was used at the Mokoia campus for 20 years, and Voyager at Tauranga campuses for 14 years.
After a thorough process researching the market to find suitable library systems, Lee Rowe, knowledge and information services manager, and her team selected the Koha library system. Koha is an open-source system, originally designed and developed in New Zealand.
There are many reasons why Koha was selected, but what really gave it the edge above the rest was:
- User-friendly interface offering excellent search capabilities along with a full range of personalisation services
- Te Reo Māori language interface, plus a choice of multiple other languages
- Robust and stable with New Zealand based hosting and support
- Global Koha development community
- Easily customisable by library staff
- Mobile friendly interface
- Fully featured reporting capabilities
- Open source means no ongoing licence or subscription fees, as there are with alternative proprietary systems
"The Koha implementation is very exciting for the library team. Students who make use of libraries have better rates of success, so it is important for us to have a system that fosters library use. Koha will help make research more productive and enable students and staff to easily track and share knowledge. We are also looking forward to the administrative efficiencies and consistency that will be delivered by a single system for all Toi Ohomai. Library staff will have more time to spend supporting students with their learning," says Lee, "I'm also proud that we have chosen Koha because adopting open-source software aligns with the philosophy of librarians who believe that knowledge should be freely accessible to everyone, and that libraries are about sharing resources and creating strong communities."
Koha is well suited to the tertiary education environment and is used extensively by academic libraries around the world. Koha development is now driven by a global network of an estimated 15,000 libraries, working together with their chosen software developers.
Catalyst IT has managed the migration of the library's 68,000 holdings from legacy solutions Voyager and Liberty, as well as integrating Koha with other systems, and providing configuration and design work. Catalyst IT managing director, Don Christie stated "Implementing Koha across the Toi Ohomai libraries opens up knowledge and learning for the region from Tūrangi to Thames, and from Otorohanga to Ōpōtiki. That's a mission we are very proud to support".
Students were involved in choosing the new library system for Toi Ohomai, and also in testing Koha prior to go-live, and were impressed with Koha's features and ease of use.
Koha is integrated with the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) to enable students to easily find all the resources they need in one search interface. Discovery systems include records for most of Toi Ohomai libraries' resources: physical collections, journal and e-book subscriptions, videos, and much more. EDS was chosen because the service updates frequently, meaning that newly published content, should be reflected in search results without delay.
The library has also implemented the Coral open-source electronic resource management system to provide further efficiencies for the management of the library's electronic resources. The team at Catalyst IT, will provide on-going hosting and support services for both Koha and Coral.
- Toi Ohomai libraries:
- 3 campus libraries plus online services
- 23 employees
- Over 10,000 library members
- Over 80,000 check-outs annually, and 100,000 electronic books and articles accessed annually.
- 17,000 item records for physical library resources.
- Toi Ohomai library catalogue: https://toiohomai.mykoha.co.nz
- Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology website: https://toiohomai.ac.nz
- Catalyst IT website: https://www.catalyst.net.nz
- The Koha official website: https://koha-community.org
- The Coral official website http://coral-erm.org/