Thursday, 12 May 2011

a moment of gratitude

I have a whole list of things I want to come back and post about - it's been an intense few weeks - but today I played host to a colleague from another academic library considering Koha, to give them an on-the-ground tour of the system, and a review of our conversion process. I hope it was useful for them - it was certainly good for me to have a reason to sit down and review.

I suspect I may have come over a little evangelical, because there are so many things about Koha that I've come to depend on. I really don't think I could have handled my workload in recent weeks without the time savings that Koha gives me - more efficient work-flows, and more automated almost-everything than our old DIY system.

So here's today's 'thank you' list:

  • - Z39.50 copy cataloguing (with heartfelt thanks to the Library of Congress, and my colleague on campus who helps me with tricky titles)
  • - Adding multiple copies of a title with a couple of clicks (multiple copies in a fraction of the time, which is invaluable for our textbook loan stock)
  • - 'Edit as new' record duplication, both for the 'the only difference between these editions is the year of publication' updates, and for juggling textbook records for mass decommissioning in combination with the 'Attach copy' function.
  • - I know I've mentioned this before, but - lists. Really - being able to put together reading lists so simply has been a huge, huge boon.
  • - Customisable reports (and the assistance of our support company!) - all the better for getting the exact answers I need without a lot of pen-and-paper number crunching.
  • - an OPAC that actually works reliably, for me and for the students and faculty.
  • - Circulation stats that could confirm in a couple of mouse clicks that there really were a lot more books returned on Friday than a usual last-Friday-of-the-semester, and that no, it wasn't just a subjective feeling.

Of course, there are down sides to having your LMS entirely online - one of the reasons last Friday was so busy was that our building had no net connection for much of the previous day, thanks to a clutzy JCB driver cutting a cable!

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