Koha and me

I acquainted with Koha in 2005 during my MLISc final semester at the Department of Library and Information Science, University of Kerala. My teacher, Dr. K.P. Vijayakumar (Dept. of Library and Information Science, University of Kerala) advised me to explore the possibility of Open Source Integrated Library Management System (ILMS) as topic for dissertation. I started preliminary search to get a basic idea about Open Source Library Management System. I could collect very little literature and found that the topic is a developing one and has good scope in near future. At that time, Open Source Library Management Systems (ILMS) has not evolved into a major topic of discussion among library professionals. I approached my mentor again and formed a concise title for the study “Free/Open Source Integrated Library Management Systems: comparative study of Koha, Open Biblio and PHPMyLibrary“. The methodology was benchmarking of three Open Source ILMS after evaluating their features and functions meticulously. I installed three systems and put sample data. I evaluated the performance of each module and assigned scores on the basis of performance. Koha scored high and OpenBiblio and PHPMyLibrary scored second and third rank.

I had to learn Linux for the installation of three Open Source library management systems. I had to struggled with Linux in the initial stages of learning. I had joined a three week customized Linux course. Bible series books by Chris Negus had helped me a lot to learn basic of Linux.

In the same year, I was invited for a presentation on Open Source ILMS in a seminar organized by Kerala Library Association, Kozhikode region in Calicut University. That was my first open forum to speak about Open Source ILMS. After that, I got many opportunities to speak about Open Source ILMS, especially Koha. Now I am an active member of Koha community, and takes initiative to promote Koha in India. I am always indebted to Dr. K.P. Vijayakumar for suggesting this topic  to me which made a twist in my professional life in to a meaningful way.