Melbourne Koha User’s Group

We have the library full of year 9s listening attentively to Tony Palmer, author of their English text Valley of Blood and Gold, and though it sounds really interesting I’m sneaking out the back to write up the recent Koha Users Group meeting, and sort out some paperwork. I like to have my desk all clean and tidy at the end of term, when possible!

We have our very own user’s group now! The first meeting was held a few weeks ago, in the Melbourne Athenaeum Library. As seems to always happen when I’m at some kind of library pd not specifically aimed at schools, I was the only school librarian. We had a bunch of people from the Athenaeum, a few from other special and small libraries who already use Koha, and a couple of people who are considering Koha – again, for special or small libraries. I think one hospital, a private college or two, a theological library and the Berwick Mechanics Institute were represented.

We had a short presentation from Moyra, who set up the group, demonstrating the Athenaeum’s library system – they’re hosted by Calyx. We discussed the pros and cons of using a hosting service, like Calyx – I think I was the only one there not using a service but one of the people considering Koha was planning on hosting it herself, like us.

I happened to have one of my Koha-printed barcodes in my bag (on a book, not just stuck there!) and pulled it out, provoking general agreement that if I were to stick with the koha-printed barcodes I was definitely going to have to find some way of printing the text (the number) MUCH larger! It’s true, they are a little hard to read.

We’re hoping to have four meetings a year, and possibly set up a mailing list for us aussies, too – although I do think the general Koha mailing list is quite friendly when I need to ask any kind of question (hmm, i should ask them about the barcode printing, actually). And although the impetus for the meetings is in Melbourne, it’s not strictly the Melbourne Koha User’s group – there was interest from interstate, too, which is pretty cool. Looking forward to another meeting next term!

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