Koha: Bank Street Library’s New Catalog

Library director Kristin Freda and technical services librarian Frank Jolliffe have been busy testing and tweaking a new open-source library catalog system called koha (it’s a New Zealand Maori word meaning gift, present, donation or contribution). The library’s going live with koha August 16th, 2010. The following screen shots are a preview of how the new catalog will look, and highlights some of its features.

Koha Basic Search

The advanced search feature allows patrons to customize and refine searches more easily. Below is a screen shot of a result list. Patrons don’t need to open up an item to find out whether it’s checked in or not. One feature we like are the book covers – it just makes finding something in the stacks a little more easier.

Advanced Search Feature

One web 2.0 feature we think is quite useful is the ability to make and share lists. In the example below you can see a staff member has made three public lists:

  • Museum education theses from 2009
  • Children’s stories from 2009 thesis collection
  • Harlem

Anyone can look, print or email them. Patrons can also make for-your-eyes only private lists. Note that you can only edit or delete lists you make. If you want to make a list of books you are thinking of checking out now, use the cart (when you exit  a browser the cart returns to zero). If you are particularly interested in a topic and want to know when new acquisitions are added to the collection try the rss feed.

Koha lists

Ever wanted to do some virtual browsing? You’re in luck! Try the aptly named Browse Shelf link – keep clicking to see what’s out there.

Koha Shelf

We’re excited about koha and hope you will be too.

Reference librarian at Bank Street College Library.

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