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A peek behind the scenes

Behind the curtainphoto © 2006 erikhallander | more info (via: Wylio)

Everyone's talking about the move to Koha.  At first glance, it might appear that this only affects the ILS staff. (We wish!) Here's a little peek behind the scenes at some of the projects being tackled by other (non-ILS) tech staff:

  • figuring out printing.  Printing from an ILS can be fussy. (With the wrong settings in Dynix, your printout is badly formatted or never arrives!) We've been testing new models of printers and working out what settings they'll need in Koha. Figuring out how to have a PC easily print to both receipt printers AND regular printers in Koha has been a challenge.
  • ordering equipment.   Many libraries have been ordering new receipt and spine label printers.  (hooray for quiet thermal printers!)
  • planning for software roll-outs.  Receipt printing and offline circulation will both require software be installed on the hundreds of PCs that will use these features (possibly the weekend of "go-live"!)
  • making sure authentication works.  LINK patron data is used to log into Library Online and online resources (like OverDrive and EBSCO). For this to work, the Koha data needs to be pulled out and these services need to be configured to use it. One hurdle we've already overcome is that the Koha PIN/password is stored in a secure format, and Library Online is programmed to only read plain text. Doh!  (and "Thanks" to William for reprogramming LibOnline for us!)
  • planning for all those links.   Let's say your library posted a link (in a blog or on your webpage) to a specific title in LINKcat.  When we move to Koha, what happens to that old link?  Is it broken?  or is there some cool behind-the-scenes programming that makes it automagically work?  (we're hoping to have some cool programming!)
  • replacing Telecirc.  The replacement for Telecirc is here and is being configured and tested.
  • creating custom reports.  All those custom reports you rely on in Dynix need to be re-created (by us) on the new Koha platform.  Considering how much everything is still in flux on the Koha end, this has been tricky.

Add to the Koha preparations:

  • plans for migrating non-LINK PCs to the SCLS network
  • server replacements and upgrades
  • a new version of AntiVirus software
  • new tools for remote control
  • preparations to move to Windows 7 in 2011  (there's a GIGANTIC list of tasks associated with this item alone!)
  • normal day-to-day duties

and you have a very busy bunch of techs! 


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