Schools Consortia Idea
Mike McCormack <mike@...
2010-07-02 08:16:35 GMT
(I'm going to cross post this to the consortia list too)
We have an interest in Koha from many schools libraries in Ireland, but
the schools are very badly funded, so we need to come up with a solution
that will we relatively inexpensive to implement and support. We favour a
hosted system for a number of schools and we need to come up with some
additional functionality in Koha to support a schools consortia. We expect
to develop these extra features at oslo.ie but would welcome any input,
ideas that the community may have. We would also welcome getting together
with any potential partners out there who may have a similar requirement
for such a consortia. I have included below the 2 options that we have in
mind to provide this solution. We favour Option 2, the Filtered solution,
since many schools could share the costs of one big hosted system, but are
open to suggestions for either solution. Please see below our high level
functional spec which lists the features that we believe will be necessary
for Koha to operate as a school consortia.
1. Many Instances of Koha on one Box
Install one instance of MySQL containing one database for each school with
a corresponding instance of Koha/Apache per school. There would be a limit
to the number of instances that could be installed on a Linux box and any
more than 5 would probably get difficult to manage and would use a lot of
2. One Big Koha System with Filtered Access
Modify the Koha application to enable us to install one instance of
MySQL, with a single database shared by a number of schools. Install one
instance of Koha/Apache with the Koha application modified to filter the
data so that each school would only see their own patrons and item records.
A system of sharing common bib records would be very useful as the
collections across all schools are very similar, especially for electronic
The schools generally have between 500 and 1500 students in each school
with around 5,000 to 6,000 items in each school, so nothing too huge there.
Transaction-wise, you would be talking tens of circulations per library per
day, not thousands, so it would be fairly light use.
Below are the kinds of things the Filtered system (Option 2) should be
able to do:
A single bibliographic database onto which libraries can hook their own
o System administrators / librarians could see every bib, but only their
o Each library would have control over its own codes – collection, loan
categories, borrower categories etc. Perhaps there could be an additional
field on the codes records indicating which branch (ie school) “owns” this
o OPAC users can see only their own school’s local bib/holdings. Requests
on own stock only – no inter-lending etc.
Many schools have a book rental scheme where the school provides all
students with their text books for a number of years. Essentially it is a
form of circulation where there is a very long loan. There are a few things
we could do to enhance it: Koha has a book rental charge on the Item Type –
not sure of the full details of how it works.
o Have the items in a separate collection / location that is invisible to
the OPAC, so that only managers can see the data
o Have a switch in the circulation area so that these items are
suppressed, unless explicitly included in the display (maybe 3 states: Show
all loans, Show no bookrental items, Show bookrental items only)
o Have a standard report on the system where the school can print-off a
listing of the student’s items and have them in the form of a contract
setting out the terms and conditions of the scheme.
We’d need to be able to brand each school with its own look and feel to
Cover images, links to reviews, biographies etc etc would also be
There are a lot of nice things we could do with the OPAC – I am thinking
of an itunes-like coverflow presentation – but that would be a separate
topic once the basic technology is in place.
Any feedback is welcome
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