I had the pleasure of attending the fourth annual Koha-US conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho August 9th through August 12. The conference was split into two days of presentations and two days of hackfest.
Day one kicked off with a meet and greet followed by a keynote address given by Chris Cormack from New Zealand via the Internet. Chris gave a brief history of the Koha project and its impact worldwide. The next presentation covered the worldwide Koha community and how to interact with it, including email lists and Internet Relay Chat. Next up was a demo of the Mana-kb, the shared knowledge base for all Koha users around the world. The next presentation I attended dealt with using CSS, JQuery, and reports to customize the Koha catalog and increase staff efficiency. This was followed by a demonstration of how the Northeast Kansas Library System uses CSS and JQuery to customize and streamline their operations. This was the best presentation of the conference in my opinion; showcasing things we all would like to do in Koha but didn’t know exactly how. The day ended with a series of roundtables; I attended the System Administration Policies group.
Day two started with a demonstration of how one library planned and performed their Koha inventory process. Next up was a presentation of how a Koha consortium managed its sharing of new items. Next up was demonstration of how to customize and make Koha patron receipts more useful. EBSCOHost provided a box lunch to all attendees and gave a demo of their Discovery service for Koha. Afternoon presentations included using lists in Koha to accomplish a variety of tasks and a panel discussion dealing with venturing into open source software and development of local support. Day two ended with more roundtables, of which I attend the Features We’d Like to See. Day one of the hackfest began with a demonstration of SQL report writing in Koha. I then made a brief presentation of various free code editors that can make SQL report writing and working with other programming languages much easier. There were several sessions running simultaneously, including bug testing, more SQL, JQuery, and patch writing for advanced users. Attendees were free to move among the various sessions during the day. Unfortunately, due to travel arrangements, I was unable to attend the second day of hackfest. The conference was very useful and informative and I brought home a multitude of ideas for making Koha work more efficiently for Plum Creek.