Knowsley Public Libraries
February, 2017 | Koha LMS | Public
The Challenge: Web-based interfaces for both staff and public are a priority as is a mobile-ready solution for our customers accessing the system by phone or tablet. There is also a requirement for the new system to integrate with a content management system to enable the library service to create and manage its entire web presence, supporting a wide range of content. An easy and accessible system to administer is essential owing to the limited number of library staff, backed up by a competent support company who can carry out most of the administration tasks on our behalf. A reduction in the overall annual spend on a library management solution is highly desirable.
The Implementation: The implementation was completed within a 4 month period on time and to budget. The data migration process included a significant amount of data cleansing including the removal of a number of unused branches and associated stock, the tidying up of pseudo borrowers and borrower types and a complex process of combining similar item categories with the same circulation behaviour. Our staff generally found Koha to be an intuitive, easy to learn system, providing access to a number of configuration options not available in our previous system. PTFS Europe also carried out training on WordPress allowing staff to create their own themes and/or using templates provided by PTFS Europe.
Positive Impacts for the Library: Moving to Koha has allowed the library service to become closer to its users. We make full use of Koha’s social media features to share information about new stock, hot topic material and promotions. Library staff can and do provide reviews on new material and we now can actively encourage user feedback. Our WordPress front-end allows access to the library catalogue, events, calendars, bookings and local Council information in an attractive and easy to navigate format. We now know more about the borrowing patterns of our users – Koha’s SQL and Guided reports provide the ability to generate almost any kind of report and statistics. The move to Koha has also enabled the Council to make savings in our annual budget.
“We’ve been working with PTFS-Europe Ltd since 2017 and we have found that Koha as a LMS system really suits our needs. The product is cloud based which means we no longer need a desktop application which has enabled us to work differently. The product is really intuitive to use and works well both a front line and back office perspective. The implementation / migrating process was incredibly straight forward and we were allocated an account manager who walked us through the whole process step by step which certainly helped to ensure a smooth transition. We’ve always found PTFS-Europe to be a really easy company to work with.” – Nicola Long, Senior Librarian: Digital Inclusion, Knowsley Council