Koha Foundation Proposal

1st May 2024 | Jonathan Field

Hello All – Good day to everyone!

At the Koha Community Hackfest held in Marseille, France on 8th – 12th April 2024 community members once again raised the topic of governance and sustainability of Koha. Prior to that meeting Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Field had done some background work to look into the prospect of putting the Koha project into a foundation. Although this is something that members of the community have explored previously, the feeling is now that the landscape has changed and it’s a good time to revisit this topic.

There are numerous benefits of moving Koha into a Foundation for the long term sustainability of this Open Source Project. Koha is a mature, very large project and represents 177 years of collective work (hours) of development time (https://openhub.net/p/koha). First of all we think everyone should stand up and celebrate that fact – this project is Awesome!  One of the big advantages of putting Koha into a foundation is that we can start to have a more formalised governance structure – which will improve our communication and our development processes. In addition, we will be protecting Koha for future generations to come.

Part of the exploratory work involved talking to some community members, support organisations, non-library specific foundations, and looking at the Open Library Foundation (OLF). This included talking to an open source project (VuFind) that has recently joined OLF, as well as a discussion with the current President of OLF (Tom Cramer).

We presented this work to the Hackfest on 10th April 2024 to the assembled gathering. There was a large consensus for the need of a foundation and that OLF would be a good home for Koha. There was a request that we hold a vote to include a wider audience of Koha libraries, community members, and support organisations in the decision. We would therefore like to submit the following proposal:

“Open Library Foundation (OLF) should become the home for creating a new Koha Foundation spot.  The structure of the OLF is that each project establishes its own legal identity where each project can create governance models that fit for their open source project, establish banking accounts for fund raising and supporting community focused programs, allow for consolidated technology resources (website, bug tracker, mailing list forums, etc.), and have legal advice/practice available to support and protect the project.” 

Before putting this proposal to a vote, we would like to leave a window of opportunity to ask questions and discuss. We have included the background and research that we did, please take a look at the document (attached). Once you have digested this information please feel free to discuss via IRC, post questions to the Koha mailing lists or join the new chat facility at https://chat.koha-community.org/. There is also a Koha community meeting on the 15th May where any questions can be answered.

Alternatively, contact [email protected] or [email protected] who would be happy to take any questions you may have.

Following the period of discussion, the vote is now open. Vote here before 17:00 UTC on Friday 14 June 2024. We would request that as many members of this community who have an interest in the future of Koha participate in this vote.

Cheers and thank you,
Brendan and Jonathan


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