I've been working with Koha for nearly seven years, and I'm attached to my job, because, every day I get to come to work and be part of a worldwide project that does an enormous amount of good for people of all ages, all around the world.
Koha is a library management system. It is free and open source software that anyone can download. It is used by thousands of libraries around the world, from libraries in the tiniest schools and not-for-profit organisations, through to national and public library systems with bigdata and integration requirements. It's flexible, open, and secure. Libraries are good at sharing, it's their job. They have no commercial reason not to share. So, the little libraries with little to no budget can still have a system funded by organisations that do. There are so many great stories.
Universities in countries that could not afford the licensing costs for other library systems have installed and set up Koha themselves and improved their world ranking. Support companies have grown in developing countries providing career opportunities for local people. Large shared library systems like Turkey's, provide an equitable service across the country with all 1,126+ public libraries running Koha.
The IHC library is one of my absolute favourites. They provide a national library service to all New Zealanders seeking information about intellectual disability, autism, and other developmental disabilities. And they are forever giving away books. What's not to love?
This week the Koha Community conference Kohacon is happening. Koha librarians, developers, and vendors from around the world have converged in Portland, Oregon, to share all things good about Koha, get to know each other, and discuss how Koha is going to be made even better. Today the hack-fest starts, when a bunch of people give up their own time, and time supported by their workplace, to put some future plans for Koha into action.
I'm ok with being back at the office smiling quietly, because every day, in some small way, I am supporting libraries all over the world to do some good.
Many thanks to Bywater Solutions and all the people and sponsors behind Kohacon2018!