This year, our Catalyst Koha team had the pleasure of meeting the wider Koha community and sharing the knowledge at KohaCon 2023. From guest speakers, to networking opportunities and even a chance to learn about the local Helsinki culture, there was a lot to enjoy.
So, we’re wrapping up the full coverage of the event and getting you excited to be involved in KohaCon 2024.
KohaCon 2023 Highlights: Wrapped Up
Day one saw engaging discussions on open-source library solutions, the evolution of metadata standards, and the role of AI in reshaping patron experiences.
Additionally, the National Library of Finland, where the event was hosted, shared their own experience of using Koha – and it was jaw-dropping. They have one of the largest known Koha collections in the world, and they’ve found a pretty clever way of using Koha to keep their ship in shape. We’ve detailed more about it in the full day one highlights. Read all about it here.
Day two went deeper into the heart of Koha's impact on libraries worldwide. Presentations explored the power of community collaboration in refining the Koha library management system. Discussions covered topics ranging from enhancing user interfaces to innovative approaches for resource sharing among libraries. Guest speakers also shared information on how to report bugs in BugZilla, plus some of the background development processes involved with it.
Alex Buckley, our Catalyst Koha Developer, also gave a fantastic presentation on his top training tips for Koha. Read more on that here.
The concluding day of the conference proved to be truly inspirational. We learned about the role of digital libraries for the future, online privacy and the preservation of cultural heritage. Notably, Chris Cormack, Koha founder and a member of our Catalyst Koha team, detailed how Koha champions the safeguarding indigenous data sovereignty.
There were also helpful demonstrations on how to manage pages in Koha, HTML customisation ideas and feature releases. Check out the full day three highlights in more depth here.
Rating KohaCon 2023
If you missed out on attending KohaCon this year, or you want to re-indulge in the learnings, you can catch all of the presentation recordings and questions on the Youtube PerlKohaCon 2023 playlist.
The conference consisted of three-days worth of presentations, and a two-day long hackfest and bug squashing sessions. For Alex Buckley, our Koha Developer, it was his first international conference. Here’s what he had to say about his overall experience at KohaCon 2023:
“The Koha community is like a family. Having the opportunity to meet, for the first-time in person, community members I have been working with remotely for 6.5 years has been a game-changer, as well as making lots of new Koha friends. I’m convinced that sharing ideas about possible improvements to Koha, and learning how libraries are using it, really helps us all make Koha an even better system!”
We highly recommend KohaCon as a place to connect with the Koha community and can’t wait to see what’s lined up for 2024.
Get Support For Koha In Your Library
If you need support with Koha, our dedicated Catalyst Koha team can help. We support libraries world-wide to get the best out of (and troubleshoot) their Koha instance.
So, whether you need some expert developers for a new idea, a bit of Koha training, or an extra pair of hands to maintain your Koha LMS, you can connect with us here.
What Is Koha?
If you’re in need of a new library management system, and haven’t used Koha before, this section is for you.
Koha is an open-source library management system, aiding libraries in automating tasks. It encompasses cataloging, circulation, acquisitions, and serials management. Additionally, it features an online catalog for patrons, generates reports, and offers customization options.
It’s important to note that Koha is not a product. It’s a project built on open source software and continually growing through libraries all over the world submitting what changes they want to see included. Then, a global community of Koha developers support designing, testing and implementing the code needed to include the changes. Once the code is approved, any other library wishing to add that new functionality has the ability to do so (or not to). That’s the beauty of open-source solutions like Koha.
And, because Koha is open source:
- It’s completely free for libraries to use – there are no licensing fees.
- It can be built and customised exactly as libraries need it.
With a supportive global community, it's adaptable, multilingual, and encourages integration.
To date, there are a over 66 million library users globally – it’s the most widely used library management system in the world.
Community is core to Koha. It’s one of the reasons KohaCon takes place annually.
What Is KohaCon?
One of the great things about any open source project is that it’s built on the ethos of collaboration. KohaCon is the epitome of this. KohaCon is the chance for the global community of Koha users to get together and:
- Share experiences.
- Discuss developments.
- Contribute to the future direction of the Koha project.
And anyone already involved or interested in using Koha can attend - from librarians to developers, and other stakeholders.
The conference typically features presentations, workshops, discussions, and networking opportunities related to Koha and open-source library technologies. Additionally, the KohaCon organisers are committed to helping attendees from all over the globe to learn about the event host city. That means attendees at this years conference also got to indulge in the local architecture, sight seeing and boat trips.
In 2023, KohaCon was held in Helsinki and was attended by people all over the world from the Koha community.