Commerce Commission

Catalyst and the Commerce Commision collaborate with the power of Koha.

Homescreen page for Library

Background

Earlier this year, Catalyst collaborated with the Commerce Commission Library to develop their new Koha website.

 

Challenges

Three challenges presented themselves:

  • Commerce Commission staff use ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) as a means of logging into different systems using a single set of login credentials. The Commission wanted to keep ADFS as the means of logging in to any new library system.
  • Due to the small size of the library team and the physical set-up of the library itself, tracking items being checked out of the library was not always easy. What was required was a means of allowing library users to record it themselves when they took out items.
  • The third challenge was to ensure Koha reflected the identity of the Commission. Its appearance had to blend in with the look and feel of their other systems, as well as highlight the library's services and collections.

Solutions

Single Sign On (SSO)

The Catalyst Koha team implemented SSO between Koha and the Commerce Commission authentication provider. Meaning that Commerce Commission staff, once logged into at the start of the day, would be automatically logged in to Koha, too. This time-saving approach to authentication also kept using Koha in-line with other Commerce Commission systems.

 

Self checkout module

Out-of-the-box Koha offers a means for end-users to be able to checkout books themselves from the Koha OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) interface, using the self checkout module. This sounded like the ideal solution for the Commerce Commission as staff members could come into the library, pick up an item, take it back to their desk, and check it out from there.

There was a roadblock though: Koha did not pass the details of the currently logged in user to the self checkout module. Meaning that upon clicking the self checkout button, users were then prompted to input their cardnumber. This was not ideal when the rest of Koha was set-up so end-users didn't have to authenticate manually. The solution provided by Catalyst developer Alex Buckley was to pass the identity of the currently logged in user to the self checkout module. Commerce Commission staff were then able to checkout items themselves without having to manually input their identity.

 

Attractive theme and design

Nikita Sharpe, Catalyst front-end developer, implemented the Commerce Commssion branding including the Commerce Commission's colours, imagery, and logos. The branding lended itself to creating a beautiful display, while keeping within the low-maintenance standard Koha layout.

The Commerce Commission opted to include a new books slideshow on the OPAC homepage. This highly visual feature has the ability to refresh images daily, allows staff to easily showcase newly received titles, and be immediately visible to library users. Catalyst and the Commerce Commission Library were able to bring to fruition an incredible looking custom design.

Catalyst look forward to supporting the Commerce Commission's Koha. If you would like advice on how to level-up your library system, get in touch.