At the beginning of the project, we had planned to develop a simple web-based library MIS. We had evaluated a few library systems including Koha at that time and felt that these are quite formal and may be difficult for a key user type, someone responsible for cataloguing.
In last month a few things emerged.
- The formal nature of the library system and user interface based on that is aimed at someone who is trained in library science. Hasiru Dala has a fulltime person who is trained in library science.
- When the requirements were explored in-depth a few more use cases emerged -that would require additional development if we developed MIS but came out of the box with Koha.
- We got very favourable reviews from people who have used Koha in a low resource setup. The Hasiru Dala team also saw the demo of Koha along with us – overall felt quite comfortable with it.
- The need for integration between the library and social security system is quite weak.
We changed our mind. Point 2 above was quite crucial. In the lifecycle of the system, as the libraries run by HD mature more such needs with emerge. Hence it makes more sense to use a standard platform.
Koha is an actively maintained project with a lot of documentation (including helpful youtube videos). Currently, we are working on configuring Koha according to the needs.