Last week, Lori Ayre placed a timeline document on Open Source - Open Libraries which we quickly read and then distributed the link to the Task Force. It gave an example of what tasks were involved with migrating to Koha... and what needs to be done when. The timeline goes from 13 weeks out to the "Go Live Day." This document is very helpful and will make it easier to track our progress...or lack of it.
On Thursday, August 19, we had a conference call with Brendan from ByWater Solutions. Those involved were: Carolyn Garner-Reagan (our director), Lori Ayre (Open Source - Open Libraries), Cathi and Jackie. Items discussed included:
- Comparison between Koha and Evergreen - This is another document on Lori's site. We were especially interested in OCLC and Envisionware since we use both of these products. Brendan explained that using the OCLC Connexion client with Koha is very similar to the process we are using with Symphony and we will learn how to do Marc Importing during our training. Compatibility between Koha and Envisionware was confirmed as well, since it is SIP2 compliant. So we should be okay with our 3rd party vendors.
- Since our Task Force is going through policies, we asked about item status. Currently, when a title is in Technical Services for cataloging or on order, the system says it's available, such as "Available in On-Order" which isn't really available. This really confuses our patrons. We wanted to make sure that we can change the wording, if not the status in Koha. Brendan provided some screenshot examples and we are able to do this.
- We were concerned about closing on the "Day Before" going live. We already plan on being closed one of the training days and we felt that another closed day might be unaccceptable to our community. Brendan asked if we were open on Sundays (NO, we aren't) so, BWS will upload the final transactions into our new system on that day. Wow! Excellent customer service!
- We discussed the "Go Live" day. We initially thought the winter holiday period would be good. This won't work for ByWater Solutions. Brendan suggested December 6 or 13 or in mid-January would work better. After consulting with staff, we decided on Monday, December 13 to go live with Koha!
- At three weeks out from the Go Live Date--on Monday, November 22, the Symphony system will be frozen. A final export of the bibliographic database as it exists at that time will be migrated to the new Koha system. Technical Services will have some options...they can double catalog items in both systems so new records appear in both, or not do any new cataloging at all in either system, or catalog into the new system only and hold on to the materials until we go live. (I'm not sure yet what Tech Services will opt to do.) I'm for "just cataloging in the new system".
- We need to try to move all fines and fees to the new system. It had been suggested that we institute a "Fines Amnesty." We don't believe this can be approved during this financial climate.
- Cathi and Brendan discussed the Linux install. I'll let her write about her experience. Cathi will make sure that ByWater Solutions has access to the servers on the week of Sept. 7th.