Tuesday, August 3, 2010

KohaCon10 : the World comes down under

Our baby is grown up and out there doing its thing in the world, so it is with real pleasure that HLT welcome the 3rd International Koha Conference to NZ this October.

Koha is now used by hundreds of libraries around the world and supported by many international vendors. This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of its release, the conference is will be held in Wellington from Monday 25th October - Wednesday 27th October. Previous conferences have been in Marseilles and Texas.

The conference speakers are a veritable United Nations: UK, France, Nigeria, Taiwan, Pakistan, Malaysia, USA, Australia and NZ - and conference attendees hail from more countries than I care to list. The full programme can be found here.

This is an amazing opportunity for NZ librarians to see what all the fuss around Koha is about and mix with a truly international bunch of people who love Koha and have made it so successful overseas. It is somewhat odd that NZ, its country of origin, has been so reluctant to support this home grown product. A prophet is indeed a stranger in is own land.

The conference is free so there really is no excuse not to come and find out more. Registrations are open now on the conference website.

Personal highlights for me are:

George Oates - Integration with Open Library
A big success at NDF where she talked about her work with Flickr, George now works with Open Library team. She was responsible for creating the Flickr Commons (flickr.com/commons) and was the award-winning lead designer of Flickr itself.

Nicole Engard - How you can help
Nicole is a human dynamo and I have no idea how she squeezes so much into her life. She is the Director of Open Source Education at ByWater Solutions in the States, she is a prolific writer being published in several library journals and keeps the library community up to date on web technologies via her website "What I Learned Today...". In 2007, Nicole was named one of Library Journal's Movers & Shakers and in 2009 she was the editor of “Library Mashups,” a book published by Information Today, Inc. and in 2010 she will publish “Practical Open Source Software for Libraries” with Chandos Inc.

Mark Osborne - Koha in schools
Albany Senior High School is New Zealand's first open source high school, and Koha is one their key online environments. This session will be about how Albany is using Koha to promote literacy, community and high achievement.

Lee Phillips - Ask a librarian : Why I love Koha
Lee is the director of the Butte Silver Bow Public Library (BSB) in Montana, the first open source public library in Montana. The library runs Ubuntu OS on the public PCs and Open Office suite on both the public and staff client servers.

As an alumna of the University of Washington's Information School, Lee's MLIS focus was on human and computer interface, consortia culture and open source applications in public libraries. Her collection development plan was featured in the Spring 2010 OCLC newsletter.

Currently Lee is serving as a Montana State Library Commissioner by appointment of the governor of Montana. In the past year she has secured 150,000 dollars in grant funding for her library to develop programming that puts technology in the hands of library patrons.

Francois Marier - Freedom in the library: Convincing your boss that sharing is good

I hear "We can't use Koha because Council IT dept won't let us" far too often and this presentation is just for those people. Francois will show how the concepts of sharing, freedom and public domain are embodied by the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) community. After describing what is meant by FOSS, we will look at how fairness is promoted through the choice of copyright licenses. Then we will examine the benefits of this freedom and of the related communities (for example, Creative Commons) it has inspired.

Mark Piper - Risk, considerations and realities of running a public access network

Mark is an independent hacker and will talk at the bigger picture of providing network & end-user systems for library membership to access Koha & the internet. He will explore the risks & mitigations of real world attacks.

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