Computerise your library

29 Jan

Maldives Library Association is seeking four libraries from strategic locations of the Maldives for a pilot project of Koha ILS implementation.


Koha ILS Software implementation in Libraries of the Maldives by MLA

Koha Pilot Project 2011


Koha is an Integrated Library System (ILS) available free of cost. It is an Open Source Software, where the code is open for anyone to change to their needs. Maldives Library Association (MLA) in affiliation with the Maldives Greenstone support Network (MGN) has taken up a project of promoting the use of Koha in the Maldives. The MGN is a member of the Digital Library Network of South Asia (DLNetSA).

HealthNet Nepal, also a member of DLNetSA has expertise in customisation of Koha to Library needs. The MGN organised a Training of Trainers Workshop on the use of Koha ILS in November 2010 and invited resource persons from HealthNet Nepal to deliver the training. Participants for the training were sought from the main libraries in the Maldives, including MCHE Library, National Library of Maldives, and other college and school libraries. The training went very well, and was the first stage of initialising the use of Koha in the Maldives.

Benefits of using Koha ILS

Standards: It includes all the international library automation standards:

Z39.50: This allows copying the catalogue from other libraries and also allows sharing your own catalogue with others.

MARC 21: Have a common format that makes sharing bibliographic resources with other libraries possible

Unicode complement: It allows encoding, searching and retrieval of information in different scripts including Divehi.

Integration of other modules:

–          Automated circulation system

–          Serials management

Resource sharing: Improved resource sharing through virtual cataloguing:

–          Facilitates inter-library loan

–          Reduces duplication

–          Avoids duplication of cataloguing efforts through z39.50 protocol

–          Enhances national and regional information infrastructure

Benefits to Staff:

–          Development of new patterns of communication among staff especially between computer services and library staff.

–          Empowerment of the staff in making decisions.

–          Acquisitions of new skills and knowledge

Koha Pilot Project

Following up on the local training held in November 2010, the use of Koha can be further established with the practical application of Koha software in libraries in the Maldives. As such, Maldives Library Association is seeking four libraries from strategic locations of the Maldives for a pilot project of Koha ILS implementation.

A demo library was set up for training purposes, on a server in Nepal, and can be viewed at – This is the user interface of the database. This library collection is only for demonstration purposes – mainly to showcase Dhivehi Language usability in Koha and also to show its user friendly interface.

The following is a screenshot from a search on the demo collection from the URL above. The following is a search for the term “Dhivehi” using title field. To search by title select title from search drop down menu.

The staff interface is the place where the actual data entry work is carried out. This interface can be accessed only through password access.

Benefits for the pilot members for 2011

The MLA will offer its consultancy services free of cost to the initial 4 members[1] who volunteers to be part of the Koha Pilot Project. This includes advice on initial preparation of data entry, assistance in the retrospective data conversion from .csv format to Koha ILS, and advice and assistance on installation and customisation of the software for the library’s needs.

What are the manpower/costs involved from the member institute?

The member institution should have a dedicated library staff who will be the key contact person in data entry.

The member institute shall provide a dedicated [standard] computer for data entry work. This computer can also be used for software installation.

The member institute will arrange for all the books in the library to be computerised as an MS Excel spreadsheet before the end of March 2011. The format – fields to be incorporated – will be provided by MLA.

The member institute will provide server space, if the institute wishes the catalogue to be accessible by others (including the staff & students of the institute). Until server space could be provided, the data will be accessible only on the stand alone computer where the data resides.[2]

What happens when the pilot project ends?

The member institute can continue maintaining their data on their own. Since Koha ILS is an open source software, no added cost will be needed in terms of software maintenance for its basic functionality.

However, for further improvements, customisations, and integration of other modules like serials management, expert assistance will be required from already established groups like HealthNet Nepal[3].

MLA, through the process of the pilot project, aims to gain this expertise. Continued support from MLA will be based on a subsistence subscription fee.

Who to contact to get more information and to register for the Pilot project

Send in your letter of interest before February 17, 2011, to the Maldives Library Association.
If you are using snail mail, please address it to Maldives Library Association, National Library, Male’, Maldives. Or you could bypass this and send in a scanned letter to

For further information please contact Aishath Shabana @ 7767707 (MLA President) / Aminath Riyaz 7765181 (Koha Pilot Project coordinator), OR send an email to

Looking forward to finding supportive members for the pilot project.

January 27, 2011

[1] The members have to be Institutional members of the Maldives Library Association

[2] The MGN is working on securing a centralised server to host library database from throughout the Maldives. This might take some time for its implementation.

[3] HealthNet Nepal is willing to provide assistance at a fee.


Posted by on January 29, 2011 in NEWS


4 responses to “Computerise your library

  1. Anonymous

    October 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    lyk it


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