AkLA 2007: Want a good OPAC? Talk to Darla!

A short but interesting program at the 2007 Alaska Library Association annual conference was a brief demo of the Bering Strait School District (BSSD)'s Koha based Intergrated Library System ILS. The public catalog is available online.

Presenter Darla Grediagin ([email protected]) said that using Koha, an open source library catalog, had dropped her annual ILS maintainance fees from $5,000 to $300. Plus, she feels that she has much better tech support. The catalog, the admin and circulation modules all looked great and responsive.

You can see what Darla went through to get her catalog up and running by visiting her Alaska Bush Library Service blog and clicking on the "koha" link in the right hand column.

As far as anyone knows, BSSD is only one of two school library installations in North America. Darla would love to have more company and encourages people to contact her about Koha.


There are a ton more school libraries running Koha in North Americahttp://wiki.koha.org/doku.php?id=kohausersHas just some of them.

Thanks. I think any errors should be attributed to my notetaking and not to Darla's presentation.Do you run Koha? What do you think of it?

I'm one of the Koha developers, so I'm biased (but then who isn't to some degree) :-)I of course like it a lot, especially the upcoming 3.0 release, and the Koha Zoom versionThe libraries that Ive had direct face to face contact with, all seem to like it. Mostly being able to make it work in the way they want it to work.

I can tell you that Darla Grediagin is your number one apostle in Alaska. At the conference she found a way to mention Koha in almost every conversation. In a good way.