Koha (software)

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Koha 18.11.03
Koha logo black and white.svg
Developer(s)Koha Community[1]
Initial releaseJanuary 2000; 19 years ago (2000-01)
Stable release
18.11.03[2] / February 22, 2019; 26 days ago (2019-02-22)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inPerl
Operating systemLinux
TypeIntegrated library system
LicenseGNU General Public License v3 or later

Koha is an open source Integrated Library System (ILS), used world-wide by public, school and special libraries. The name comes from a Māori term for a gift or donation.


Koha is a web-based ILS, with a SQL database (MySQL preferred) backend with cataloguing data stored in MARC and accessible via Z39.50 or SRU. The user interface is very configurable and adaptable and has been translated into many languages.[3] Koha has most of the features that would be expected in an ILS, including:

  • Various Web 2.0 facilities like tagging, comment, Social sharing and RSS feeds
  • Union catalog facility
  • Customizable search
  • Online Circulation
  • Bar code printing


Koha was created in 1999 by Katipo Communications for the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand, and the first installation went live in January 2000.[4]

From 2000, companies started providing commercial support for Koha, building to more than 20 today.[5]

In 2001, Paul Poulain (of Marseille, France) began adding many new features to Koha, most significantly support for multiple languages.[6] By 2010, Koha has been translated from its original English into French, Chinese, Arabic and several other languages. Support for the cataloguing and search standards MARC and Z39.50 was added in 2002 and later sponsored by the Athens County Public Libraries.[7] In France Paul Poulain co-founded BibLibre in 2007.[8]

In 2005, an Ohio-based company, Metavore, Inc., trading as LibLime, was established to support Koha and added many new features, including support for Zebra sponsored by the Crawford County Federated Library System. Zebra support increased the speed of searches as well as improving scalability to support tens of millions of bibliographic records.[citation needed]

In 2007 a group of libraries in Vermont began testing the use of Koha for Vermont libraries. At first a separate implementation was created for each library. Then the Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries (VOKAL) was organized to create one database to be used by libraries. This database was rolled out in 2011. Fifty-seven libraries have chosen to adopt Koha and moved to the shared production environment hosted and supported by ByWater Solutions.[9] Another consortium of libraries in Vermont, the Catamount Library Network has also adopted Koha (also hosted by ByWater Solutions). Previously automated Vermont libraries used software from Follett, or other commercial software vendors.[10]

In 2011 the Spanish Ministry of Culture maintains KOBLI, a tailored version of Koha[11] based on an earlier report.[12][13]

In 2014 the Ministry of Culture (Turkey) started to use Koha -- Devinim [14] version in 1,136 public libraries with more than 15,000,000 items and app. 1,800,000 active users. This is the biggest Koha installation for the moment.

Increasingly, specialized libraries such as music libraries, adopt Koha, as its open-source nature offers easier pathways to customization for their particular usecases. [15]

International conferences[edit]

Dispute with LibLime / PTFS[edit]

In 2009 a dispute arose between LibLime and other members of the Koha community. The dispute centred on LibLime's apparent reluctance to be inclusive with the content of the sites[26] and the non-contribution of software patches back to the community. A number of participants declared that they believed that LibLime had forked the software and the community.[27][28][29][30][31][32] A separate web presence, source code repository and community was established.[33] The fork continued after March 2010, when LibLime was purchased by PTFS.[34]

In November, 2011, LibLime announced they had been granted a provisional trademark on the use of the name koha in New Zealand by Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.[35] The provisional trademark grant was successfully appealed by the Koha community as well as by Catalyst, with a decision handed down in December 2013[36] and with Liblime to pay costs.[37][38][39]

Current status[edit]

Koha is currently a very active project. According to ohloh, it has a [v]ery large, active development team and a [m]ature, well-established codebase.[40] The analysis of the size of the code base may be deceptive because Koha stores user interface translations alongside actual source code and ohloh cannot always distinguish them.


  • 2000 winner of the Not for Profit section of the 2000 Interactive New Zealand Awards[41]
  • 2000 winner of the LIANZA / 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries[42]
  • 2003 winner of the public organisation section of the Les Trophées du Libre
  • 2004 winner Use of IT in a Not-for-Profit Organisation Computerworld Excellence Awards[43]
  • 2014 Finalist Open Source Software Project New Zealand Open Source Awards[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IRC log for #koha, 2010-03-02".
  2. ^ "Koha 18.11.03 release – Official Website of Koha Library Software".
  3. ^ "Koha 3.2.3 is now available | Koha Library Software Community". Koha-community.org. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  4. ^ Eyler, Pat (1 February 2003). "Koha: a Gift to Libraries from New Zealand".
  5. ^ "Paid Support | Koha Library Software Community". Koha-community.org. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  6. ^ "BibLibre". Archived from the original on 2011-11-09.
  7. ^ "The Koha Project | Athens County Public Libraries". Myacpl.org. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  8. ^ "Faites le choix de l'expertise".
  9. ^ "VOKAL, The Vermont Koha Project". Green Mountain Library Consortium. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  10. ^ "VOKAL VT Public". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  11. ^ "Koha - Discuss - KOBLI, a customized version of KOHA". Koha.1045719.n5.nabble.com. 2011-04-09. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  12. ^ http://aims.fao.org/tools/kobli-koha
  13. ^ Estado, Grupo de Trabajo de Catálogo Colectivo de las Bibliotecas de la Administración General del; Domingo, Arroyo Fernández,; Alicia, Sellés Carot, (27 September 2010). "Informe de evaluación del sistema integrado de gestión de bibliotecas Koha para las Bibliotecas de la Administración General del Estado".
  14. ^ "Koha -- Devinim, a fork of Koha".
  15. ^ Ganseman J (2015). Refactoring a Library's Legacy Catalog: a Case Study (PDF). IAML 2015. New York City, USA.
  16. ^ "KohaCon 2009". Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  17. ^ "KohaCon 2010: Wellington, New Zealand". Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  18. ^ "KohaCon 2012". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  19. ^ "KohaCon 2013". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  20. ^ "KohaCon 2014". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  21. ^ "KohaCon 2015". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  22. ^ "KohaCon 2016". Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  23. ^ "KohaCon 2017". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  24. ^ "KohaCon 2018". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  25. ^ "KohaCon 2019". Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Koha - Open Source ILS - Integrated Library System".
  27. ^ Joann Ransom (2009-09-14). "Library Matters: Liblime forks Koha". Library-matters.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  28. ^ "Blog Archive » Koha and LibLime and the letter and the spirit of open source". librarian.net. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  29. ^ "LibLime To the Koha Community: Fork You! « Tennant: Digital Libraries". Blog.libraryjournal.com. 2009-09-15. Archived from the original on 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  30. ^ "The Koha fork and being the change you want to see". Librarians Matter. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  31. ^ "Koha community squares off against commercial fork". Lwn.net. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  32. ^ "IRC log for #koha, 2010-02-02".
  33. ^ "Official Website of Koha Library Software".
  34. ^ "LibLime Acquisition by PTFS Marks a New Era for Koha". Libraryjournal.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  35. ^ "PTFS/LibLime Granted Provisional Use of Koha Trademark in New Zealand". Liblime.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  36. ^ "Koha trademark case won by NZ developers". 11 December 2013.
  37. ^ Varghese, Sam. "iTWire - Koha wins trademark stoush with US defence contractor".
  38. ^ "Koha trademark battle settled". 13 December 2013 – via New Zealand Herald.
  39. ^ (2013) NZIPOTM 47
  40. ^ Azevedo, Andre. "Koha Library Automation Package". Ohloh.net. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  41. ^ Fairfax Media Business Group (2000-10-24). "Computerworld New Zealand". Computerworld.co.nz. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  42. ^ "'Library Idol' – It's the 3M Award for 'Innovation in Libraries' « LIANZA Conference 2009 Blog". Lianza2009.wordpress.com. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  43. ^ Fairfax Media Business Group (2004-06-28). "Computerworld New Zealand". Computerworld.co.nz. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  44. ^ "Award Categories". Retrieved 2014-11-20.

External links[edit]