Koha (software)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Katipo Communications
Developer(s)Koha Community[1]
Initial releaseJanuary 2000; 23 years ago (2000-01)
Stable release
Koha 22.11.03[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 23 February 2023; 29 days ago (23 February 2023)
Written inPerl, JavaScript, HTML
Operating systemLinux
Available in26 languages[3]
TypeIntegrated library system
Websitekoha-community.org Edit this at Wikidata

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 (MariaDB or MySQL preferred[citation needed]) back end 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
  • Patron card creation
  • Report generation
  • Patron self registration form through OPAC


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 50 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] 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 2010 the King's Fund, supported by PTFS Europe, completed their migration to Koha after an extensive feasibility study.[11]

In 2011 the Spanish Ministry of Culture began maintenance of KOBLI, a tailored version of Koha[12] based on an earlier report.[13][14] The project was concluded in 2018.[15]

In 2014 the Ministry of Culture (Turkey) started to use Koha–Devinim in 1,136 public libraries with more than 17 million items and around 2 million active users.[16] Specialized libraries such as music libraries have adopted Koha because its open-source nature offers easier customization for their particular use cases.[17]

A 2017 Library Technology Reports article claimed that Koha "holds the position as the most widely implemented open source integrated library system (ILS) in the world".[18] According to ohloh (now OpenHub), in 2019 Koha had a "[v]ery large, active development team" and a "[m]ature, well-established codebase", with hundreds of contributors and over 20 monthly contributors each month from 2011 to 2019.[19]

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[20] 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.[21][22][23][24][25][26] A separate web presence, source code repository and community was established.[27] The fork continued after March 2010, when LibLime was purchased by PTFS.[28]

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.[29] The Koha community and Catalyst IT Ltd (NZ) successfully appealed against the provisional trademark grant, with a decision handed down in December 2013[30] and with LibLime to pay costs.[31][32][33]


Koha releases follow a regular, calendar based, pattern with monthly maintenance releases and bi-annual feature releases.

Current and historic releases
Version Release date Supported until
Current stable version: 22.11 2022-11-25[34] (stable) 2024-05
Older version, yet still maintained: 22.05 2022-05-28[35] (oldstable) 2023-11
Older version, yet still maintained: 21.11 2021-11-25[36] (oldoldstable) 2023-05
Old version, no longer maintained: 21.05 2021-05-28[37] 2022-11
Old version, no longer maintained: 20.11 2020-11-27[38] 2022-05
Old version, no longer maintained: 20.05 2020-05-31[39] 2021-11
Old version, no longer maintained: 19.11 2019-11-27[40] 2022-05
Old version, no longer maintained: 19.05 2019-05-30[41] 2020-11
Old version, no longer maintained: 18.11 2018-11-27[42] 2020-05
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Each Koha release has a version number that consists of the year and month number of the release.[43]


  • 2000 winner of the Not for Profit section of the 2000 Interactive New Zealand Awards[44]
  • 2000 winner of the LIANZA / 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries[45]
  • 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[46]
  • 2014 Finalist Open Source Software Project New Zealand Open Source Awards[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IRC log for #koha, 2010-03-02". Koha community.
  2. ^ https://koha-community.org/koha-22-11-03-released/.
  3. ^ a b "20.11.00 release". Koha Community.
  4. ^ Eyler, Pat (1 February 2003). "Koha: a Gift to Libraries from New Zealand". Linux journal.
  5. ^ "Paid Support". Koha Library Software Community. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  6. ^ "BibLibre". Archived from the original on 2011-11-09.
  7. ^ "The Koha Project". Athens County Public Libraries. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  8. ^ "Faites le choix de l'expertise". Bib libre. Archived from the original on 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  9. ^ "VOKAL, The Vermont Koha Project". Green Mountain Library Consortium. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  10. ^ "VOKAL VT Public". Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  11. ^ "Koha: Choosing and implementing an open source integrated library management system". ALISS Quarterly. Vol. 6, no. 2. January 2011. p. 13.
  12. ^ "KOBLI, a customized version of KOHA". Koha - Discuss. Nabble. 2011-04-09. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  13. ^ "Kobli Koha". Aims. FAO. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
  14. ^ 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 (Report). Grupo de Trabajo de Catálogo Colectivo de las Bibliotecas de la Administración General del Estado.
  15. ^ "Koha-Kobli sistema integrado de gestión para las bibliotecas de la AGE | Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte". www.culturaydeporte.gob.es. 14 January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Video to announce a talk about Turkey's Koha installation at PakistanKohaCon19". Koha Pakistan. March 2019.
  17. ^ Ganseman, J (2015). Refactoring a Library's Legacy Catalog: a Case Study (PDF). IAML 2015. New York City, USA.
  18. ^ Breeding, Marshall (August 2017). "Open Source Library Systems: Koha". Library Technology Reports. American Library Association. 53 (6): 9–17.
  19. ^ Azevedo, Andre. "Koha Library Automation Package". OpenHub. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  20. ^ "Koha".
  21. ^ Joann Ransom (2009-09-14). "Library Matters: Liblime forks Koha". Library-matters. Google. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  22. ^ "Koha and LibLime and the letter and the spirit of open source". Blog Archive. Librarian. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  23. ^ "LibLime To the Koha Community: Fork You!". Tennant: Digital Libraries. Library journal. 2009-09-15. Archived from the original on 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  24. ^ "The Koha fork and being the change you want to see". Librarians Matter. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  25. ^ "Koha community squares off against commercial fork". LWN. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  26. ^ "IRC log for #koha, 2010-02-02".
  27. ^ "Koha Library Software".
  28. ^ "LibLime Acquisition by PTFS Marks a New Era for Koha". Library journal. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  29. ^ "PTFS/LibLime Granted Provisional Use of Koha Trademark in New Zealand". Liblime. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  30. ^ "Koha trademark case won by NZ developers". 11 December 2013.
  31. ^ Varghese, Sam. "iTWire - Koha wins trademark stoush with US defence contractor".
  32. ^ "Koha trademark battle settled". 13 December 2013 – via New Zealand Herald.
  33. ^ "NZIPOTM 47" (PDF), NZ herald, 2013.
  34. ^ "Koha 22.11 released". Koha community. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  35. ^ "Koha 22.05 released". Koha community. Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  36. ^ "Koha 21.11 released". Koha community. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  37. ^ "Koha 21.05 release". Koha community. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  38. ^ "Koha 20.11 release". Koha community. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  39. ^ "Koha 20.05 release". Koha community. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  40. ^ "Koha 19.11 release". Koha community. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  41. ^ "Koha 19.05 release". Koha community. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  42. ^ "Koha 18.11 release". Koha community. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  43. ^ "Release Schedule". Koha Community. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  44. ^ "News". Computerworld. New Zealand: Fairfax. 2000-10-24. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  45. ^ "'Library Idol' – It's the 3M Award for 'Innovation in Libraries'". LIANZA Conference 2009 Blog. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2011-08-18 – via Word press.
  46. ^ "News". Computerworld. New Zealand: Fairfax. 2004-06-28. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  47. ^ "Award Categories". NZ Osa. Retrieved 2014-11-20.

External links[edit]