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Venezuela’s National Library evaluated, decided to deploy the Koha Integrated Library System

On the first half of 2008, Venezuela’s National Library (BNV) evaluated the Koha ILS and other FLOSS-based ILSs, together with a proprietary ILS, and decided to deploy Koha in two phases for the Library’s catalogue, which includes more than two million records, and the National Public Library System.The evaluation was made by the Information Technology Office, and starting February 2008, three independent Koha consultants were asked for technical help in order to evaluate Koha strengths and shortcomings, and possible development/improvement plans, as well as an important migration plan from the legacy NOTIS system. Circulation, acquisitions and patrons weren’t regarded as critical modules of the ILS, while Cataloguing, Authorities and Serials were given special attention.Ailé Filippi and Mariana González, licensed librarians, deployed a full Koha demonstration and worked for two months with the BNV librarians in order to establish the desired functionality level. BNV librarians wanted a new input system for MARC records which allow them to manually input all fields and subfields, and a very particular notation for holdings which allows to specify the specific Public Library where the item is held.On the other hand, José Miguel Parrella Romero, an IT consultant, worked with BNV’s IT Office in order to recommend and install the latest Koha3 snapshot, and configured a working proof of concept using Zebra for more than 70 thousand simulated records. BNV staff export data from NOTIS and use a proprietary tool to convert those records to an ISIS database, so it was necessary to write a computer program which migrates those records to MARC.

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