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Koha Migration Process

things to doThe available documentation from the Koha community has a very useful implementation checklist that libraries should consider when thinking about and planning the migration process. The checklist includes steps for the following topics:

Data Migration:

  • Create a list of libraries and enter their information and codes.
  • Define your list of item types.
  • Define your patron categories and enter the categories and their codes.
  • Enter any additional patron information fields you use in your library.
  • Define all of your authorized values.
  • Optionally define city/postal code combinations and road types for patron entry.
  • Map your bibliographic data from your legacy system to Koha fields and migrate (remember to use the collection, shelving, item type, and library codes you entered in the above setting areas).
  • Map your patron data from your legacy system to the Koha fields and migrate (remembering to use the patron and library codes you defined above).
  • Test your migrated data to be sure that everything is as you expect it to be.

Administrative Configuration:

  • If your library uses CAS authentication, you'll want to set the various CAS system preferences.
  • Set the administration system preferences.
  • Go through the log system preferences and decide which actions you want to keep track of in the logs.

Localization Configuration:

  • Decide how dates are displayed throughout Koha.
  • Decide if patrons can choose what language the OPAC appears in.
  • Decide which languages the patrons can choose from.
  • Decide which languages appear in the staff client.

Circulation Configuration:

  • Define your circulation/fine rules.
  • Enter the days your library is closed for fines and due date calculations.
  • Enter circulation system preferences.
  • Customize your notices.
  • Define your overdue notice triggers.
  • Set up your cron jobs.

Patron Configuration:

  • Enter your staff members as patrons.
  • Define patron system preferences.

Cataloging Configuration:

  • Define your cataloging templates aka MARC bibliographic frameworks.
  • Define any authorized values you might want to use in cataloging.
  • Set up custom classification sources (if you use something other than the defaults).
  • Set up MARC matching rules for importing records from MARC files or Z39.50.
  • Set up Koha to keyword mapping for deciding how to display MARC fields to the screen.
  • Set up the Z39.50 targets you want to search for cataloging (and acquisitions).
  • Define cataloging system preferences.
  • Set up your cron jobs.

Authorities Configuration:

  • Set authority frameworks aka templates.
  • Set authority system preferences.
  • Set up your cron jobs.

Searching Configuration:

  • Set up your cron jobs.
  • Define searching system preferences.

OPAC Configuration:

  • Decide how you want your OPAC to look and what content you want on the main page.
  • Create a library branded stylesheet using CSS.
  • Create a custom XSLT stylesheet to change the way search results and bibliographic records appear in the OPAC.
  • Define OPAC system preferences.
  • Set up your cron jobs.

Enhanced Content Configuration:

  • FRBR/Editions
  • Amazon
  • Babeltheque
  • Baker and Taylor
  • Google
  • LibraryThing
  • Novelist
  • OCLC
  • Syndetics
  • Tagging

Acquisitions Configuration:

  • Set up your funds and budgets.
  • Choose your default currency and enter others if you order from multiple countries.
  • Enter in your vendor information.
  • Create a framework with the code ACQ (if you're going to enter item records at the time of ordering or receiving).
  • Define acquisitions system preferences.

Serials Configuration:

  • Define serials system preferences.
  • Define cataloging system preferences.

Planning for Go-Live:

  • Decide if you need training by an outside service or if your staff can do the training themselves.
  • Make sure that there is time for your staff to play with your test system and get comfortable with it.
  • If this is a migration, work with your previous company to extract data right before you go live.
  • Come up with URLs for your new Koha OPAC and staff client.
  • Make sure that if you are hosting your own system you have a backup plan.

Also consider consulting case studies about other libraries' process of migrating to Koha, including the Electronic Information for Libraries page and this Slideshare presentation.

Best Practices for Migration
  • Spot check data (during testing, migration, and after migration). Catching problems early means less work trying to fix problems later.
  • Write workflows and policies/rules beforehand. Writing these during based on the test site should provide step by step instructions on how to do the final migration.
  • If working with a vendor, regular communication is important. Having regular meetings ensures that everyone stays on the same page and prevents miscommunications that will slow down the process. Having one person as liaison between the library and the vendor will ensure a clear chain of communication.