Enhancing Research Efficiency: A Dive into Zotero for Sacred Heart College PhD Scholars

On March 8, 2024, I had the privilege of leading a session on “Reference Management Using Zotero” for PhD scholars at Sacred Heart College (Autonomous) as part of the Research Methodology Series. The session, organized by the Sacred Heart College Research Forum at Fr. Francis Sales Library, aimed to equip scholars with essential tools to enhance their research efficiency and productivity.

Zotero, a powerful reference management software, took center stage during our discussion. With its wide range of features tailored to streamline the reference management process, Zotero offers a transformative solution for researchers grappling with citation complexities and bibliographies.

Throughout the session, we delved into the various functionalities of Zotero, from its seamless integration with web browsers to its capability to organize references into easily accessible libraries. Attendees learned how to effortlessly import references from online databases and websites, creating a centralized repository of sources for their research projects. Integration with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer, and Google Docs was also explored.

A highlight of the session was the hands-on demonstration, where scholars had the opportunity to navigate Zotero’s user-friendly interface and practice importing, organizing, and citing references. The interactive nature of the session enabled participants to actively engage with the software, empowering them to incorporate Zotero into their research workflows with confidence.

Furthermore, we discussed the importance of adopting efficient reference management practices to ensure the integrity and credibility of scholarly work. By mastering Zotero, scholars can streamline the citation process, avoid inadvertent plagiarism, and maintain consistency in their bibliographies, ultimately enhancing the quality of their research output.

The session concluded with a lively exchange of ideas and insights, showcasing the enthusiasm and dedication of Sacred Heart College’s PhD scholars to excel in their academic endeavors. Armed with the knowledge and skills gained from the session, I am confident that Zotero will serve as a valuable ally for them as they navigate the intricacies of scholarly writing with ease and precision.


Image 1 Image 1

Revolutionizing Library Services: The WhatsApp Integration Journey

Dear Professionals,

I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you the incredible journey we’ve had implementing WhatsApp Integration into our library services here at Sacred Heart College. As the driving force behind this initiative, I couldn’t be more excited to offer you a glimpse into our experiences and the profound impact it’s had on our library services.

Our decision to integrate WhatsApp into our library management system, Koha, stemmed from a deep commitment to enhancing user experiences and embracing the marvels of modern technology. Recognizing WhatsApp’s widespread use as a communication tool, we saw a golden opportunity to harness its power to streamline our operations and boost patron engagement.

Right from the start, collaboration played a pivotal role in bringing this project to fruition. Working closely alongside our dedicated librarian, Mr. Biju V.V., and the rest of the team, we tackled challenges head-on and fine-tuned the integration to perfectly align with our library’s objectives and the needs of our users.

The integration process was nothing short of exhilarating and immensely rewarding. We meticulously planned each phase, from the initial brainstorming sessions to the final implementation, ensuring a seamless integration process and maximum benefit for our patrons. Throughout this journey, our focus remained unwavering on delivering a solution that would streamline communication and empower our users with real-time notifications.

Since the launch of WhatsApp Integration, the response from our patrons has been overwhelmingly positive. The automated notifications for borrowed books, timely reminders for returns, and real-time updates on book availability and reservations have truly revolutionized the way our patrons interact with the library.

As we continue to evolve and innovate, I’m filled with excitement about the endless possibilities that technology holds for libraries. By sharing our experience with WhatsApp Integration, my hope is to inspire fellow library professionals to embark on similar initiatives and embrace technology to elevate their services to new heights.

If you’re keen on learning more about our journey or exploring potential collaborations, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Warmest regards,

Mahesh Palamuttath
Librarian, East Campus
Sacred Heart College, Kochi

The Hindu News ArticleKochi college introduces novel initiative of integrating WhatsApp with its automated library management system – The Hindu

Interview: Mr. Biju V.V. (College librarian) with RJ Neena, Radio Mango: https://jmp.sh/jmfikiwq

Malayalam News Articles

Image 1

Malayala Manorama 23-03-2024
Image 1

Mathrubhoomi 24-03-2024 1
Image 2

Deepika 24-03-2024
Image 2

Deshabhimani 24-03-2024

Additional Image 1

The Hindu 27-03-2024

Streamlining Library Operations: Mastering Batch Process Techniques in Koha

I recently had the privilege of leading a session on “Mastering Batch Process Techniques in Koha” at the National Workshop on Koha ILS hosted by Providence Women’s College.

During this session, participants delved into the intricacies of leveraging Koha’s batch processing capabilities to streamline various library operations. We covered a range of essential tasks, including data import, record updates, and inventory management, highlighting how batch processes can significantly enhance efficiency.

One of the key points I emphasized was the strategic importance of batch processing in optimizing library workflows. By automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes, librarians can effectively reallocate staff resources towards more value-added activities. This not only increases productivity but also enhances the overall user experience, aligning library services with the demands of the digital age.

The success of this session underscored our commitment to empowering library professionals with the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.

I would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Prasanth, the college librarian at Providence Women’s College, for graciously extending the invitation to serve as a resource person for the National Workshop. His support and collaboration were instrumental in making this session a success.

Snaps from the Workshop

Exciting News for Koha Users! Introducing WhatsApp Integration Service

I’m happy to unveil a latest service – WhatsApp Integration with Koha! Seamlessly connect your Koha Library Management System with WhatsApp to automate alerts such as issue, return, renewal alerts, and overdue reminders.

Key Features:

– Instant WhatsApp notifications for library transactions
– Hassle-free issue confirmations and return alerts
– Automated renewal reminders
– Overdue notifications directly to users’ WhatsApp
– Dashboard for bulk patron messaging
– ChatBot (auto reply)

See It in Action:

Why Choose this Service?

– Streamline communication with library users
– Enhance user experience with automated alerts
– Subscription-based model for flexibility
– Tailor-made for the Koha Library Management System

Contact Me:

For inquiries and support, reach out to +91 9567664972 or mail@maheshpalamuttath.info

#KohaIntegration #WhatsAppAlerts #LibraryManagement

Enroll in the 3rd Batch of Diploma in Library Automation!

Are you ready to embrace the future of library services with technology? We are thrilled to announce the launch of the 3rd batch of the Diploma in Library Automation, conducted by Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (Autonomous), Kochi!

About the Course:

This diploma course is tailor-made for library professionals who aspire to harness the power of technology in their library services. Whether you’re a seasoned librarian or just starting your career, this program will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital age of libraries.

What Sets Us Apart:

  • Taught by experts in the field.
  • Comprehensive curriculum covering Linux, Koha ILS, and DSpace IR.
  • Practical hands-on experience in installation, customization, and system maintenance.
  • Classes on every first and third Sunday, starting from October 2023 to March 2024.
  • Course duration: 60 hours.
  • Convenient class timings: 10 AM to 4 PM (5 hours per day).

Course Highlights:

  1. Linux: Delve into the world of open-source software, Linux distributions, and system configuration.
  2. Koha ILS: Learn everything about Koha modules and how to maintain a library system efficiently.
  3. DSpace IR: Discover the ins and outs of DSpace, from installation to managing digital collections.

View full syllabus.


Contact for Registration and Details:

Dr. Joshy George (Associate Professor, DLIS, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences & Coordinator) is here to assist you. Reach out to him at 8606365566 to secure your spot in this exciting program.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become a tech-savvy librarian and revolutionize your library services.

Mastering Koha: Insights from the Librarian Guide Academy’s Advanced Training

Over the course of two enriching days, I had the privilege of participating in the Librarian Guide Academy’s Online Training Program on Advanced Koha. This event, held on September 9th and 10th, was a remarkable learning opportunity, made even more special by the presence and wisdom of D.P. Tripathi Sir, the Deputy Librarian at Dr. B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, and a renowned content creator on the YouTube channel Librarian Guide.

The training program covered a spectrum of topics related to the Koha Integrated Library System, and I had the honor of conducting sessions on the following themes:

  1. Circulation: Exploring the intricacies of circulation management in Koha, we delved into the software’s capabilities and how it can streamline library operations efficiently. The session highlighted the importance of smooth circulation processes in enhancing user experiences.
  2. Patron and Bulk User Management: Understanding the significance of maintaining patron records and efficiently managing bulk user data is crucial for any librarian. During this session, we explored the tools and features that Koha offers for seamless patron and bulk user management.
  3. WhatsApp Integration for Sending Alerts: In today’s digital age, effective communication is vital. Integrating WhatsApp for sending alerts directly from Koha proved to be a fascinating discussion. We learned how libraries can harness the power of instant messaging to keep users informed and engaged.
  4. OPAC Customization: A library’s online public access catalog (OPAC) serves as the face of the library to users. This session shed light on how libraries can customize their OPACs to offer an enhanced and personalized user experience.

The online format of the training program allowed participants from diverse geographical locations to come together, fostering a sense of community and collaboration among librarians. The interactive nature of the sessions encouraged discussions, questions, and the exchange of ideas, making the learning experience incredibly valuable.

In conclusion, I am grateful for the opportunity to have shared knowledge alongside D.P. Tripathi Sir and to have interacted with fellow librarians eager to enhance their skills. It is through such initiatives that the library community continues to grow, adapt, and serve its users better.

— Mahesh Palamuttath

Streamlining Library Management with Koha: My Experience at the National Mission on Libraries Capacity Building Program

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Capacity Building Program of the National Mission on Libraries for Public Library Personnel, organized by the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF) in collaboration with the Ananda Rangapillai Library at Pondicherry University (12th to 16th June, 2023). As a passionate advocate for library services and technology, I was thrilled to be a part of this program, where I had the privilege of handling a session on library management using Koha, an open-source Integrated Library System (ILS).

The National Mission on Libraries, initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, aims to revitalize and modernize public libraries across the country. As part of this mission, the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation plays a pivotal role in conducting various capacity-building programs for public library personnel. These programs aim to enhance the skills and knowledge of librarians, enabling them to effectively manage and cater to the evolving needs of library users.

During my session, I had the privilege of introducing Koha to the enthusiastic participants who were eager to explore its capabilities. We delved into various aspects of library management, including cataloging, circulation, patron management, and report generation. The hands-on training enabled the participants to gain practical experience and familiarity with the system.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Dr. Vijayakumar Mallappa, the University Librarian, for his exceptional  support throughout the program. I am immensely grateful to Dr. K.M. Shibu, Assistant Librarian, for his invaluable assistance in arranging transportation from the guest house to the library every day and for his efforts in securing confirmed train return tickets to Shornur. His thoughtfulness and commitment have made my logistics hassle-free and ensured a smooth experience.

A special mention and heartfelt thanks go to Mr. K.T. Naheem, Professional Assistant, who hails from Malappuram, for not only playing a pivotal role in the program but also going above and beyond by showcasing the beauty and cultural richness of Pondicherry. His warm hospitality and genuine kindness have left an indelible impression, making our stay truly unforgettable. We are grateful for his efforts in making our experience in Pondicherry so memorable.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the program organizers, support staff, and fellow participants for fostering an inclusive and enriching learning environment. The collective passion and unwavering dedication of everyone involved have made a profound impact on my personal and professional journey.

With deepest gratitude,

Mahesh Palamuttath

Transforming Libraries: A Recap of Rajagiri College’s Diploma Course in Library Automation

Today marks the official end of the six-month diploma course in library automation offered by the Department of Library and Information Science at Rajagiri College of Social Science (Autonomous) in Kochi for the year 2022-23, and as the instructor, I am both proud and satisfied with the progress and growth of the students over the duration of the course.

The course consisted of three modules: Basics of Linux, Koha ILS, and Dspace. It was an enriching experience for me to share my knowledge and expertise with the students who were eager to learn and explore the world of library automation.

The Basics of Linux : was a challenge for some students who had no prior experience with the operating system. However, practical exercises and hands-on sessions helped them grasp the basic concepts and even perform some advanced tasks on the Linux platform.

Koha ILS:  module was the most exciting part of the course for the students. They learned about the open-source integrated library system and how it can be used for various library automation tasks. The practical exercises and live demonstrations helped them understand how to set up and configure the system and how to use it for tasks such as cataloging, circulation, and generating reports.

Dspace IR/DL: introduced the students to the world of digital libraries and how they can be managed using this open-source platform. The hands-on sessions and practical exercises allowed the students to learn how to set up and configure the system, how to create and manage collections, and how to upload and manage digital content.

In addition to the three modules, I included a special session on cloud computing and how it can be used in library automation. During the session, I explained the basics of cloud computing and demonstrated how to set up and configure a virtual machine on a cloud platform called such as Vultr , Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.

Overall, I am grateful to Dr. A.T. Francis, Professor and Head of the Department, and Dr. Joshy George, Associate Professor and co-ordinator, for choosing me as the instructor for this course. I would also like to thank Assistant Professors Ms. Neethu Mohan and Dr. Joseph I Thomas for their assistance. It was a privilege to share my knowledge and experience with such an enthusiastic group of students. The course was a great success, and I look forward to more opportunities to teach and share my knowledge with others.

Snaps from the course

— Mahesh Palamuttath

Revolutionizing Library Hall Bookings in our College with MRBS: A Success Story

Libraries have always been a crucial component of academic institutions, serving as a hub for learning, research, and collaboration. In our college, the library hall is a popular space for various activities, such as student meetings, group projects, training, and study sessions. However, manually managing library hall bookings for every program conducted by each department, club, and forum has become a challenging task for us.

To address this issue, we decided to implement the Meeting Room Booking System (MRBS) for our library hall. MRBS is an open-source software that helps in managing room bookings, resource planning, and the scheduling of events. It simplifies the process of scheduling and managing meeting rooms, making it easier for teachers and students to book the hall for their events.

The implementation of MRBS in our college library hall was a success story. The system enabled everybody to track the availability of the library hall and the scheduled events easily. This made it possible for us to allocate the space efficiently and avoid any conflicts.

The MRBS system also allowed us to set up rules for booking the library hall. We could set the minimum and maximum duration for bookings and even restrict bookings to specific days and times. This helped us ensure that the library hall was being used in a fair and organized manner.

The success of the MRBS system in our library hall did not go unnoticed. Soon, the entire college began to use the system for booking other halls as well. The implementation of the system in our library hall not only solved our booking challenges but also inspired the campus to streamline its room booking process.

It was my pleasure to initiate the implementation of MRBS at our college. The system has revolutionized the way we manage room bookings and has helped us ensure that our halls are used efficiently.

Thanks to Mr. Biju V. V. (librarian, main campus) for his valuable support and to the IT department for promptly supplying the necessary server resources.

If you are interested in MRBS implementation, feel free to check out my blogpost for step-by-step instructions and guidance.



Innovating for Impact: The KILA Expert Meeting for the Ministry of Panchayati Raj’s Digital Repository

On February 9, 2023, I had the privilege of attending an expert meeting at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), Thrissur, for the proposal preparation of a digital repository for the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR). I was invited to share my insights and offer suggestions for the creation of the digital repository.

The meeting was organised to bring together experts from various fields, including information technology, digital preservation, and local governance, to discuss the best practices and challenges of creating a digital repository for the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The aim was to provide a platform for the experts to exchange ideas and collaborate on the design and implementation of the repository.

The meeting was attended by 10 participants, including experts from KILA and other relevant organizations. The discussions were lively and informative, with experts sharing their experiences and perspectives on the creation of digital repositories. I was impressed by the depth of knowledge and expertise that was present in the room, and I felt honoured to be a part of such a distinguished group.

As an enthusiast of digital technology, I was impressed by the forward-thinking approach of KILA in creating a digital repository. The repository will serve as a central repository for all data and information related to local governance, which will be accessible to all stakeholders, including the public, local governments, and other relevant organizations. This will greatly enhance the transparency and accountability of local governance and provide a valuable resource for researchers and policymakers.

In conclusion, I believe that the Expert Meeting at KILA was a great success, and it was an honour to be a part of it. I was impressed by the commitment of KILA to creating a digital repository that will benefit the people of India and help promote local governance. I look forward to following the progress of the project and contributing to its success in any way that I can.

— Mahesh Palamuttath