Koha Free Software – Malayalam Translation Project

Dear friends,

We know Koha is mostly used by academic libraries and most of them are using the English interface. Currently, only eight Indian languages are available on the Koha interface. That includes Malayalam too. Hindi and Telugu translations have been already completed. The translation of other languages including Malayalam is not completed. Off-course, this is a proud step, and we cordially invite everyone to take part in this project by translating the Koha software interface into Malayalam. You can follow the accompanying instructions prepared by Dr. Vimal Kumar V. to know how to do Malayalam translation. It is hoped that the Malayalam translation will pave the way for using Koha more in public libraries of Kerala. Participation in the Koha translation project does not require any technical expertise. See the instructions

English instruction: http://kohageek.blogspot.com/2021/10/translate-koha-into-indian-languages.html

Malayalam instruction: 


Koha Workshop at Sunniyya Arabic College, Chennamangallur

I am grateful to the central library, Sunniyya Arabic College, Chennamangallur, Calicut for choosing me as the resource person for the four-day training program on the Koha Open-Source library management system organized on 26-30 October 2021. Library professionals from various institutions participated in the training program. The main aim of the program was to give Koha training and enhance confidence levels among LIS professionals.

This is yet another most important scene of my professional career, once again I thank Mrs. Shadiya Muhammed, the librarian, for choosing me as the resource person.


1. Selection and management of Open-Source software in the library
2. Basic Linux training
3. Learning of Koha installation on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
4. Hands-on training of Koha modules
5. Tips for system maintenance and administration
6. How to utilize Koha community support


Venue: Sunniyya Arabic College
Date: 26-30 October 2021



Why Personal Branding is more Important than ever

Up to an era products or few companies were called brands but It has been changed now. each person becomes each brand in this time.

The importance of personal branding is very huge in this era. that’s why I’m discussing Personal Branding in this blogpost

What is Personal Branding?
Who does need Personal Branding?
How do a person can create Personal Branding?

What is Personal Branding?

Simply, personal branding is nothing but how do you promote yourself. It is the conscious and intensional effort to create, influence the public perception of an individual.

Perception and Promise are the two “P”s in personal branding. what does perception mean? and what does promise mean?

Perception is the picture in the minds of others regarding you and your brand. whereas promises are the things that you offer to your audience. This can be any service or products etc.

Who does need Personal Branding?

It is important to have a personal brand for each and every person in this era. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional, businessman, or an artist. by creating a personal brand you will mainly get the following three benefits.

Position yourself: you will be able to create a position of yourself in your professional space.

Demonstrate your knowledge and skills: with a personal brand you can showcase your skills and knowledge

Improve visibility and reputation: by creating a personal brand, you can extend your visibility and reputation in your professional field

before creating a personal brand, you need to realize the current level of you, in order to realize the level, the following factors can be taken into consideration.

Internal expert: you need to be an expert in your workspace, expert in the sense of trying and reaching into new experiments. and you should also reveal your expertise outside of your workspace.

Be a local hero: that means, it is the developing stage of being an expert or brand within your local region, district, or even state.

Become a national-level player: It is simply, perceptualizing your brand among the minds of people throughout a nation.

the last one is, Becoming a global star: here you familiarise your brand to the entire world.

How do we develop personal branding?

A personal brand needs to be constructed so that it is easily articulated in an online environment, as well as clearly communicated verbally.

Start thinking of yourself as brand

You are already done when you started thinking of yourself as a brand. nobody will pull you out to do it. so start by yourself.

Make a brand image

Be ready to create an image that depicts you and your services. in order to create a brand image, the following questions can be answered.

Who am I?
What can I offer?
Why am I here?

Who am I?: here you decide the name, that should be branded in the minds of others. It should also show what are the unique things that can have the clients/audience from you.

eg: my brand name is Mahesh Palamuttath and my tagline is Linux, FOSS, and Library Technologist. my tagline reveals in what fields I am expert

What can I offer?: here you must showcase your skills and expertise and should have the details of your services with previous pieces of evidence and testimonials from clients/brand viewers.

Why am I here?: here you define the purpose and goals of having a personal brand.

Network and reach people

You should have a clearcut idea about your brand viewers/audience, that can either be co-professionals and you should never ever miss any programs with your audience. the programs can be either workshops/seminars/conclaves, etc. these events will definitely help you to improve your personal branding.

Keep the circle of brand lovers

You should love and maintain the circle of your brand viewers, these can be easily done through creating broadcast channels in instant messaging like WhatsApp/Telegram or even in a blogpost. that circle will enlarge the fame of your personal branding. they may start following you referring you to others etc.

Explore the possibilities of the Internet

You know that internet is the biggest leverage in this era. so internet and other allied social media have to be utilized for enhancing your personal brand.

One more necessary thing for creating a personal brand is that, having a website for yourself. that must include who you are? your bio, activities you participated in, services you offer, testimonials by clients/brand viewers, logo if any, and the tagline.

Along with a personal website, it is better to start a blog where you can write something that is related to your brand/interest. you can use even youtube channels, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook pages, etc, for the same purposes as free.

Thank you

— Mahesh Palamuttath

Using Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 10

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is an optional feature in Windows 10 that provides the users with a Lightweight Linux console environment within the Windows Operating System. WSL adds a compatibility layer, which allows you to run the Linux binaries to the native Windows 10 OS. I tried Debian Bullseye with WSL that works well. Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Kali Linux are also available. Watch the below video to get started with WSL. In this video, I show how do we start a VM using WSL and install apache web server in it. You can install any web application like Koha for learning purposes.

NB: I do not personally recommend this to use koha for production purpose

Ten Day’s National Online Workshop on Koha

Happy to announce our National level online workshop on Koha ILS begins from November 1 to 10, 2021. organized by Unity Services, Changanassery, Kottayam, Kerala.


• Live virtual classroom
• Koha on Cloud for training
• Printed course content
• Printed certificate


• Preparations for the implementation
• Koha installation on cloud
• System maintenance
• All Koha modules


Dr. Vimal Kumar V. has been teaching and writing about Linux and Koha for more than 15 years. A library professional and an expert in Free and Open Source software. His Koha Geek blog is trendy among the Library and Information Science community.

Mr. Mahesh Palamuttath is a tech-savvy young library professional with above 4 years of focused IT experience in Linux, Open source and Windows technology, Technologies known, Linux Debian/Ubuntu, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Apache Web Server, MariaDB/MySQL, PHP, Javascript, XML, HTML, CSS, Web Security, cPanel, Shell Scripting, Tomcat, Koha ILS, Dspace, Vufind, Windows Server, VirtualBox, etc

Registration link: https://pages.razorpay.com/nationalkoha

Creating a Library Website with WordPress

Using WordPress software as a content management solution for your website has many advantages and can provide you with a professional presence for your library or information center.

WordPress provides all the tools you need to manage and publish your content online. It is also providing a great platform for you to keep your library members updated with news of your library.

You can also provide other library staff members with granular admin access to help you to maintain and update your library content. Giving them just editor role, auther role, or even administrator access.

Getting started

There are two versions of WordPress. One version is a hosted solution by WordPress itself. And other one is download and hosted by you.

WordPress Hosted

The quickest way to create a WordPress site for your library is to visit www.wordpress.com, create an account, and within a few minutes, you can start creating webpages and uploading images to a portal that you can call your own. While this is the easiest of the two versions. It comes with limitations.

The hosted versions have:

  • Limited functionality
  • No plugin available
  • Limits on design, layout, and themes available
  • The footer will display” powered by WordPress” and ads unless you upgrade it
  • Limits in website optimization for search engine (SEO)

WordPress Self Hosted

With this version of WordPress, you can download the WordPress source code and then upload this to a server/hosting account. While you can visit www.wordpress.org and obtain the WordPress source code free of charge, all you need is to rent a server/purchase a hosting service. There are a lot of hosting providers are there in India as well as outside, from them you can have one and configure it along with a domain, If your institution posses already a domain, just create a subdomain and map it with your server/hosting service.

The self-hosted WordPress has:

  • Hundreds of free and commercial themes are available
  • WordPress repository of plugins available to provide extra functionality to your site
  • You can customize the look and feel of your site
  • More search engine optimized features to help index your library website
  • The tools to create a truly unique and customizable library website

NB: I do personally recommend the self-hosted version of WordPress. Although there is a cost each month for hosting/server it provides you with many more tools and options to build a professional library website

Create web pages for your library website

Once your website is built, start adding new pages straight away. Most of the formatting options are similar to the desktop word processing applications like MS-word/LibreOffice

When using WordPress for your library, you can provide site visitors with a wealth of information. typically,

  • What services do you have available to the visitors or your organization employees
  • Links to further resources or your library management software
  • Help and general library information
  • Contact pages, information request forms, and opening hours
  • Links to your online catalog & archive if any
  • Social media links and embedded Twitter feeds

WordPress makes it very easy to add and create as many web pages as your need, plus easy to navigate menus.

Maintaining your WordPress library website

If you decide to use the WordPress hosted version, then much of the maintenance is taken care of by WordPress themselves. But it has limitations as I mentioned previously

When using self-hosted WordPress versions, then you need to ensure the following

  • You take regular backups of your website files, uploads, themes, and plugins
  • You take regular backups of the WordPress database
  • You update all plugins used on the site every few weeks
  • The core WordPress software is kept up to date

If this seems too much, some third-party providers can help you to keep your site backed up and software updated automatically. There are also simple plugins that are capable of running regular backups for you.

As I mentioned previously, some hosting providers also provide managed WordPress hosting. This is something to consider if you don’t want to get involved with the maintenance side of running your library website

Keep your library website secure!

Keeping your WordPress software up to date is vital to help you run a healthy library website. As with your mobile phone apps and computer software you should always ensure the latest patches and updates are applied. Your library website is no different. It all helps to keep the nasties, malware, and trojans from gaining unauthorized access to your site.

At the most basic level of security, you must always ensure you use site login passwords that are not easy to guess. Various plugins are also available to help you to keep your library website secure.

NB: If you are completely looking for a free platform, use Google’s Blogger platform, in which you will have complete control and customisation option.

WP Plugin: Image and video gallery from Google Drive

I recently come across a WordPress plugin named Image and video gallery from Google Drive. It is a wonderful plugin that connects our site to our Google Drive. With this plugin, we can select any folder in our Drive and the plugin will convert it into a gallery, displaying any photos or videos on a page or a post on our website. Apart from that, it will also display any folders and their subfolders in the gallery as nested galleries. The great advantage is that this will enable our site to load faster as the images are loaded from Google and not from our server/hosting provider.

See my Gallery made with this plugin

  • Display any Google Drive folder as a gallery
  • Subfolders are automatically displayed as nested galleries – no need to configure them
  • You can restrict the plugin to a certain folder (we call it the “root” folder), making sure that no data outside this root folder will ever be displayed on your site
  • Insert a gallery with a shortcode or with a click of a button
  • Provides a Gutenberg block, making sure that your galleries will work even in WordPress 5
  • Also works with Shared drives (formerly known as Team drives)
  • Supports videos as well
Minimal requirements

WordPress 4.9.6 or higher
PHP 5.6 or higher

How to Configure



Image and video gallery from Google Drive


Session on Getting Started with Koha in the Cloud

It is my pleasure to had a session in the 10 days of Koha online training program (Malayalam) conducted by unity services, changanassery, Kottayam, Kerala. My session was on “Getting Started with Koha in the Cloud” under which I tried to convince the candidates about the factors which are taken into consideration while working with the cloud. the following areas have been discussed in the session along with a practical demonstration.

  • How to deploy a VPS/Cloud Server
  • How to register a Domain name
  • An introduction to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Upcloud
  • Things to do after getting a VPS/Cloud server
  • Koha installation – domain based
  • Setting up FREE SSL Certificate

Of course, It was a nice experience with Dr. Vimal Kumar sir, Mr. Subeesh Gopinathan, and the entire candidates. although my session was purely a technical side, I hope candidates could have understood what are the things that are being done behind the configuration at least.

Once again, I extend my thanks to all.