Koha, DSpace and me

I was first introduced to Koha in 2018 during my final semester of MLISc at the esteemed Department of Library and Information Science, University of Calicut. It was during this time that I had the privilege of being guided by Dr. T.M. Vasudevan, a remarkable professor whose simplicity and unwavering support have left an indelible mark on my academic journey. Without his guidance, I doubt I would have successfully completed my MLISc degree. I am grateful for his constant presence and encouragement.

Another influential figure in my academic life is Dr. Mohamed Haneefa K., an Associate Professor and the Head of the Department. He was the first person to recognize my interest in the application of ICT in Library and Information Science and encouraged me to explore the world of Koha ILS. I vividly remember installing Koha myself during my final semester, a task made possible by Dr. Haneefa’s guidance and belief in my abilities.

In addition to Dr. Haneefa, I have been fortunate to have the support and guidance of Mr. Prasanth M., the Librarian at the Department of Library and Information Science. A dynamic professional, he has played a pivotal role in my professional development by introducing me to Mr. Harris Kundukulathil, an expert in the field. Mr. Kundukulathil’s openness and patience in clearing even my smallest doubts have been invaluable to my growth.

During the Library Technology Conclave (LTC-2019) held at CUSAT, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Vimal Kumar, a Reference Assistant at M.G. University Library. I had eagerly awaited this meeting as I had been learning from his blog, Koha Geek, and admired his expertise. Dr. Kumar continues to provide me with assistance and guidance as I navigate the intricacies of Koha.

Finally, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Tomson A. J., the Librarian at Devagiri College, Kozhikode. Mr. A.J. is a true pioneer in the field, having started implementing and exploring Koha as early as 2000. He is a respected resource person for Koha in Kerala state, having conducted over 100 training programs. Mr. A.J.’s willingness to share his knowledge and support others in their journey with Koha is truly commendable.

Learning Linux was a necessary step in my journey with FOSS and the installation of Koha. Although I faced initial struggles, I persevered by studying various Linux and Koha tutorials. As a beginner, I am continuously learning and growing in my understanding of these technologies.

My journey with DSpace began on February 6, 2019, when I was invited to present on the open-source institutional repository software at a Library Technology Workshop organized by the Department of Library & Information Science, Calicut University. This was a significant milestone for me, as it marked my first opportunity to speak about Open Source IR software in an open forum. I am indebted to Dr. Mohamed Haneefa K. for providing me with this chance and for his unwavering support.