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.

http://libtechnophile.blogspot.com/2023/04/installing-mrbs-on-debianubuntu.html

 

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

Diploma in Library Automation @ RCSS

I am very much pleased to offer classes for the second batch of diploma in library automation, conducted by Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (Autonomous), kochi. This diploma course is for professionals who look forward to implementing technology for their library services.

I really praise RCSS for offering such a demanded course for professionals in Kerala. And I am also prestigious to be a part of that.

Thank you, Dr. A.T. Francis, Professor, Head, and Dr. Joshy George, Associate Professor, DLIS, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences & Coordinator, Diploma in Library Automation for selecting me as the tutor for the classes.

COURSE CONTENT

LINUX

  • Free and Open-Source Software Philosophy
  • Introduction to Linux
  • Linux Distributions/Flavours
  • Linux Desktop
  • Introduction to Debian & Ubuntu Linux
  • Preparation of Bootable USB
  • Virtualization Tools
  • Ubuntu Linux Installation
  • SSH Clients Tools
  • FTP Clients Tools
  • Basics of Linux Based Operating Systems
  • System Configuration
  • Application Softwares
  • Linux Commands
  • File Management
  • Text Editors
  • Linux Networking
  • Linux Security

KOHA ILS

  • Preparations for the implementation
  • Koha Installation & Customization
  • All Koha modules
  • System maintenance

DSPACE IR

  • Preparations for the implementation
  • DSpace installation & Customization
  • Creating communities and sub-communities
  • Adding bit-streams
  • System maintenance

Classes on every first and third Sunday from November 2022 to April 2023

Course duration: 60 hours

Class time: 10 AM—4 PM

Hours per day: 5 hours

Schedule

November 06-11-2022 Linux 
20-11-2022 Linux
December 04-12-2022 Linux
18-12-2022 Linux 
January 01-01-2023 Koha 
15-01-2023 Koha
February 05-02-2023 Koha
12-02-2023 Koha
March 05-03-2023 Koha
19-03-2023 DSpace
April 02-04-2023 DSpace
16-04-2023 DSpace

For Registration and Details

Dr. Joshy George
Mob: 8606365566

National Workshop on Koha @ BCM College, Kottayam

Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom – Kottayam and BCM College, Kottayam jointly organize a two-day national workshop on Koha Open Source library management system (offline) on 12-13 November 2022. It aims at giving enhanced training on Koha and all its modules.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WORKSHOP

  • Initial configurations
  • Cataloguing
  • Patron management
  • Circulation management
  • Data Conversion
  • Tool module
  • Report module
  • Acquisition Module
  • Serial module
  • System Administration
  • OPAC customization
  • Koha installation on Cloud

Mode of Workshop: Hands-on training

Target People: Library Science students and professionals.

Intake Capacity: 30

Registration Fees: Rs. 1100 (Includes Lunch and Tea)

Online registration Link: https://rzp.io/l/dakf-bcm

Accommodation: Organizers will help you find accommodation in Kottayam town.

RESOURCE PERSONS FOR THE WORKSHOP

  • Dr Vimal Kumar V, Reference Assistant, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala State, India.
  • Sri. Subeesh Gopinathan, Librarian, St. Mary’s Women’s College for Teacher Education, Thiruvalla.
  • Sri. Mahesh Palamuttath, Librarian, East Campus, Sacred Heart College, Kochi.

Organizing Secretary: Jincy Philip ( Sr. Gracena ), Librarian (UGC), BCM College, Kottayam.
Contact Person: Dr. Vimal Kumar V., Secretary, DAKF, Kottayam.

FPLISS-2022 Successfully Finished

Congratulations to all juniors who participated in the free online Finishing Program for Library and Information Science Students (FPLISS) from September 26-30, 2022. I was very happy with the sheer number of participants engaged in the program and to conduct such a course for them. A well-structured syllabus was prepared for this course, from building a resume to becoming a marketable library professional.

I would also like to thank all of you for your enthusiastic participation throughout the course. Furthermore, I do hope this course will help you to start your career superbly and make you capable of facing challenges in librarianship and library services.

Special thanks to Ms. Maria Rose Kurian, Assistant Librarian, East Campus, Sacred Heart College (Autonomous), Kochi, for her Session on Canva & Designing

— Mahesh Palamuttath

Comment on FPLISS

Attended an ICT Skill Development Programme at INFLIBNET

It was a felicitous opportunity to attend an ICT skill development program at Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) an autonomous Inter-University Centre of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat from September 7th to 9th 2022. This program aimed to induce more insights and in-depth knowledge on the fundamentals of the Cloud, installation of Shibboleth (remote campus access tool), and building a repository in the Cloud environment.

It was also an excellent chance to visit libraries of esteemed institutions like IIM Ahmedabad, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, National Institute of Fashion Technology

Thanks to my college (Sacred Heart College, Kochi) for sponsoring me for this faculty development program

Few Snaps

Finishing Program for Library and Information Science Students (FPLISS)

It is, with great pleasure, that I announce the initiation of a Finishing Program for Library and Information Science Students (FPLISS). This course will teach students the finer aspects of personal, practical, and technical skills over and above academic qualifications. Actually, this course is framed out of the uncertainties of my juniors and other freshly out MLISc students related to the day-to-day functions of a library. Please do note that this is not a traditional etiquette course, but a finishing program intended to enhance students’ skills and teach them how to become the most polished and confident version of themselves.

COURSE CONTENT

  • How to start your career as a fresher
  • How to purchase books to the library; Its process, documentation, etc
  • How to subscribe periodicals in a library (physical & e-version)
  • How to document and maintain various registers in a library
  • How to improve your personal development & ICT skills
  • How to become a marketable library professional

COURSE DURATION
10 Hours

DATE AND TIME
September 25-30, 2022 at 7PM – 9PM

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Freshly out BLISc/MLISc graduates and the people who just started their careers as librarians

MODE: Online

REGISTRATION
Registration is free

Online registration page:
https://forms.gle/EnTyVoBzuvZCr2gJ9

CONTACT DETAILS
Mahesh Palamuttath
Librarian
Sacred Heart College (Autonomous), East Campus
Thevara, Kochi – 682013, Kerala, India
Mobile: +91 9567 664 972
Email: maheshpalamuttath@shcollege.ac.in

Session on N-LIST and National Digital Library of India (NDLI)

The central library of Mar Dionysius College, Pazhanji, Kunnamkulam organizes a session on N-LIST and the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) for the postgraduate students of the college in association with the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) at the college seminar hall of at 10:00 AM on 08 July 2022.

The following topics will be covered in the session:

  • What is National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content (N-LIST) Consortium
  • How to use N-LIST E-Resources
  • What is National Digital Library of India (NDLI)
  • How to use NDLI E-Resources

Resource Person
Mr. Mahesh Palamuttath
Librarian
Sacred Heart College (Autonomous) East Campus Library

Date and Time
08 July 2020, 10:00 AM

Venue: M.D. College, Seminar Hall

Contact: Ajo Geevarghes, College Librarian. Mobile: 9447785357