On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 11:47 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I'm just barely recovered from the Code4lib conference, which was both the
> best and the most exhausting conference I have ever attended ;-)
> Now I'm preparing for something totally different: I've been invited to
> spend a week in Kosovo in mid-April giving talks to the libraries there. Not
> having been there before I'm not sure what to expect, but all evidence
> points to a lack of library technical infrastructure, not to mention
> difficulties like almost being in the middle of a civil war.
> They need some quick answers, I believe. Simple things that they can do that
> will move them forward from where they are. (With a recognition that this
> may not be a culture that does things quickly -- I don't know yet.) They
> appear to have good net access, and very very few information resources. In
> particular, as they are trying to assert themselves as a new country, they
> need to be able to do so in their own language (Albanian). So I'm looking
> for ideas. I'll throw out a few scenarios, but if anyone can offer
> ideas/pointers to code, etc., I'd really appreciate it. The main thing is I
> don't want to go there with just "how we do it good in the US."
> 1. They have digitization projects for their archives, really need software
> for management, storage and display (and some help with cataloging).
> 2. There are digital copies of books in Albanian in OCA and in Google. Can
> they put a UI of some sort on these and create a library? (Note: all of the
> national libraries' books in Albanian were destroyed during the war with
> Serbia; they mainly have books in Serb, which their users can't read.)
> 3. They have an Aleph catalog, but it looks like they haven't been able to
> make it work much beyond the first installation. I doubt if they could run
> something like Koha (I have no idea what they have in terms of technical
> staff). They need a catalog, but not circulation, acquisitions, or probably
> not even serials check-in. And it's got to be very easy, and easy to
> translate into Albanian.
> Any ideas that you can throw out are welcome. Thanks.
If they got Aleph going, I think getting Koha 3.0 going would be a cinch
by comparison. Also, once installed, the system's really easy to manage as
nearly everything is exposed via the staff client administration and tools
interfaces (everything is web-based, very little command-line knowledge
required). If they want to translate it into Albanian, it's as simple as
emailing the list and asking that Albanian be added to
If they hurry, the might be able to get it included before the next release ;-)
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