Catching up fast with the world where automation has become a byword, Arba Minch University has recently introduced Koha Integrated Library System (ILS) in its Main Campus library. Soon other six libraries based at different campuses would also get Koha. Click here to see the Pictures.

Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Agena Anjulo, chairing the program, said, ‘‘Information Communication Technology has to be applied in entire process i.e. inventory, human resource development, students’ cafeteria, clinic management etc. but due to fear of accepting the automation system has been a great challenge which caused delay in introducing this system.’’

The work on open source software system started four years back jointly by Information Communication Technology Centre and AMU Institute of Technology library at Main Campus, in which personnel from both offices were trying to customize Koha to our purpose, ICT Director Dr Hussein Seid said.

One of the instructors from Computer Science Department Alazar Bahiru with some library staff got Due Decimal System converted to Library Congress Classification System, which is compatible with Koha ILS.

This cost-effective and customer-friendly system further reduces time taken in distributing texts across the counter and virtually eliminates the queue associated with the manual process.

With the introduction of Koha, students and staff members can get themselves registered on the system and with given Id and Password they can log in to select and identify the texts they want. If the required texts aren’t available one can easily book them in advance. As of now all books data have been computerized, and by scanning the barcode one can tell you whether it’s available or not.

Etabezahu Mamo, IoT Library Manager, said, ‘‘Now we have 30 trained staff of which 10 are managing one of our libraries. The registration process for the same has started; soon, PG & Applied libraries at Main Campus will have Koha. Libraries at Nechsar, Chamo, Abaya and Kulfo campuses will soon be automated. Our next aim is to go for e-Library by training our staff.’’

Koha provides easy access to information for library staff and users due to effective searching and issuing of items. It’s alerts remind patrons and staff about overdue or arrival of new items.

Online supervision becomes possible as it reduces the line management responsibilities of senior staff. Through the acquisition module budgets can be more effectively managed. It also brings together library users and staff, as both can see various aspects of the system and can work together more effectively to achieve each user's goals.

By Corporate Communication Directorate (Philips Joseph)