PTFS Europe introduce rebus:list

London, 2nd July 2012
PTFS Europe are pleased to introduce Rebus:list – a new reading list management system. Based on a comprehensive review of the current systems available, Rebus:list offers a significant advance in the effective management of the entire workflow involved in the delivery and presentation of reading lists.
With a focus on simple, clear and attractive design together with the application of underlying intelligence, Rebus:list offers libraries a real alternative when choosing a new reading list management system. It is designed to be able to connect to any library system on the market.
Mark Gavillet, the software developer at PTFS Europe who originated the concept of Rebus:list and now leads the development programme explains:
Libraries have desperately needed a modern, fully featured, automated, integrated and most importantly, easy to use reading list management system for a number of years. I’ve spent just as long working with, and talking to, librarians about the workflows surrounding reading lists. Having seen the difficulties this has developed into an uncontrollable itch to take the problem on. Until now many systems have only succeeded in exacerbating the difficulty in managing reading lists by introducing additional complications and complexities. The time is right to address these problems properly and give librarians a system that works in the way they and their users really need it to work.
Early implementers
The first libraries to start implementing Rebus:list include Staffordshire University and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. These libraries are of radically different sizes, thus emphasising the capability of the system to cater for a wide range of institution. PTFS Europe would like to thank the staff at these libraries for their invaluable help in contributing design ideas and advice on the functionality needed.
There will be a series of seminars and presentations of Rebus:list around the UK, starting with a seminar to be held at Loughborough University on 4th September – more details to follow. In the meanwhile to arrange a demonstration or discuss pricing please contact Nick Phipps – Rebus:list Business Development Manager nick.phipps@ptfs-europe.com
About PTFS Europe
PTFS Europe implements and supports the Koha and Evergreen open source library management systems and the Rebus:list reading list management system as well as distributing and supporting the ArchivalWare range of products from PTFS Inc in North America. PTFS Europe is able to provide full implementation services, including installation, configuration, data conversion, software development and training through to ongoing hosting and customer support.
More information on Rebus:list:
Any questions please contact:
Nick Phipps – Rebus:list Business Development Manager nick.phipps@ptfs-europe.com

Chesterfield College choose the Koha open source library management system

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chesterfield College choose the Koha open source library management system, London, 13th June 2012
As part of a major enhancement of its service, Chesterfield College is to implement the Koha Open Source Library Management System. PTFS Europe will be carrying out the migration from their existing Horizon library management system and providing ongoing hosting and support services.
Koha Library Management System
With Koha, library staff access to the system is completely web-based; acquisitions, circulation, cataloguing, serials and reports are all done through a web browser. As well as an excellent search capability, the OPAC offers a range of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 facilities such as tagging, commenting and public and private lists.
Chesterfield College
Mary Dawson, Director of Information Services, Chesterfield College explains, “After careful consideration of all the options, we have decided to go with Koha’s Open Source for our new library management system. Koha offers all the functionality and freedom we need and is backed up by a proactive user-community ensuring that the product remains up-to-date.”
“From a financial perspective, the fact we avoid being tied-in to a proprietary vendor for ongoing support is an important consideration. Having decided to go with Koha, the choice of PTFS Europe to manage our data migration, technical support and training was straightforward: they have the expertise and experience to give us complete confidence in the timely and successful delivery of the project.”
“At the end of the day we’re all about providing an efficient and reliable service to our students and choosing Koha and PTFS Europe allows us to do this.”
Nick Dimant, Managing Director at PTFS Europe added “We are delighted to gain our first College of Further Education customer and look forward to working with the team at Chesterfield College to ensure this project is a great success.”
About PTFS Europe
PTFS Europe implements and supports the Koha and Evergreen open source library management systems and the RebusList reading list management system as well as distributing and supporting the ArchivalWare range of products from PTFS Inc in North America. PTFS Europe is able to provide full implementation services, including installation, configuration, data conversion, software development and training through to ongoing hosting and customer support.
More information on PTFS Europe: www.ptfs-europe.com
Any questions please contact:
Nick Dimant: nick.dimant@ptfs-europe.com, +44 (0) 7966 571704

KohaCon12

KohaCon12
Colin, Fiona and I recently attended the Koha Community Conference in Edinburgh; the conference is an international gathering of Koha users, vendors and developers and is the perfect opportunity to match faces to the names and email addresses that regularly pop up in this broad and far reaching open source project.
The three day conference consisted of a broad range of presentations and discussions relating to the project, some of which I found especially interesting and have outlined below.
The first presentation by Chris Cormack (Catalyst, NZ), entitled “It’s all about the people”, emotively engaged the audience emphasizing the importance of the people making up the community surrounding the Koha open source project. He noted that the project has its ups and downs like every other software project (Open and Closed Source), but that we have far more good times than bad. He concluded that we have a very strong community where everyone from the library staff through to developers and service providers is actively engaged and gives back to the project.
Following Chris’s presentation was Nason Bimbe (British Library for Development Studies, UK) who delivered an excellent presentation about his experience migrating to Koha from a bespoke solution.  Titled, “Migrating to Koha – The Hard Decisions”, it focused on their decision making process and highlighted that the community and support available within it was one of the big reasons they chose Koha.  He concluded that the project had been a great success so far and he was looking forward to continuing to work with his service providers, us.. which is always great to hear. (Slides)
Paul Poulin (Biblibre, FR) later spoke at length about the ongoing work in developing a sandbox system to enable librarians to get involved in the testing of new features and bug fixes.  He highlighted the need for the community to enable a lower level of entry for the testing of bug fixes and enhancements to allow the project to continue to grow as more complex features are developed and are struggling to make it through the Quality Assurance Process.  This is a difficult problem to solve and it’s great to see innovative solutions to the problem being put forward; This should significantly lower the barrier for entry into contributing to the project whilst maintaining high coding standards; I think it’s a great move!
Other very interesting presentations include, but are not limited to, Olugbenga Adara’s discussion about using Koha in Developing Countries (Slides), Jared Camins-Esakov and Zeno Tajoli’s talks about Analytics and Linking records, Kyle M Halls’ update on the state of Koha’s offline circulation modules (Blog Post) and finally Marcel de Roys’ presentation on SRU (Blog Post).
The final presentation I would like to draw attention to is Alex Arnaud’s (Biblibre, FR) “Liking Koha with Drupal” which draws many parallels to our own work on a Rebus:Home project. Maybe we will see some collaboration growing on this front too… watch this space!
Hackfest
The three day conference was followed by a three day Developers Hackfest, which Colin and I attended. This was a more informal gathering and concentrated on discussions about the internals of Koha’s code and technical governance, all whilst a friendly competition ensued to implement and test as many new features and bugs fixes as we could in the three day period.
We kicked of with a presentation on the strengths of Template Toolkit (Chris Cormack) and how we could better take advantage of them.  We then broke off into dropin sessions that discussed various aspects of Koha.
Colin attended the the group discussing Plack, a technology which we feel could greatly improve the overall performance of Koha and is already under heavy development.
I attended a discussion regarding the Debian Packaging of Koha. It was very interesting to see how the different vendors are deploying and maintaining Koha and I think this is perhaps a direction we should investigate as well.
Colin and I both attended some interesting discussions regarding Code Govournance and Maintenance during which we debated the use of Gerrit for a simpler Quality Assurance procedure, and a plan was formed for the migration to a more objective coding model within the new Koha namespace.
Martin Renvoize