Invitation to PTFS Europe Customer Days – 1st and 2nd December 2014

This year we will be holding the Customer Days from Monday 1st December 11.00 – 4.30 p.m. and Tuesday 2nd December 10.00 – 3.30 p.m.  The event is free and open to all customers of PTFS Europe.
The venue is at CILIP in central London –
CILIP: 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE.
Also please join us for a get together and some food and drink at Truckles Wine Bar, Off Bury Place, Bloomsbury, London WC1A 2JR from 17.00 – 21.00 on 1st December.
To book please click here
The final agenda is as follows:
Day 1
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Day 2
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To book please click here

PTFS Europe & Jisc RSC Scotland – Open Source for Libraries

Jisc RSC Scotland, in association with PTFS Europe, are hosting a day of open source software demonstrations and opportunities for library and information services within Scotland. During the day there will be demonstrations and discussions relating to the open source library management system Koha,  and its integration with VuFind as a discovery service, serials management and link resolving using CUFTS The subscription based system Rebus:list – for reading list management will also be demonstrated.
For more information click here.

Invitation to "Customers of PTFS Europe" day in Leeds, 10th December 2013

We would like to invite all customers of PTFS Europe to a free “Customer Day” at the Queens Hotel in Leeds on Tuesday, 10th December 2013.

The day will be a mix of case studies from customers, news from PTFS Europe on the various products we support and also some training sessions.  We have tried to make sure the agenda for the day is varied and should appeal to all of our users.

We have added the launch of a great new module called Rebus:list:it.  It can pull items from external websites straight into Rebus:list with a single click.  It works with discovery services such as Summon, library catalogues, Amazon, Google Books, Blackwell, Waterstones, journal providers, etc etc.  If we get enough interest we would extend this functionality to being able to pull records straight into Koha in the same way.

We will also be previewing a new product we are developing – Rebus:tutorial.  As libraries provide more and more information resources a major challenge is to ensure that end users know how to use all of these systems.   Rebus:tutorial is aimed at promoting active learning and allows librarians to quickly and easily create online, interactive tutorials for all of the resources and systems they are offering.  We will be keen to hear your comments and suggestions that we could then feed in to the product prior to a launch of rebus:tutorial in the spring of 2014.
The day will also give you a chance to meet other customers and give you an opportunity to meet all of the staff from PTFS Europe.
Where and When:
Queens Hotel, Leeds, 10th December
The Queens, City Square, Leeds, LS1 1PJ – (for Sat Nav enter LS1 4DY)

Registration 9.30-10.15
Close at 16.15

The hotel is directly accessible from Leeds railway station.
Registration and Coffee
Welcome and update from PTFS Europe
Nick Dimant – Managing Director
Update on Koha, VuFind and Evergreen
Jonathan Field – Technical Director
Update on Rebus:list

Nick Phipps  – Business Manager
Mark Gavillet – Software Developer
Major enhancement to Rebus:list, possibly extended to Koha

Tea and coffee
Customer support and communication
Janet McGowan – Customer Services Manager
CUFTS and GODOT – user experiences
Helen Pye-Smith (The National Archives) and Nason Bimbe and Henry Rowsell (British Library for Development Studies)
Rebus:tutorial – new product preview
Mark Gavillet
Introduction to afternoon sessions
Nick Dimant

Breakout Session 1: Rebus:list
Angela Douglas and Helen Oliver (Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust) and Leigh Richardson (University of Sunderland),  with Nick Phipps and Mark Gavillet
Breakout Session 2:  SQL for dummies
Janet McGowan
Training session on SQL for dummies aimed particularly at Koha users
Breakout Session 3:  CUFTS and GODOT
Fiona Borthwick – Customer Services Consultant
Training and introductory session

Tea and coffee
Preview of new Koha ILL development
Jonathan Field
ArchivalWare – brief overview
Nick Phipps
VuFind, Rebus:list, Koha and WordPress at Halton Borough Council
Jeff Proffitt and Geraldine Kane (Halton Borough Council), with Jonathan Field

Open Forum
Thanks and Close at 16.15
Nick Dimant

Open Source for the college library – a free seminar

Open Source for the college library – a free seminar
PTFS Europe support and promote a range of “best of breed” open source software products for libraries. Together with North Warwickshire and Hinckley College we are holding a seminar primarily for library managers and systems librarians from Further Education colleges. This is a “free” event to showcase the full spectrum of the open source systems supported by PTFS Europe and how they operate either standalone or as a fully integrated solution. The systems to be demonstrated allow for the management, discovery and distribution of electronic, print and digital resources. The event is being hosted by North Warwickshire and Hinckley College at their Nuneaton Campus, which is easily accessible by train or by car.
Open source software is developed in collaboration, with librarians from around the world driving systems forward, controlling development and ensuring software continues to meet the ever changing demands of technology and end user expectations.
Together or separately the systems to be demonstrated will help libraries to meet their educational objectives as they were without exception designed to encourage users to interact with and explore valuable library resources.
Open Source software is now well established and is regularly the preferred choice for those libraries wishing to migrate to a new system.
The seminar will feature:
Koha – The leading Open Source library management system, completely web-based for both staff and end users. Core modules comprise: acquisitions with EDI, circulation, cataloguing, serials control, inter-library loans and reporting.  The Koha OPAC is highly configurable allowing libraries to brand and define the level and complexity of searching. Support for Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 with tagging, commenting, public and private lists are just some elements of the system.
VuFind – is a resource discovery system used to provide a single point of access to a wide range of information resources. It is able to harvest data from your library catalogue, digital archives and institutional repositories that users are then able to search with a single search returning clearly defined results from the combined resources.
Rebus:list – Reading list management software based on a comprehensive review of the current systems, Rebus:list has been developed to offer a significant advance in the effective management of the entire workflow involved in the delivery and presentation of resource lists.
CUFTS – provides libraries with the ability to manage Electronic Resources together with an integrated journal A-Z database and a link resolver for your library.
WordPress for libraries – is a leading content management system, able to provide a library’s entire web presence.
Where and When:
North Warwickshire and Hinckley College
Nuneaton Campus
Hinckley Road
CV11 6BH
15th November from 10.00 – 15.30
To book a place visit : Registration form
Nuneaton is at a rail crossroads with excellent communication from all parts of the Midlands. The college is only a short drive from the M6. For those travelling by train a shuttle taxi service will operate between Nuneaton station and the college. Car parking is available.
View map

Open Source for the academic library – a seminar

Open Source for the academic library – a seminar
PTFS Europe is holding a seminar at Manchester Metropolitan University on Tuesday the 16th of April. This seminar will provide the opportunity for librarians to hear of open source successes and how it meets the present and future needs of academic libraries.
It is in these difficult financial times with budgets under pressure that software and systems have to deliver value – costing less to both install and operate and yet continuing to evolve and develop to meet all the challenges that higher education faces. Open Source software is an effective, efficient way to deliver the necessary software functionality, allowing libraries to achieve their many objectives and at a reduced cost of ownership that perhaps cannot be matched by any of the traditional software vendors.
Open source software is a collaborative development, with librarians from around the world driving systems forward, being in control, and ensuring software and systems continue to meet the ever changing demands of technology and their end users.
PTFS Europe supports and promotes a range of products for the management, discovery and distribution of electronic, print and digital materials. The seminar will showcase this full spectrum of integrated systems.
Featured will be:
Koha – 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.
VuFind – a resource discovery capability that can be used to provide a single point of access to a wide range of information sources. The resources that can be harvested include your library catalogue, digital archives, institutional repositories and a wide range of other resources. Records are harvested from the various resources needed and then indexed using the SOLR search engine. Users can then search these multiple resources with a single search.
Rebus:list – the new resource list management system recently released by PTFS Europe. 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 resource lists.
Cufts – provides libraries the ability to manage Electronic Resources together with an integrated journal A-Z database and a link resolver for your library.
WordPress for libraries – a content management system that can be integrated with library management and discovery systems to provide the library’s entire web presence.
The agenda will be made available to those that make a booking at:

Where and When:

The Council Chamber
Manchester Metropolitan University
Cavendish Building
Cavendish St
M15 6BG

16th April 2013 from 10.00 – 15.30


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!
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