Statement Concerning Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

9th March 2020

In light of recent events relating to the Coronavirus, we wish to reassure you that we consider the health of our staff, customers and partners of utmost importance. We are therefore following the latest advice from Public Health England (PHE) and the Government.

In order to minimise business disruption and continue providing services to our clients, we are ready to invoke contingency plans should it become necessary. 

As you are probably aware, PTFS Europe is already a virtual company and this means that our staff already have the ability to work remotely using a range of collaboration tools and can continue to work closely with colleagues, customers and partners.

If necessary meetings will be held virtually rather than in person and we will be able to continue to run our support desk in the normal way. 

As the applications we support are web-based this also means that your staff would be able to work remotely in order to continue to provide your services in the event of libraries being closed. If you are unable to open library branches then we can assist you with changing loan due dates and waiving fines. We would also recommend the promotion of any eBook, audio book, electronic journals or other electronic material you may subscribe to. If you need us to help you with any of the above please contact the helpdesk.  

If you would like further information or would like to discuss your specific situation with us, please contact your Account Manager.

Update 17th March 2020

Following the UK Government’s statement on Covid-19 last night, we are now in a situation where social distancing measures are in place. PTFS Europe continues to take action to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff. We have stopped international travel and are now limiting domestic travel wherever possible.

Some customers have contacted us concerned about the impact of the Covid-19 Corona Virus and how it might affect us and their service.

We have 2 potential risks, these being;

• Disruption to our supply chain
• Disruption of our workforce

We have been in contact with our hosting providers and they have assured us that they already have adequate stock holding. They have also assured us that they are sufficiently strong financially to weather this storm.

At the present time, all of our staff are healthy and are working as normal. As you are probably aware we have worked as a virtual company since 2007 and therefore already have robust systems in place for remote working. However, we do like to meet face to face with our customers (and other staff) when it makes sense to do so. For example, we like to train face to face. However, at this time, we are advising our staff that face to face meetings should become virtual until further notice. We have excellent virtual systems in place already which our staff use on a regular basis so, with the exception of seeing you in person, we should be able to give you our normal service.

If you need advice about closing your library and you have the Koha Library Management System, please refer to this guide.

Scotland’s national conservatoire, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland selects the Koha open source library management system for its library, hosted and supported by PTFS Europe and the Explorit Everywhere! discovery system supplied by DeepWeb Technologies.

London, 14th March, 2017

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, ranked third in the world for performing arts education, has chosen Koha for its new library management system to replace the existing solution from Capita. The team at PTFS Europe will be implementing Koha and providing on-going hosting and support services. The Royal Conservatoire has also selected Explorit Everywhere! to provide a single search for electronic resources.

Koha Library Management System

The Koha library management system is a completely web-based application for staff and end-users. The system comprises core modules: acquisitions with EDI, circulation, cataloguing, serials and comprehensive reporting functionality. The Koha online catalogue (OPAC) offers excellent search capabilities together with a full range of personalisation services. Koha’s depth of functionality continues to develop meeting the changing needs of libraries and their users.

Explorit Everywhere!

Explorit Everywhere! is designed to search all of your sources and intuitively navigate users through a quick search to efficiently find and apply your information when and where you need it.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Based in the heart of Glasgow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked third in the world for performing arts education (QS rankings) and is ranked number one in Scotland for graduate employability, endorsing its status as a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts.

In 2017, the Royal Conservatoire is celebrating its 170th anniversary and throughout the year, the institution will host a series of performances and special events recognising its rich history and world class reputation for performing arts education.

Supporting learning, teaching & research across the Royal Conservatoire’s trans-disciplinary and innovative curriculum, the Whittaker Library contains one of the most comprehensive collections of performance materials for music, dance, drama, production and film in the UK and internationally.

Caroline Cochrane, Head of Information Services at RCS, said: 

“Deciding to move to the Koha Open Source platform, with hosting and support from PTFS Europe, offers us a cost-effective solution which meets our business requirements. Koha also allows us to offer our students an integrated search experience with Explorit Everywhere! –which will enhance the discoverability of our many resources and deliver to our learning community a more accessible and digitally enabled environment”.

Nick Dimant, Managing Director at PTFS Europe added

“We are delighted that the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has chosen the Koha system and we welcome them as new customers.  They will be joining our well established base of customers from all library sectors in the UK hosted and supported by PTFS Europe.”

PTFS Europe

PTFS Europe provides a wide range of products for the library market.  These include the library system Koha, Rebus:list for list management, RT: request tracker for enquiry management, Coral for electronic resource management and the Knowvation digital repository. An ISO27001 company, PTFS Europe provides the full range of services needed to implement, host and support these products.

More information on PTFS Europe:

Any questions please contact: Lesley Jones:

K-Int, KE Software and PTFS Europe collaborate in Royal Armouries’ Accessibility Project

21st October, 2013
As part of a major project aimed at improving the content and access to its collection management, archive and library systems, Royal Armouries has chosen K-INT, KE Software and PTFS Europe to help deliver this key project. K-INT will be providing the CIIM discovery layer, KE Software will be delivering the EMu collections management system and PTFS Europe will be implementing and hosting the Koha library management system.
Royal Armouries is the United Kingdom’s National Museum of Arms and Armour – one of the largest collections of arms and armour in the world.
It is home to the UK’s National Collection of Arms and Armour, National Artillery Collection, and National Firearms Collection. It is also the keeper of Tower of London history. Royal Armouries is Britain’s oldest public museum, and one of the oldest museums in the world. It operates on three UK sites: at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, Fort Nelson near Portsmouth and at the White Tower within the Tower of London. For more information, please visit
Peter Armstrong, Royal Armouries Creative Development Director says ‘I am delighted to be working alongside such experienced and talented teams. We are delighted that we will have powerful new tools not only to manage our important collections better but also, just as importantly, to present them to our many new users worldwide.’
CIIM discovery layer
K-INT are responsible for delivering an over-arching resource discovery layer for the project. This system will use the CIIM software product to provide a unified search interface across a range of data sources including the library, archives and collections management systems. A bespoke user interface, built on top of the CIIM application programming interface (API) will be designed and built for Royal Armouries by Gooii Ltd; a Nottingham based design company, acting as subcontractors to K-INT.
EMu collections management system
KE Software will implement its Electronic Museum management system, EMu, to manage Royal Armouries’ archive, museum and digital asset collections. The world’s premier collections management system, EMu will manage all aspects of the Armouries’ collections from loans to insurance, donations, acquisitions, movements, exhibitions, events and more. KE will also implement IMu, or Internet Museum, a feature-rich, configurable web interface to the collections information managed by EMu. Built using the latest web technologies, IMu provides Internet and Intranet access to the published parts of a collection for use on desktop computers, in-house kiosks, on mobile devices and other platforms.
Koha library management system
With Koha, library staff access to the system is completely web-based; acquisitions and EDI, circulation, cataloguing, serials and reports are all done through a web browser. The online catalogue offers an excellent search capability and a full range of personalisation services. Koha’s depth of functionality continues to evolve and expand to meet the changing needs of its user base. A key part of the project lies in the ability to easily integrate Koha into the museum’s broader discovery environment.
About K-INT
Knowledge Integration Ltd, founded in 1999, is an open source software development company based in Sheffield. K-INT specialises in resource discovery solutions for the cultural and education sectors. Museum sector customers for its CIIM product include National Maritime Museum, Imperial War Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum and Museum of London. The company also participates actively in collaborative R&D and is currently lead technical partner on the EUfunded Europeana Inside project as well as working closely with JISC Collections on the Knowledge Base plus and Global Open Knowledge Base projects. Since 2009, K-INT has partnered with Collections Trust to manage Culture Grid which provides access to over 3 million objects from a diverse range of UK collections.
About KE Software
KE Software is the world’s leading provider of Collections Management systems and services for natural history museums, cultural history museums, art museums, herbaria, botanic gardens, archives and special collections. KE’s Electronic Museum management system, EMu, has evolved over 25 years’ close partnership with industry experts and stakeholders and is the world’s leading museum management system, managing more specimens and artefacts (around half a billion) and with more end users than any other vendor’s software. EMu is in operation throughout North America, Europe, Australasia, North Africa and the Middle East, a client base that includes the three largest museums in the world.
About PTFS Europe
With over 60 customers in 12 countries, PTFS Europe provides a wide range of products and services to the library market. These include the open source library systems Koha and Evergreen, Rebus:list for list management, the VuFind discovery portal, CUFTS for electronic resource management, WordPress for Libraries and the ArchivalWare digital repository. An ISO27001 company, PTFS Europe provides the full range of services needed to implement, host and support these products.


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