Grouping Item Types for Circulation- New “Parent Code”

Fiona discusses the new “parent code” value in item type configuration which allows item types to be grouped together for circulation purposes, reducing the number of rules required.

We publish What’s on our Mind posts every couple of weeks and many are available on our YouTube Channel.

Library at National Botanic Garden of Wales successfully implements Koha

(report by Kate Jones, one of the Volunteer Librarians involved in Koha at the NBGW Library).

Librarians at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, chose Koha to create a catalogue for this new research/reference library, which is based within the Garden’s Research and Conservation group.  This group is headed by botanist Dr Natasha De Vere.
The process started last year, when our Librarian, Margot Greer, heard about Koha at a conference.  We then embarked on an evaluation and testing exercise, with the help of an IT-savvy student – the son of one of the Library volunteers.  We made the decision to go with Koha, had a day’s training this Spring from Jonathan Field (of PTFS) for three of our volunteers, then trained a further group of volunteers ourselves and started to import records from the Library at Kew Gardens, where we had matching records.  We believe that we were the first library in Wales to choose Koha.
Why Koha?  We were impressed by its versatility and the fact it was designed by librarians for librarians.  We like the Open Source principle… and the fact that it was free was also a factor, as we operate on a very small budget – indeed our Library is run entirely by volunteers.
We are lucky to have been able to download records for a significant proportion of our holdings from the Library at Kew (Royal Botanic Garden), and were pleased that Koha made this process so straightforward.  We have succeeded in implementing Koha with minimal professional IT support, thanks to the enthusiasm of our volunteers.
The project has been led throughout by Margot Greer, a professional Librarian, now retired and a Volunteer at the Garden.
We are now at the stage of testing our OPAC on the Garden’s own staff, students and volunteers – by ‘releasing’ it via our own internal network – prior to going ‘live’ on the internet in the next few weeks.  Access will be via the Garden’s public website.  The response of staff to the ‘test’ OPAC has been very enthusiastic.
For more information, please contact the leader of the Library Project, Margot Greer:

King’s Fund goes live with the Koha open source library management system supported by PTFS Europe


London, 25 January 2010
The library at The King’s Fund has gone live with the Koha open source library management system, replacing its existing Unicorn system. PTFS Europe carried out the initial implementation and is providing ongoing support. The system is hosted at the PTFS Europe data centre in Maidenhead.
Koha Library Management System
A major development in the library automation market over recent years has been the growth of open source software. In fact, the fastest growing sector in the library management system marketplace is open source software, of which Koha is one of the pre-eminent solutions.
With Koha, library staff access to the system is completely web-based; acquisitions, circulation, cataloguing, serials and reports can all be done through a web browser.  As well as a sophisticated search engine the OPAC offers a range of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 facilities such as tagging, commenting and public and private lists.   Koha can integrate with the ArchivalWare digital archiving solution as well as other federated search and link resolution services.  The King’s Fund library catalogue can be seen at
A key part of the migration was the ability of the team at PTFS Europe who extracted the data from Unicorn and then converted and loaded it into Koha. In addition, by working with PTFS, the King’s Fund get the best of both worlds – the freedom and functionality offered by open source software together with the benefits of getting high quality support from an organisation with an excellent reputation for delivering customer service.
Ray Phillips, Head of Information Services Development at The King’s Fund, said, “We are excited by our move to Koha: we believe it will enable us to respond flexibly and quickly to our users’ changing needs. Koha integrates well with The King’s Fund’s website and so will place the information and library service at the heart of communications with our audiences. Its attractive features and empowering functionality will allow us to successfully compete for attention in an information-saturated world.
Jonathan Field, Technical Director of PTFS Europe commented:   “We are delighted to be working with The King’s Fund on this project and would like to welcome the staff there to our growing community of users. Koha not only gives The King’s Fund an excellent feature set but also gives them an open platform on which to develop and integrate their important collections and services
About The King’s Fund
The King’s Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.
About PTFS Europe
PTFS Europe is implementing and supporting the Koha and Evergreen open source library management systems as well as distributing and supporting the software products of PTFS, Inc., the leading provider of digital archiving solutions in North America. PTFS Europe is able to provide the full range of services needed to implement a library or digital archival solution, ranging from project management, installation, configuration, data conversion, scanning and digitisation and training through to ongoing customer support.
More information on PTFS Europe:
Any questions please contact:
Nick Dimant:, +44 (0) 7966 571704


Equinox Software and PTFS Europe Form Evergreen Partnership

Norcross, GA – May 5, 2009
Equinox Software Inc. and PTFS Europe are pleased to announce a partnership for Evergreen software in Europe. Evergreen, the consortial-quality, open source library automation software, has an increasingly strong presence in North America, with many Evergreen libraries contracting for support and other services through Equinox Software. The partnership between Equinox Software and PTFS Europe provides European libraries the option of selecting a regional company with decades of experience in library management systems for local Evergreen implementations and ongoing support.
“Most libraries are simply not resourced to carry out a system migration or its ongoing support without further help. That is precisely what we can provide,” said Nick Dimant, Managing Director of PTFS Europe. Dimant added, “Embracing open source is about more than just the software. It is about a new way of working, an emphasis on partnership and collaboration with customers. In the current harsh economic climate the financial benefits of moving to open source are also clear.”
“We are delighted to work with Nick and the PTFS Europe team in supporting Evergreen in Europe,” said Bob Molyneux, Vice President of Business Development with Equinox Software. “We believe they will be a strong partner in extending the Evergreen community as it begins its expansion outside of North America.”
About Evergreen
Evergreen is consortial-quality, open-source library software initially developed to support Georgia PINES, a resource-sharing consortium with over 270 public libraries. Evergreen was designed from the ground up to be robust, fault-tolerant, service-oriented, and standards-based. Evergreen nimbly evolves to meet the needs of very large, high-transaction, multi-site consortia, while elegantly scaling down to the smallest library sites.
The growing, multinational Evergreen development community has shepherded Evergreen through a series of carefully-planned releases that have further strengthened Evergreen’s consortial capabilities while adding popular and useful functionality. Evergreen 2.0, due out in 2009, will add acquisitions, serials, and reserves to Evergreen’s outstanding functionality.
From its debut in September 2006, Evergreen has earned acclaim and praise from users worldwide, including a Technology Collaboration Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Over one hundred library systems are now running Evergreen, including consortial projects such as Michigan Evergreen, Evergreen Indiana, and British Columbia SITKA, as well as libraries such as Kent County Public Library in Maryland, Marshall Public Library in Missouri, the National Weather Center Library, and the University of Prince Edward Island.
Other libraries contracting with Equinox software for future Evergreen services include King County Library System (a public library system in Washington State), the thirteen libraries of Natural Resources Canada, North Texas Regional Library System, and South Carolina LENDS, an 11-library consortium. A number of libraries “go it alone” with Evergreen by providing their own migration and support, which further demonstrates the power, ease, and reliability of this state-of-the-art library software. For more information about Evergreen, see
About PTFS Europe
PTFS Europe is implementing and supporting the Evergreen and Koha open source library management systems as well as distributing and supporting the software products of PTFS, Inc., the leading provider of digital archiving solutions in North America.  PTFS Europe is able to provide the full range of services needed to implement a library or digital archival solution, including project management, installation, configuration, data conversion, scanning and digitisation, training and ongoing customer support.  For libraries who would prefer to outsource their IT provision, PTFS can also host Evergreen via its Software as a Service (SaaS) facility.
For more information on PTFS Europe, see
About Equinox Software, Inc.
Founded by the original Evergreen designers and developers, Equinox Software is a growing team of skilled developers and other professionals who provide comprehensive support for Evergreen, the consortial-quality, open source Integrated Library System (ILS). Equinox develops, supports, trains, migrates, integrates, and consults on Evergreen, and engages with the rapidly expanding Evergreen community. Instead of one-size-fits-all support, Equinox works closely with libraries to ensure Evergreen is implemented in the manner that best fits their individual needs.
In addition to support, custom development and integration services, Equinox offers complete Evergreen hosting packages for libraries wishing to outsource their ILS infrastructure. Equinox also provides consulting services for libraries seeking more insight into the value proposition of open source software.
For more information on Equinox Software, please visit
Evergreen is open source software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL. Evergreen and the Evergreen logo are trademarks of the Georgia Public Library Service.

York St John University launches its digital archive

York St John University launches its digital archive

York St John University Library and Information Services has today launched its digital archive, showcasing the work of students and staff of the university, and making it available to the wider community.

The project, currently named YSJ Digirep, has been supported by funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). It has used for its pilot phase the products of the C4C (Collaborating for Creativity) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning established at the university in 2005. C4C showcases the work of students, staff and external partners resulting from creative collaborations.The university will also use the archive to host its forthcoming EnquireOnline online publication, being produced as part of the Higher Education Funding Council-funded Research Informed Teaching/Enquiry Based Learning project currently underway. The publication will provide a platform for both YSJ staff and students to share ideas and activities informed and enriched by their research and enquiry. The archive will also be used as a research publications database, with the aim of making all the university’s research material available to the general public where possible.
Other uses for the archive are as a repository for digitising other collections held at the university, such as the Rees-Williams Victorian Children’s Book Collection and the Theatre Royal Archive, for which funding is being sought. The archive runs on PTFS ArchivalWare software which is a web-based, full-text search and retrieval system for digital libraries used to store, access, and manage digital archive collections. Source formats include digital documents, books, news clippings, photographs, video and audio collections and other electronically published material. For further information on the archive and the project, please contact
Helen Westmancoat, Deputy University Librarian, or
Lauren Shipley, Digital Archive Development Coordinator
About York St John University
York St John University can trace its roots back 167 years when it started life as a Church of England Teacher Training College in 1841. The university offers a wide range of programmes, and has particular strengths in Education and Theology, Sports Science and Psychology, Health and the Creative Arts. The University has approx. 6,000 students, 65% of whom are following full-time programmes of study: 86% study at undergraduate level and 14% at postgraduate.
York St John also has a Business Development Centre and the York St John Business School that can help develop businesses through improving performance, competitiveness and productivity Further information on C4C can be found at
About PTFS Europe
PTFS Europe is a company formed to distribute and support the software products of PTFS, Inc., the leading provider of digital archiving solutions in North America. PTFS Europe is able to provide the full range of services needed to implement a digital archival solution, ranging from initial help defining the scope of the opportunity through to project management, installation, configuration, data conversion, scanning and digitisation, training and ongoing customer support.