Ed Veal, Lead Educator of ByWater Solutions opened up the start of day 2 of the KohaNA conference with a discussion about community. He stressed how the Koha community makes such a huge difference between proprietary and Open Source software. Koha, as a community driven platform, has no company directing development based on what they think will sell the system. Instead, Koha grows based on the actual needs and wants of libraries using Koha.
One important aspect that Mr. Veal touched on was the fact that for front desk librarians, Koha being Free and Open Source Software has little bearing on the their daily activities. Instead, the fact that Koha is Open Source and community driven is much more important at an administration level, where libraries have a chance to collaborate and improve the system in ways not previously possible.
A conference member mentioned that Koha has in her personal experience definitely empowered her front line staff. In the past,staff would simply accept the fact that the software had bugs in a proprietary system. With Koha the librarians feel much more empowered and motivated to report bugs knowing that it is much more likely that they will get fixed.
After speaking about Koha and the local and global communities, Ed opened the floor to questions. He was particularly focused and interested in questions from librarians that have yet to make the transition to Koha.