The Alameda and Contra Costa Law Libraries Go Live on Koha with ByWater Solutions

Nathan Curulla
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Alameda & Contra Costa Library LIVE on ByWater Solutions Koha Support

The Alameda and Contra Costa County Law Libraries Go Live on Koha with ByWater Solutions

ByWater Solutions, an open source community contributor and America’s forefront provider of Koha support, announced today that The Alameda and Contra Costa County Law Libraries of Oakland and Martinez, CA. are now live on Koha. ByWater Solutions had completed the migration of both of the libraries’ holdings from their SydneyPLUS systems earlier this year and is providing ongoing Koha support and hosting services to the union catalog.  The libraries joined together to create a joint catalog during this migration, which can be be viewed at: The Bernard E. Witkin library of Alameda County consists of two branches while the Contra Costa Public Law Library has three locations 

Mark Estes, Director of Alameda County Law Library, commented on their decision to move to Koha with ByWater:

“For a couple of years I had been quietly and inconsistently looking at replacement integrated library systems. The system we had worked well enough but it was difficult to both display relevant catalog results to our patrons while giving our libraries the power to see all of the books which we have. Of course I wanted to reduce cost and to have a system that displayed nicely on mobile devices. I also wanted a system and a company that supported sharing the catalog with another county law library. Koha with ByWater Solutions does all of those things. It economically allows me to share an ILS with Contra Costa County law library and provides the potential to expand our catalog with two other County law libraries. It gives us the flexibility to allow Alameda County users to see our law library catalog as their “home” catalog and then also easily search Contra Costa for holdings in their catalog – on their computer or their mobile device. ByWater Solutions came on-site to train law library staff in the use of their systems. Since that training their support team is readily available for questions, additional web-based training and to tweak our configuration.”

He continues:

“We migrated from an older ILS that was not MARC-compliant. That non-MARC format created additional difficulties and challenges for the migration team. They seemed thrilled about those challenges. Together Alameda County law library staff and ByWater Solutions staff figured out how to get data out of our system and re-format it so that it would go into Koha.  In short, I highly recommend ByWater Solutions as the implementer for Koha.”

About The Alameda County Law Library:
The Alameda County Law Library has proudly served the Alameda County Legal community and its citizens for over one hundred years. Established in 1891, the Alameda County Law Library is one of 58 county law libraries that serve the people of the state of California. Each county law library functions as a separate governmental entity within its county and derives the bulk of its income from civil filing fees.

The law library provides free access to the judiciary, state and county officials, members of the bar and residents of the county. (California Business and Professions Code Secs §6300-6365.) While the loyal support of the law library’s many trustees has remained unswerving over the years, there have been many changes in the past century. In December, 1893, the collection contained 1,376 volumes; and in 1927, 16,841 volumes. In 2008, the library contains 105,000 volumes in hard copy and 91,941 volume equivalents in microform for a total volume count of 196,941. For more information please visit:

About The Contra Costa County Public Law Library:
Established in 1893, The Contra Costa County Public Law Library’s mission is “to provide all members of the community access to research materials to aid in understanding and preserving legal rights.”

The library operates as a separate entity from its county government and receives no general appropriations from the county. However, the county does provide quarters for the law library. Funding is derived from a portion of court filing fees supplemented by fees charged for photocopies and other services. The law library is governed by sections 6300 through 6365 of the California Business and Professions Code.

The law library has a collection of over 35,000 volumes, supplemented by microfiche, CD-ROMs, and six public computer workstations with access to Westlaw, LexisNexis and HeinOnline databases. The collection is arranged according to the Library of Congress classification system, searchable through an online catalog. For more information please visit:

About Koha:
Koha is the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS). In use worldwide, its development is steered by a growing community of libraries collaborating to achieve their technology goals. Koha’s impressive feature set continues to evolve and expand to meet the needs of its user base. It includes modules for circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, reserves, patron management, branch relationships, and more.

Koha’s OPAC, circulation, management and self-checkout interfaces are all based on standards-compliant World Wide Web technologies, HTML5, CSS and Javascript, making Koha a truly platform-independent solution. Koha is distributed under the open-source General Public License (GPL). For more information about Koha, please visit:

About ByWater Solutions:
ByWater Solutions is a full service, high quality support and implementation company dedicated to providing libraries with a lower cost, more advanced level of support for their ILS than a traditional proprietary solution can offer. ByWater Solutions has a proven track record in first rate Koha support and implementation with library systems of all sizes. Our highly ranked, comprehensive support is what sets our company apart from any other vendor in the industry. Partnering with ByWater Solutions for Koha support not only lowers the cost of implementing and maintaining an ILS, but more importantly empowers libraries by giving them the flexibility and freedom they deserve. For more information please visit: /