Library Automation

The SWITCH Library Consortium Goes Live on ByWater Solutions Koha Support

10/13/2016
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SWITCH Library Consotium LIVE on ByWater Solutions Koha SupportThe SWITCH Library Consortium Goes Live on ByWater Solutions Koha Support

ByWater Solutions, an open source community contributor and America’s forefront provider of Koha support, announced today that the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange, Inc (SWITCH) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is now live on their Koha open source integrated library system.

ByWater Solutions completed the migration of the Libraries’ more than 950,000 titles from their Millennium system and is providing ongoing support services to the consortium and its members. SWITCH is made up of 8 Academic Library members who include Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Concordia University, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Mount Mary University, Sacred Heart School of Theology, St. Francis Seminary and Wisconsin Lutheran College. The Consortium’s customized online catalog can be found here: https://topcat.switchinc.org/

Jenny Schmidt, Coordinator of Services for the consortium, commented on their move to Koha with ByWater:

In the course of evaluating a new library system for our consortium, SWITCH was looking for a library system that would translate into cost savings for its members while still not sacrificing key functionality.  Our organization feels it’s important for small, academic libraries to have an open source ILS option that is not overly confusing to set up and manage. We appreciated the clear enthusiasm ByWater staff have for open source, for Koha and the future of both.

Jenny goes on to comment on her experience with the team at ByWater:

“ByWater staff have been patient with our group and have worked hard to listen to our local needs starting with our migration. This has been important as our member libraries transitioned to Koha, and because SWITCH plans to continue working with them to shape Koha to be even more robust for small academic consortia like ourselves. We have a shared catalog where patrons are able to place holds on materials from any member library. It was important to our staff to continue to offer article level requests via our catalog. We were very pleased with how Kyle Hall (Lead Developer at ByWater) worked closely with our consortium to develop custom article request functionality for the Koha OPAC and staff client. The end result works better than what we had with our former ILS.  Kyle worked tireless to try and accommodate our libraries.

About the SWITCH Library Consortium:
SWITCH, which stands for the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization set up in the late 1980’s by participating private colleges in the Milwaukee area. Its purpose is to help advance the effective implementation of information technology at its member libraries and institutions and to facilitate cooperative ventures between its member institutions. These private colleges serve a diverse student body from traditional age, on-campus students to adult non-traditional students spanning a number of states and countries. Read more about our member institutions.

SWITCH works to support and highlight the library services and collections of its member libraries and institutions. This new mission is to be achieved by:

  • Working to better support the facilitation of library services at the SWITCH libraries.
  • Working to identify improved techniques and staff training opportunities.
  • Working to increase and improve access to each other’s library collections.
  • Working to identify ways to showcase the materials owned by the SWITCH libraries.

For more information about SWITCH please visit: http://support.switchinc.org/

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: http://koha-community.org/

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: /

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