Three New Libraries Join VOKAL With ByWater Solutions' Koha Support

Nathan Curulla
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Three New Libraries Join VOKAL With ByWater Solutions’ Koha Support

ByWater Solutions, an open source community supporter and the U.S.’ forefront provider of Koha support, is happy to welcome Hartford, Bradford and St. Albans Libraries to the Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries (VOKAL). All three libraries are now live on the Koha integrated library system through VOKAL.

VOKAL now has 46 libraries using the system which has nearly 778,000 items available to 75,000 patrons. The new libraries add over 60,500 new items to the shared collection.

Debra Tinkham, Director of the Bradford Public Library shared her decision to join VOKAL:

“VOKAL is the program of choice for small rural libraries. This past year we moved to VOKAL and this year three of our neighbor libraries are signed up to switch to VOKAL. I feel like we are riding the top of a rapidly expanding wave. Best of all our patrons love us for giving them the option of tracking their reading history.”

Anne Dempsey, Director at the Hartford Library commented on the support she received from ByWater during the transition to Koha:

“The Hartford Library started using Koha with support from ByWater Solutions and VOKAL in December. With so much work to do: re-barcoding the whole collection and assigning new patron card numbers, we were feeling a bit overwhelmed. But the Koha system, supported by ByWater Solutions, set us at ease immediately. Koha is much more user friendly than our old system and by joining VOKAL it has increased the number of incoming ILL requests.”

MaryPat Larrabee at the St. Albans Free Library also commented on their decision to join VOKAL and go live on Koha:

“As the St. Albans Free Library looked to move forward in an ever changing library world, we knew one of our priorities was to take our automation system to a new level. As we examined the possibilities, we saw a growing number of Vermont libraries were using Koha through the VOKAL consortium. As we evaluated both costs and services, we decided that being part of VOKAL / Koha best suited our needs.

Because we opted to have ByWater migrate our data, we were fortunate to be able to communicate with the knowledgeable staff at ByWater. We were very fortunate to work with Joy Nelson, who was extremely knowledgeable about the migration process. Her familiarity with Follet, our former software, also helped her migrate our data successfully with minimal distractions.

Overall, we are very pleased with our transition into the Koha system and all it has to offer. We are learning more about the possibilities each day!”

About the Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries (VOKAL):

The Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries (VOKAL), is a project of the Green Mountain Library Consortium dedicated to creating a shared catalog and Integrated Library System.

In 2007, the Stowe Free Library, the Carpenter-Carse Library (Hinesburg), and the Kimball Public Library (Randolph) joined with Sheila Kearns of the Vermont Department of Libraries to explore options for an ILS system to replace Follett. They decided on Koha, and in May of 2008, this team became VOKAL. For more information about VOKAL, 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,XHTML, 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:

With over 10 years of experience, ByWater Solutions offers customized hosting, data migration, configuration, installation, training, support options and development of the enterprise class open source library system, Koha. Offering a 24/7 technical helpline, ByWater Solutions’ clients have the support system they need to make their software work for them. ByWater Solutions pledges to share 100% of all developed code to the Koha community for the strengthening and advancement of the Koha ILS. For more information about ByWater Solutions, please visit:

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