Article contributed by Stephanie Osley
Miguel Angel Asturias Academy would like to develop a lending library program for their students, families and the wider community of Xela. Lending libraries in Guatemala are very rare, and the Academy wishes to build a sustainable community library with free access to information.
LWB worked with the Academy in 2009 to set up their collection in LibraryThing, an online service that they have been using since that time to inventory and catalogue their library materials. They are also using DB2 (a database software) in conjunction with LibraryThing. However, the library has outgrown it and they were looking for another solution. LWB established a Library Lending Project team who developed possible models ranging from manual systems to Integrated Library Systems (ILS). After discussions with the LWB-funded volunteer librarian at the library, the model selected was an integrated library system. Next, the volunteer librarian and the team began research on open source ILS, such as BookCat, Evergreen, Koha and OpenBiblio. One of the essential requirements is finding a system which has a Spanish version and is a good fit for the library.
During the trip to the Academy in May 2012, the team discussed the project further with the librarian, and examined DB2 more closely. They also brought barcodes with them. The project is currently ongoing and the team is excited about the progress made so far. We’ll share updates periodically on the status of this initiative.