Venezuela’s National Library evaluated, decided to deploy the Koha Integrated Library System

The way I read it, it isn’t a 100% done deal, but it appears Venezuela’s National Library is going to migrate to Koha. Big news for people in the Koha camp I would say! Here is the press release:

Venezuela’s National Library evaluated, decided to deploy
the Koha Integrated Library System

On the first half of 2008, Venezuela’s National Library
(BNV) evaluated the Koha ILS and other FLOSS-based
ILSs, together with a proprietary ILS, and decided to
deploy Koha in two phases for the Library’s catalogue,
which includes more than two million records, and the
National Public Library System.

The evaluation was made by the Information Technology
Office, and starting February 2008, three independent
Koha consultants were asked for technical help in order
to evaluate Koha strengths and shortcomings, and
possible development/improvement plans, as well as an
important migration plan from the legacy NOTIS system.
Circulation, acquisitions and patrons weren’t regarded
as critical modules of the ILS, while Cataloguing,
Authorities and Serials were given special attention.

Ailé Filippi and Mariana González, licensed librarians,
deployed a full Koha demonstration and worked for
two months with the BNV librarians in order to establish
the desired functionality level. BNV librarians wanted a
new input system for MARC records which allow them
to manually input all fields and subfields, and a very
particular notation for holdings which allows to specify
the specific Public Library where the item is held.

On the other hand, José Miguel Parrella Romero, an
IT consultant, worked with BNV’s IT Office in order
to recommend and install the latest Koha3 snapshot,
and configured a working proof of concept using Zebra
for more than 70 thousand simulated records. BNV
staff export data from NOTIS and use a proprietary
tool to convert those records to an ISIS database, so
it was necessary to write a computer program which
migrates those records to MARC.

While the project is currently waiting for further actions,
Fernando Báez, BNVs General Manager, and Sergio Teijero,
IT Consultant for BNV, have exposed BNV intentions to
fully deploy the Koha ILS in short term, migrating over
2 million records and providing access to thousands of
Public Libraries and users around the World who would
like to access BNV catalogue information using Koha3
OPAC, while renewing BNV’s IT platform.