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Highlights from the 2020 Koha-Us Annual Conference: “Online Together”

By Felicia Beaudry, Product and Implementation Trainer at Equinox

Koha-US welcomed the Koha community to its 2020 Conference, themed 
Online Together, September 22 – 24.

Stephanie Chase, Executive Director of the Libraries of Eastern Oregon and Principal Founder of Constructive Disruption, gave the keynote address on the topic of change management.  She encouraged everyone to focus on the “together” part of the theme and the collaborative nature of the Koha community and open source in general. Ms. Chase also reminded us of Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model, much of which resonated during these challenging times:  lead with purpose and humanity – whatever we do, do with kindness, empathy, and care. She pointed out that many people are still mourning the loss of how things used to be, a regular schedule of getting the kids off to school, commuting to work, and gathering with friends and family.  Many of us will mourn again when we need to go back to commuting to work, lose the time we’ve used for extra reading, cleaning, self-improvement, etc.

Covid-19 was addressed again in a presentation from Cindy Li, Head of Emerging Tech and Systems at Bridgewater State University.  She spoke about the campus-wide response to the pandemic, as well as the library’s response, focusing on e-resources, but also having a plan for in-person services.

There were a number of really excellent presentations:  how to use basic HTML and CSS to customize slips, using jQuery, integrating Koha and MARCEdit, working with the Advanced Cataloging Editor, making short educational videos for Koha users and patrons, and many more.

We at Equinox were happy to have two presentations at Koha-US 2020 this year.  Jennifer Weston and I kicked off the first day of presentations with a discussion of why adaptability was so important in our migration of Biblioteca Nacional de Puerto Rico to Koha as part of the Equinox Open Source Grant.  Rogan Hamby and Jason Etheridge did a terrific introduction to kmig, an open-source git like tool they developed to use for Koha migrations and data projects.

The last day of the conference, dubbed Bug-a-Palooza, was a new take on the normal hack-away.  It started with a Sandbox how-to, with subject specific discussions throughout the day on bugs and enhancements, but all through Zoom.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference live, you can still enjoy all the presentations.  Recordings, slides, links, and other information for each session are available on the conference website.  Recordings are also available on the Koha-US’s YouTube channel.

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