KOHA is the first and MOST WIDELY USED open source






















We can walk alongside you and your library management needs


We are experts at hosting and managing Koha library systems


Koha is a rich, scalable system for both single and networked libraries of all sizes


It can be complemented with our document delivery services

Koha is an open source Integrated Library System (ILS) used by libraries of all kinds: public, educational, special, corporate and governmental.   It is used by thousands of libraries around the world.

Koha's sophisticated modules include:

* Administration/ Management Facilities for Special Library Operations
* Online OPAC
* Patrons
* Robust ataloguing system (MARC-based, supports Z39.50, with the option to fetch entries from Libraries Australia directly)
* Searching
* Circulation system (including self-checkout option)
* Acquisitions, Budgeting & Serials Management
* Reporting
* Library 2.0 facilities (tags, suggestions, Amazon & Google's book jackets)

We added: A-to-Z e-list for your Electronic Journal Collections / Integration with e-library

We can import from MARC format records or other sources (for example from a spreadsheet or a tagged export file) through a range of conversion / import functions we developed that allow us to merge different data sources and avoid duplication of bibliographic items in the resulting catalogue.

Some of the Koha Library Systems we implemented in Australia are shown below.  THOUSANDS OF LIBRARIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE USING KOHA.

Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane | Adelaide | Canberra | Darwin




Our Library Systems Mission

Build, integrate and manage efficient and sustainable systems.
Innovate in functionality, design and building technology, tailor-suiting them to the needs and preferences of each library.
Assist and advice librarians and staff with all levels of technology expertise.
Use the best available open source components and our own integration systems to create well-rounded solutions.

About Koha

Koha's Open Source Library Management System (meaning "gift" in Māori) was developed by the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand in 1999 and made available in Open Source.

Disclaimer: while Prosentient Systems provides Koha hosting we do not represent the Koha community. It is represented by a diverse group of Koha hosting providers and Koha libraries around the world. Its community home page can be found at www.koha-community.org.

Koha’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) and its Staff Client are both completely web-based, requiring simply a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari

Koha can be used from Windows, Macintosh and Linux desktops, tablets and smart phone devices

Koha is very easy to install and support

The user interface is very configurable and the OPAC can be customised to provide a simple portal to an information centre on the intranet

We can also provide technical training tailored for systems librarians

Worrying about easiness of use?

Do not! There are lots of online tutorials and other documentation available from the Koha community

We have plenty of experience implementing both small and large Koha sites

Want to get a hands on feel for Koha?
Contact us and we'll set you up a Test Drive on our Koha Demonstration System

Koha Statistics

The name Koha comes from a New Zealand Maori term for a gift or donation

It is a richly featured and web-based, written in Perl with a SQL database backend

Year of original implementation


Koha Details

Support for standards

Koha is built using library standards and protocols that ensure interoperability with other systems and technologies.
  • Compliance with MARC21 standards makes it easy to migrate, import or export catalogue records from, or to, other library systems. MARC21 records provided by publishers can be imported into a staging area in Koha and used for ordering and cataloguing purposes. This same framework will support RDA functions as they become prevelant.
  • Koha also has excellent tools for importing (or exporting) authorities and patron data.  Large numbers of records can be migrated using command line tools while incremental updates can be performed using a GUI interface.
  • Koha’s support for Z39.50 allows it to act as a Z39.50 client and/or server as required.  This can be useful for libraries that do not have a lot of trained cataloguers.  New items can be copy-catalogued by importing a MARC record from any number of Z39.50 servers worldwide, including Libraries Australia and the Library of Congress.  As a Z39.50 server other libraries can search and information from your catalogue.  This can be used by Libraries Australia, for example, to provide researchers with details of which libraries hold particular items of interest.
  • Koha also supports the SIP/NCIP library automation protocols which makes it simple to integrate third party applications and hardware products such as RFID.
  • A considerable amount of functionality is available to Koha through its ability to consume Web Services.  For example, a catalogue may be supplemented with “enhanced content” from online services such as Amazon.  Enhanced content includes such things as book cover images, reviews or details of editions. Some is freely available and some is by subscription.
  • SOAP services for web service integration with other systems.

Structure and organisation

Koha has the flexibility to support various kinds of library structures and organisation:
  • define your own main library/branch structure and associated rules
  • exercise broad or granular control over staff client access levels
  • define your own patron categories and their lending rules
  • define your own collections and their lending rules
  • define your own items types and their circulation rules
  • keep track of item locations if required
  • define currencies as part of acquisitions

Personalisation and social networking

As a product under continuous improvement during the era of Web 2.0, Koha has introduced a number of features that enhance the patron’s library experience.  The policies of the library will determine whether some or all of these features are made available but. if they are enabled, patrons may:
  • maintain personal details
  • reserve items
  • receive automated reminders
  • renew items
  • review or comment on items in the catalogue
  • make purchase recommendations
  • tag items with their own keywords
  • save a search as an RSS feed so that they are notified of new search results as items are added to the catalogue
  • see their own reading history
  • see their own search history
  • maintain private or public reading lists
  • generate a list of citations from a reading list

Staff-patron communications

Library staff can choose from a number of ways to communicate and engage with their patrons:
  • easily updateable news items on the OPAC
  • leave messages for patrons
  • leave messages for other staff against patron records
  • display notice of new library additions in the OPAC
  • customise templates and trigger rules for patron reminder or advisory notices
  • compile publicly available reading lists or finding guides
  • moderate comments posted by patrons if required

Powerful catalogue search

Koha’s search engine, Zebra, can index and retrieve millions of records very quickly and return results that are superior to many alternatives:
  • it is possible to search any field in the catalogue or search all fields at once
  • Zebra provides faceted search, drill down and multiple options for ordering result lists
  • complex search queries using logical operators can be constructed on the advanced search page or by entering CCL (Command Command Language) queries into a search box.
  • Zebra can be configured to perform implicit stemming or “fuzzy” searches, if desired, to compensate for misspelled words
  • Zebra is UTF-8 compliant, allowing it to handle catalogue records in any language character set

Flexible reporting

Koha has a flexible and powerful reporting module consisting of:
  • a number of pre-defined reports to generate commonly required information
  • easy-to-use Statistics Wizards for the Acquisitions, Patrons, Catalogue, Circulation and Serials modules
  • a more general Guided Reports Wizard which allows you to choose the report format, the data to be displayed in row or columns and any selection criteria
  • the ability to build your own SQL queries, save and edit them and run them directly from the user interface
  • access to a Koha community library of hundreds of reports that others have found useful which you can copy and run
  • the ability to save report output data to text files for later opening in a spreadsheets or other application 
  • the ability to schedule the reports to be run at pre-defined times or intervals
  • for stocktaking, a file of items physically available (from barcode or RFID scans) is easily combined with a list of circulating, withdrawn. damaged or lost records to generate a report of missing items

Koha Implementation

Prosentient has considerable experience implementing Koha sites, large and small.  Larger projects may start with a set of formal requirements in a contract and kick off with a project initiation meeting. With smaller sites the preliminaries are usually conducted over the phone.  

The simplest project of all is setting up a new library because there is no data to migrate -- but in most of our projects data must be migrated from an existing system. Whatever the size of an existing library, implementation will involve the following steps:

Establish requirements: every library is slightly different in how it operates and Koha is highly configurable to allow for just about every feature a librarian might require. Out of the box Koha comes with the settings that are most commonly used, so the task can be narrowed to identify those areas in which the new library is exceptional. We provide a migration checklist to get librarians thinking about how their library works and what they want to achieve from the data migration. This may lead to a further discussion about local requirements and how they can be implemented.

Customisation: complex customisation is rarely required, but sometimes arises in the context of integrating with other systems. If this is required, we are happy to estimate and quote the work involved based on our standard rate.

Obtain legacy data: we ask the library to export and send us files containing the records they wish to migrate to the new system. Most libraries want to export their catalogue and borrower records and these are usually straightforward because they are typically held in a standard form. We have considerable experience with different kinds of library management systems and may be able to provide advice about getting the data out, if that is needed.

Our clients are also invited to nominate any data cleaning or mapping they wish to undertake as part of the migration -- merging items types, for example, or deleting bib records without items.  Other types of records, for example acquisitions or serial management, can be complicated because there are no standards for these across the different systems. Depending on the quality of the exported data and the complexity of the conversion task, it has occasionally been necessary to quote for significant additional work involved in a complex data migration -- but this is rare.

Collateral content: we ask the library to provide any graphics, links to other pages, background text and so on that they would like us to use in setting up the appearance of the OPAC.  If the library has no special requirements in this department we are usually able to borrow suitable logos and colour schemes from its corporate website. 

Establish development site: the OPAC and Staff Client sites are set up on Prosentient’s hosting service and made available to the library, together with initial log-in accounts.

Data conversion, migration and cleaning: Prosentient has developed software tools for cleaning and migrating data from the legacy library systems it has encountered. The data is migrated based on the library’s requirements and the library is asked to check and confirm the results.  We have found that most implementations require two or three cycles of conversion, import and checking in order to achieve the accuracy required. For this reason all our data conversions are “scripted” and can be run through a series of iterations to refine the conversion mapping and data cleaning required to yield an effective result for the client.  The final export of the old data needs to take place as close as possible to implementation of the new system and ideally the old system is not used further once this has occurred. For this reason, final export often takes place on a Friday afternoon and cutover to the new system occurs first thing on Monday morning. If use of the old system after final export is unavoidable, subsequent transactions will need to be noted and adjustments made when the new system goes live.

Configuration workshop: in parallel with data cleaning and migration we conduct a Koha Configuration Workshop with, depending on the size of the library, at least the chief and deputy librarian attending. In this workshop we canvas those aspects of Koha configuration that most often differ between sites and show the librarians how we make the configuration changes on their new site. Based on the library’s requirements, previously gathered, we tend to focus on particular features of interest to the library.  The configuration workshop will cover:

  • Basic setup parameters
  • Patron & circulation parameters
  • Global system preferences
  • Catalogue configuration
  • Acquisition parameters
  • Z39.50, Calendar and News settings

Final configuration: any residual setup issues identified as part of the configuration workshop are best resolved before the user training takes place.

Train library staff: as described in our page on training we offer two Koha user training courses for the library staff: basic and advanced. In a small library all staff would normally attend both courses. In a large library, with a degree of specialisation in roles, all staff attend the basic course but some may not need the advance course which covers Cataloguing, Serials, Acquisitions and Reports. The training (ideally) takes place on the library's own development site, loaded with the library's own catalogue and configured as close as possible to the way it will look when implemented.  In addition to the formal training courses, library staff are pointed to the extensive collection of freely available Koha video tutorials on the internet.

Implementation: planning for switching the site from development to production requires the client to organise publicity for changes that affect their patrons. Borrowers do not require formal training in how to use the OPAC but it is good to let them know in advance of the change and point them to online tutorials about how to use some of the new features. The library will also need to perform a final data export from the old system and make transitional arrangements for the interval between data freeze and the new site going live. Prosentient will then perform the final data import to the new system and check that everything is present and correct and ready to go into production.

Monitor operations: Prosentient’s staff are ready when the production site goes live to deal with any questions or issues arising -- but the phone hardly ever rings! 

Koha IT Integration

Your hosted Koha LMS resides on a Prosentient server which sits outside  your corporate network.

The URL of your library's hosted OPAC is in the form http://MyOrg.intersearch.com.au while the form of the URL of the Staff Client is http://MyOrgadmin.intersearch.com.au.

Although your LMS is now hosted outside of your corporate network, your patrons will not notice any appearance or performance issues, provided some minor networking adjustments are made. For optimum performance Prosentient's hosting servers need to be recognised by your network as belonging to a trusted site as follows:

Email server trusts

Koha generates a range of client emails on behalf of your organisation. If the from address of the emails sent from the hosted server is the same as an address belonging to your corporate domain, it is possible that your mail server will reject these emails as “spoofed” emails. In this case it will be necessary for your IT Department to register Prosentient's mail server as a trusted email source for your corporate internal emails. Ask your IT department to make the Koha server (primary IP address and secondary IP address and domain name mail.prosentient.com.au) a trusted mail source.

Browser trusts

Internet Explorer has anti-phishing settings which provide useful protection when browsing the wider web, but can also considerably slow down access to a heavily used intranet application like Koha when it is hosted off-site. These measures are called the Phishing Filter in Internet Explorer 7 and the SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer 8 and 9.

It is possible, but perhaps not advisable, to turn Phishing functions off, as this Microsoft support article on the Internet Explorer phishing filter explains.

A safer approach is to add the Koha website address to the list of “trusted sites” in your web browser to avoid the unnecessary and time consuming security check each time you visit a Koha web page, as this Microsoft support article on Internet Explorer trusted sites explains.

In some cases you may find that your browser settings are “locked down” to enforce corporate web browser policies and you are not able to change your browser settings yourself. In this case you will need to request your IT department to add the two Koha websites (the URLs of the OPAC and the Staff Client) - to the “trusted website list” of those browsers that require access to these sites.

Corporate subdomain for library web pages

While your LMS can always be reached by the default URLs at intersearch.com.au it is straightforward, if required, to set up your own virtual URLs for your patrons. For example, you may prefer to have your patrons visit the:

  • OPAC with a URL in the form http://library.MyOrg.com.au
  • Staff Client with a URL in the form http://libraryadmin.MyOrg.com.au

This requires your IT department to put the CNAME entries for your corporate virtual URLs in their Domain Name Server pointing to the names of the corresponding Prosentient servers:

  • http://MyOrg.intersearch.com.au
  • http://MyOrgadmin.intersearch.com.au

Corporate CSS hosting for library web pages

The look and feel (as opposed to the content) of your LMS HTML pages are controlled by a CSS file. By default, the CSS file lives on Prosentient's hosting server and is configured as part of site establishment with your corporate logo and colour scheme.

Some organisations may have their own web designers and prefer to finess the appearance of their LMS pages themselves. It is an easy matter to arrange for your organisation to take over responsibility for hosting and maintaining your CSS file on a corporate server where your web designer will have ready access.

If you have the necessary resources and a desire to maintain your own CSS file, we can send you a copy and change the code on the library site to point to its new location in your corporate network.

Access to Z39.50 servers

One of Koha's most powerful features is the ability to Copy Catalogue acquisitions by looking up existing biblio entries from a library Z39.50 provider. There are many Z39.50 providers that are public and freely available including Library of Congress, Australian National University, the Smithsonian Institution and Oxford Library.

If your library has membership of Libraries Australia you will be able to use their Z39.50 server. To enable Z39.50 through Libraries Australia, first contact their Helpdesk on 1800 026 155, and ask them to enable a Z39.50 connection for your site. As a matter of course they will ask you to perform a Z39.50 connection test with your software, to which you should respond that “the test has already been conducted by our IT service provider”.

Case Studies

Koha, Interdocs and GratisNet in Northern Territory Health

The Northern Territory’s Health Library Network signed up for Prosentient System’s document delivery system and were impressed with the after sales service.  “We found Edmund to be very good to work with” explained Resources Management Librarian, Ruby Lindberg.  “No matter how many times we rang he was always patient and helpful.  After sales service and support is very important to us because we don’t have the technical in-house knowledge of the applications to do it ourselves”.  Their good experience with Interdocs soon led the library to join GratisNet, and then to take up the hosted Koha Library Management System.

DSpace: Australian Open Access Support Group

In this case study published by the Australian Open Access Support Group, Gemma Siemensma, Library Manager at Ballarat Health Services, describes the thinking and processes behind the introduction of their DSpace repository

Koha and DSpace in the NSW Parliamentary Library

When the Parliamentary Library of New South Wales began using Koha as its Library Management system and DSpace as its digital repository, the staff didn't do so to make a political statement about the viability of open source software. “This was just the software that fulfilled our requirements,” said Deborah Brown, Parliament’s chief librarian.

While having a physical collection, NSW Parliament library's lifeblood is digitized news media. Through their parliamentary copyright exemption they reproduce and store dozens of articles each day for the use of the Members of Parliament (and their staff) who make up their user base.

... more Case Studies

reference site opac

 NSW Health OPAC screenshot<a href=

Who We Are

We are an IT company that builds, integrates and manages efficient and sustainable systems. We innovate in functionality, design and building technology according to the client needs and preferences. Assist and advice clients with all levels of technology expertise. Use the best available open source components and our own integration systems to create well-rounded solutions.

Contact Us

+61 2 9212 0899

+61 2 9212 0885




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      Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia