Ah, migration. I always hope it won’t be dramatic.
This time around there were two extra complications. First, in order to work with the best library data migration person I have ever worked with, we had to move our go-live date up by a week. It was worth it, given that our data needed a lot of manipulation to go from a non-MARC format into MARC. Joy Nelson at ByWater Solutions did an exceptional job coaxing the Bartlett Library records into an acceptable form. But losing that week meant our conversion collided with Folk Art Week, the opening of Between Two Worlds (the Museum’s Gallery Of Conscience exhibit on immigration), and the International Folk Art Market. To add insult to injury, the district court called me in for jury service on our go-live day.
Fortunately, this was an occasion when our vendor ByWater’s communication was excellent. Joy contacted me as soon as the data was in the production server on Saturday, and I was able to test the live system from home (because during Folk Art Market I can’t park at the Museum, drive on the street that leads to the Museum, or find a quiet place to work in the Museum). There was one data glitch, quickly fixed, and we were off and running on our new Koha system.
It’s a happy ending. Not perfect, but realistically happy. We have some OPAC tickets hanging, but I have been assured they will be cleared soon. Communication was not always what I would have wished, but on the crucial weekend it was all anyone could have asked for.
Some questions linger. I am still playing around with the best way to present analytical records. I think I like using fast cataloguing to handle ILL checkouts, but I’m not entirely sure yet. There will be fine-tuning to do. We also have to adjust to a system that runs on barcodes when nothing in our collection is barcoded.
You can see our catalog online at http://library.internationalfolkart.org/ . Our sister library is at http://library.indianartsandculture.org/ just in case you want to see a little of the customization that’s possible. This is the first time that either catalog has been accessible in this way. We still have items to catalog, and retrospective catalog fixes to make (some things that didn’t matter on our old system are glaring in the light of MARC), but this happy ending is also a good beginning.
If you have questions, please get in touch. I am happy to let you know more about our bright, shiny new Koha system.