Koha in Prison

Rachel Hollis in Boise Idaho writes on the prison librarians listserv:

At the college where I work, I implemented Koha, an open source ILS, in 2008. The prison where I also work may lose their Microsoft licenses to another department and started experimenting with Koha this year. Even though it’s internet-based, they are able to run most, if not all, of it in the library. One of the inmates is a databases guy and he’s been doing most of the work.

In most US prisons, inmates get very little access to computers, and none to ‘the internet’. I’m especially taken with the idea of that “databases guy” inmate, and the possibility of a prison library providing an IT training opportunity via the libraries own IT, an end-run around current lack of training opportunities (obviously a key to avoiding recividism).

Rachel later adds in a direct email:

I asked on the Koha list about other prison libraries and was given this presentation:
http://blip.tv/the-curious-and-wondering-eye/kohacon10-video-13-sue-lavery-and-irma-birchall-4430445
and these slides:
https://gitorious.org/kohacon/kohacon/blobs/raw/909f04aae31a1b6d21794fe23d4a93cd0d9cc6cd/static_site/www.kohacon10.org.nz/static/discoverer/slides/lavery_birchall.pdf
There’s also a prison library in the Republic of Georgia, but that’s all I have.

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2 Responses to Koha in Prison

  1. Paul Poulain says:

    Hi,

    There is also one prison in France that is currently using Koha. There’s no internet access, and we made some tweakings, because the prison has 4 parts (3 for men, one for women), and librarians -that are inmates- can’t communicate between each part. So each part is completely isolated for the others from library point of view

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