Press Release 002/2024

Open Source: Paradigm Shift in Library Management

KIT Library Is the First University Library in Germany to Use the Free Library Management System Koha
2024_002_Open Source_Systemwechsel im Bibliotheksmanagement_72dpi
The KIT Library is the first German university library to use the Koha Open Source Management System. (Photo: Andrea Fabry, KIT)

The Library of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the first university library in Germany to adopt the free library management system Koha. The system was launched successfully in December 2023 and promises library users better functionality, easier usability, and a better user experience. In this way, KIT also supports the efforts of the Baden-Württemberg State Government to increasingly use Open Source solutions. 

“Implementation of KIT’s digitalization strategy includes making procedures and processes as efficient, user-friendly, and transparent as possible. With the use of the Open Source solution Koha, the KIT Library meets the challenges of the digital information society and enhances its attractiveness for users,” says Professor Kora Kristof, KIT Vice President Digitalization and Sustainability.

“Introduction of Koha does not only represent a milestone for our Library, but also contributes to promoting the Open Source conception,” says Dr. Arne Upmeier, Director of the KIT Library. “We are now part of a big international user community, from which we profit and to which we are ready to contribute.” The migration project of 20 months’ duration of the KIT Library was supported by the Koha community as well as by the Baden-Württemberg Library Service Center.

Better Functionality and Usability

The change to Koha results in major improvements in terms of functionality and usability. The free software allows to integrate library procedures in the institution’s IT infrastructure. The consequence: Users of KIT, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe can now register with the access data of their universities to use all services, such as the library catalog or borrowing services. It is no longer required to have a separate account with the KIT Library. Another major novelty is an English user interface for international users.

About the KIT Library

The KIT Library supports research, academic education, and studies at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, and Karlsruhe Cooperative State University. The Library with its about 100 employees offers 36,000 students and 12,000 researchers daily 24-hour access to 1,679 learning places.

About the Koha Open Source Library Management System

Koha, an integrated library software developed in New Zealand in 1999, is the most widely used library system in the world. Koha is Māori for a gift that requires a return service. And this also is the idea of the free software: Koha can exist only, because users share their user experience with the big, international Koha community and contribute to the continuous further development of the system.

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

jha, 11.01.2023

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Justus Hartlieb
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41155
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