RE: [Koha] The Potential Death of Koha in Pennsylvania Libraries

Posting to Koha List

[…] In this vein, you may be interested in a new OCLC report: “Research Libraries, Risk and Systemic Change” which is not just about research libraries.

They discuss risk management and delineate many of the risks as:

“Many of the risks rated as high (impact and certainty) pertain to:

  • human resources and organizational culture, including a lack of attention to cross-training and reallocation of existing staff
  • lack of critical skill sets for managing data sets, engaging directly with research faculty, or retooling technological infrastructure
  • an organizational culture that inhibits innovation
  • difficulty in attracting and retaining staff in a competitive environment where fewer credentialed library professionals are available
  • uncertainties about the appropriate qualifications for library managers who may require skills developed in other sectors.”

Then on p. 16 under “Strategies for Mitigation,” they continue:

“We believe that increased reliance on *shared infrastructure* along with increased outsourcing and regional consolidation of services will enable more rapid deployment of the services that research library users want and need moving the following risks into a more acceptable range of impact and occurrence:

  • Library cannot adjust fast enough to keep up with rapidly changing technology and user needs (Risk 19).
  • Increased inefficiencies and expenses due to lack of functionality of legacy systems and IT support (Risk 20).
  • Due diligence and sustainability assessment of local or third party services is not completed, tracked or analyzed (Risk 21).”

Their solution of a shared infrastructure would seem to mirror your case in Pennsylvania. While I understand such a conclusion, the upshot of if seems to be “we sink or swim together.” I think that instead of having everyone crowd into the same lifeboat, it would be just as logical to foster individual initiatives, while making sure everyone shared their work.

Still, I can understand that going to this level of trust (the foundation of the entire open source movement) does not come easy to an administrator who is responsible for results.

Perhaps you can reach some level of agreement. I am sure that everyone is nervous and still in the search for answers.