Farasat Shafi Ullah

An experienced professional with more than 18 years of work experience with proven expertise in managing and leading university libraries, special libraries, and community libraries. He is passionate about volunteer support towards LIS professionals, and has successfully conducted many sessions on library automation, open source, and free ILS (i.e. Koha, WinIsis and LIMS) adoption in libraries. He has been working with Pakistan Library Automation since 2000. He has special skills in library data conversion from non-marc to marc21 using different tools like MarcEdit, Bibdata, MS Access and MS Excel. He has some international publications and conference presentations on his credit.

Catch me at Kohacon20

Day 3, 2:00-2:25pm: A timeline of Koha Pakistan: What went well and what went wrong - Saima Qutab, Farasat Shafi Ullah, and Asif Waheed Kokhar (live, in-person)

The Koha journey in Pakistan started in April 2007 with a discussion among a few IT passionate libraries on PakLAG Yahoo group. There has been no turning back since then. Pakistani library professionals joined hands to learn, customise, adapt, and implement Koha in libraries. There were numerous challenges to adopt the open source solution, such as poor ICT infrastructure, lack of IT skilled libraries, lack of trust in open source solutions, and budgeting. Some selfless learners became volunteer mentors to other libraries for Koha training and implementation. Over the yars, now more than 50 libraries are using different modules of Koha. However, several Koha training, intengration into formal LIS education and acceptability does not reflect the large-scale implementation of Koha in Pakistan. This presentation will throw light on the Koha journey in Pakistan, and outline what went well and what went wrong. The study will show guidelines for developing countries like Pakistan, and the Koha community to understand the challenges of adopting Koha and how to avoid pitfalls. It will also guide national strategy to lead a successful transition to open source ILS solutions.

Day 5: Workshops, 2:00pm-3:25pm: Playing with MarcEdit: Harvesting, editing, and recycling of Open MARC21 data into Koha - Farasat Shafi Ullah (in-person, Thorndon Room)

This workshop will provide professional experience sharing of data migration from software like WINISIS, Excel data, SirsiDynix to Koha ILS data migration testing, and a hands-on session to participants to understand the metadata editing challenges, strategies, and techniques. It is anticipated that through this workshop, participants will be able to cope with the metadata management and editing challenges during data migration, data updating for ILS/discovery tool, preparing MARC data for bulk import and the difference between mrk and mrc files.

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