EkaLib Inaugural Meeting

The meeting held at the University of Lagos on 18th April 2013 was convened to deliberate on how libraries can collaborate on generating content that is shareable among Eko-Konnect institutions.

PARTICIPANTS
  College of Medicine library – Ms Ogechi Agim 
  Federal College of Education (Technical)library – Mr Benjamin Nwobu 
  Lagos State Polytechnic library – Mrs Modupe Otuyalo 
  Lagos State University library – Mr Adekanye Ademola & Mr John Ogungbeni 
  Nigerian Institute of Journalism library – Mrs Lilian Mobuogwu 
  Nigerian Library Association (Lagos chapter) – Mr Felix Azubuike 
  University of Lagos library – Mrs Ngozi Ukachi 
  Yaba College of Technology library - Mr Andy Achonna  

Analysis of the current state of automated libraries
In order to achieve the benefits of sharing and collaboration the participants discussed the current situation regarding the library use in their various institutions:

Summary
  Two of the libraries represented are not automated and the software currently in use by the other libraries includes Alice for windows, Lib Plus and Millennium. 
  The major challenge of automation is funding for upgrade and maintenance of the software. 
  The stakeholders are not making optimal use of the library resources/services. Most students are not aware of the resources available in the library. 
  Libraries already automated have campus networks and internet access 
  Some of the institutions have branch institutions in different locations with their libraries but they are not integrated. 
  All the libraries represented in the meeting subscribe to online databases
  The librarians present agreed that collaborating with other libraries to share resources is very beneficial. 

Free and Open Source Software
A brief discussion about of Free and Open Source Software was given as possible way for libraries to overcome some of the financial and operational challenges they were facing with the use of their library system software. Koha was provided as example of open source software for library management system in use by libraries around the world.

The EkaLib Program 
Participants agreed to start a proof of concept program to create and share library resources. The program was set up with the expectation that libraries would form a consortium that is based on Koha and named EkaLib (Eko- konnect Koha Automated Libraries). The aim of the program is to aid resource sharing among libraries and make of local content available.

Koha demonstration
A demonstration of Koha introduced the software and its constituent modules and the participating librarians agreed to define a proof of concept project to demonstrate the benefit of shared catalogues and copy cataloguing with Koha as next steps.  A training workshop for Eko-Konnect librarians in the use of Koha is planned for Q4 2013