Zine Cataloging Adventures – Pt. The Second

If you’re reading this you may want to check Zine Cataloging Adventures – Pt. The First for background

OK, so I got the Koha box turned hooked up and turned on. It’s sitting on our local network at home behind a firewall for the momen. On first run, after it booted all the way, I logged in using the Root (god-like admin) account. After retreiving the passwords for the Koha admin account, I noticed that it (the Linux OS side of things) was acting a little goofy. Everything seemed to be up and running, though, so I ignored it for the time being.

Step 1 : Logging in to Koha

One of the great things about Koha is that it’s all web-based. Since I’m not a real librarian I don’t have anything to compare it to. I do know that in addition to Linux, Koha will run on Windows and Macintosh systems. I don’t think it will make coffee or donuts, though.

To login, I pointed my web browser at Koha’s IP address. The general (whole world) address is on the typical port for Apache (the web server software), 80. The Koha administrative interface, which is what the admins, and ultimately volunteer librarians will use is port 8080. So from Firefox I went to http://koha.qzap.org:8080 (not the real web address… YET)

I was presented with a very simple box with a place to put in Cardnumber (user name) and Password. Once I logged in, I got to the main screen.

Setting Up Koha

At this point I began to follow Koha – A Newbie Guide from the kohadocs website. You can (and maybe should) follow along in a seperate window or browser tab to see what I’m talking about.

I followed the Newbie guide closely, going through the set-up procedures. I skipped a couple of steps because right now they just don’t apply to us.

Item Types

When I got to “Item Types” in the guide, here’s what I set up:

Code (Koha requires up to 4 character codes for the item types. As I’ve discovered, this coresponds to 942c in the MARC records, and is very important later on)

CAS Audio Casette
CD – Audio Compact Disc
CMIX Comix – Zine Type, Self Published
DVD DVD Video Disc
FIC Book – Fiction
GNVL Book – Graphic Novel
MAG Magazine – *NOT* Self Published
NCSC Non-Circulating Special Collection
NFIC Book – Non-Fiction
PEPH Ephemera (mostly print) inc. flyers, posters, etc.
VHS VHS Video Casette No 0.00
VYNL Vinyl Audio Recording – Phonographic Recording
ZINE Zine – Self Published

(I copied this list from Koha… sorry that the formatting is bleah 🙁 )

In the process I was able to specify things like rental charges or if something was non-circulating. I didn’t put in charges, but specified that NCSC (Non-Circulating Special Collection) and PEPH (print ephemera) were not for loan. Because of the nature of our collection, we have flyers, buttons, stickers, etc. that we preserve and archive. I thought that they should stay in the building. Our patrons will have access to them, but not take them home.

Borrower Catagories
The next section in the Newbie Guide is “Borrower Catagories.” Koha, for better or worse forces two catagories on you. I had to set up a “Children’s” catagory and an “Institutions” catagory. All told, I set up 5 catagories:

C – Childrens
I – Institutions
P – Patron (Just about everybody)
V – Volunteers (self explanitory)
CC – Core Collective (the core group of people making decisions about the library)

Everyone at set up got the same basic paramaters… Children are the exception, and I don’t anticipate a lot of “children” using the zine library, at least not at first.

Enrollment – 18 years
Enrollment Fee – Zero Bux
Age Required – 10 years old (except Institutions. they’ve got to be at least 18 😉 )

Issuing Rules

After Borrower Catagories is Issuing Rules. This was a huge pain in the ass. Basically, you have to set up check-out times, overdue fees, grace periods, etc. for each item type and borrower catagory. It’s a huge messy grid, and it took a little while for me to understand it.

At the end of the day, almost everyone gets to check out materials for 14 days. After that, there’s a 7 day grace period, and then the fines start at 25 a day. Patrons can also renew materials 3 times. The exceptions: Institutions get to check stuff out for 45 days, and the overdue fines are$1.00.

MARC Stuff

I’ll go into details about getting MARC records set up in Pt. The Third. Because I’m not a real librarian, this is a lot of gobbledygook to me that I’ve got a couple of real librarians helping me with. If you’re a cataloger, or have lots of expirience with this, please chime in in the comments.

See you in Zine Cataloging Adventures – The MARC of Dooooom!

Zine Cataloging Adventures – Pt. The First

A little background:

The Queer Zine Archive Project has been around for just over 4 years. We are primarily a web-based archive. We have a real interest in moving to a circulating collection, and also merging with other local (Wisconsin-based) zine librarians to cover more than just queer zines. In addition to being zinesters and collector/archivists, Chris, my partner and other co-founder of QZAP and I are both kind of technerds. While we work mostly with Macintosh systems, I’ve been dorking about with Linux for 10+years. I’m not a great linux user or an admin really, but I can get around OK. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to post about my expiriences using F/OSS* software to get a zine cataloging system built for an independent zine library. It’s a work in progress… mistakes will be made… things will be learned…

*F/OSS Software is Free/Open Source software. We try to use this so that others can take our tools and make something for themselves.

The Setup:
Hopefully this will read like a recipe for delicous vegan cupcakes. Made with real vegans.

Ingrediants – Hardware:
800 + zines (mostly queer, but a lot of feminist, cookzines, anarcho and environmental ones thrown in, as well)
15-20 books (some about zines, others about subculture, punk, DIY, etc.)
1 barcode gun
1 Pentium 3 1U server (768MB RAM, 60GB Hard Drive, onboard NIC) that an old housemate left behind. (i.e. cheap, scavenged hardware… the kind you pay $30 for on CraigsList)

Ingrediants – Software:
CentOS 4.5 (A variant of Red Hat Linux) http://www.centos.org/

Koha ILS (open source ILS software, mostly based on the Perl programming/scripting language) http://www.koha.org

The Process

Back in September Chris was in San Francisco at the SF Zinefest. While he was out of town, I though I’d surprise him by getting the Koha box built. Since I work with lots of computer people, I asked my friend Mat to put it together. I brought him the box and told him what software I wanted installed. Linux, Koha, and Webmin, for web based administration of the machine. A week later he returned it to me, and I took him and his girlfriend out for Tiki drinks. After that, the box spent the rest of the autumn in our dining room. In December it moved to the floor of our office. On 27 December, 2007, I cleaned my office. on 28 December, I fired the Koha box up.

The machine has 7 fans in it. It sounds like a Cesna is in my office getting ready for take off whenever i turn it on. But it’s working… 🙂

In Pt. The Second I will talk about the system set up and how we’ve got it configured.

Zine LCSH Cataloging Resource

Since there hasn’t been much talk on here yet, I thought I’d post about something I’ve been working on–an online list of the Library of Congress Subject Headings I’ve applied to zines at Barnard. I’d like to make the list more collaborative or improve it in any other way y’all can suggest. So please…suggest away.Advice from catalogers welcome, as I’m just making this up as I go along, more or less.