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  7. SEKnFind: Frequently Asked Questions

SEKnFind: Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS SEKNFIND?

SEKnFind is the SEKLS consortium which shares a single automated system (catalog, circulation, etc.). SEKnFind uses the Koha system, which is open source software. “Open source” means that the software is openly available, not owned by a particular company. SEKLS contracts with a company called ByWater Solutions to host and support our system.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN FEATURES OF SEKNFIND

Koha offers all the usual components of an integrated library system: circulation, online public access catalog (OPAC), reports, overdue notices, etc.

Other features include:

  • A shared database that searches the entire consortium but can also be limited to individual locations
  • Powerful resource sharing capabilities which allows items from all across the region to be placed on hold (reserved) and checked out instantaneously without added paperwork or staff time
  • Automated overdue notices, hold notifications and advanced due notices for patrons with e-mail addresses
  • Customizable circulation and fine rules for each individual library
  • An online catalog experience that gives power to the patron: log in from anywhere, view checkouts or fines, see checkout history, renew items (if eligible), place holds, leave comments on books, and make purchase suggestions — all from the comfort of home using their computer or mobile device.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF JOINING SEKNFIND?

There are two costs to consider: annual fees, and the cost of data migration for libraries which are already automated.

Annual membership fee

The annual membership fee schedule is below. There are usually three SEKnFind User Group meetings annually. Libraries which send a representative to attend at least half of the User Group meetings ( 2 meetings per year) get 20% discount on their annual fee.

 Institutional budget                       Annual fee          Discounted fee

Less than $25,000                                   $125                           $100

25,001 to 50,000                                     $250                           $200

50,001 to 100,000                                   $500                           $400

100,001 to 200,00                                   $750                           $600

200,001 and up                                    $1,000                           $800

For colleges or schools, this is based on the total institutional budget. A 50% discount will be given for each library beyond the first one from a school district.

Data migration

ByWater Solutions charges 5¢ per record for data migrations. The cost is split equally between the library which is joining, SEKLS, and LSTA grant funds from the State Library. If for any reason these grant funds are no longer available, one-half the cost would be paid by the library and one-half by SEKLS.

ARE THERE OTHER COSTS?

Besides a computer at the circulation desk (if you don’t have one there already), you will need a barcode scanner. We also recommend having a slip printer. For non-automated libraries, the LSTA grant should cover the cost of the barcode scanner and slip printer.

You would also need to buy barcodes for materials and new patron cards. If LSTA grant funds are available as anticipated, there would be no cost to the library for these. If grant funds are no longer available, the costs would need to be borne by the library. Material barcodes are approximately $21 per thousand. Already-automated libraries will in most cases able to keep their current barcodes in place until an item is loaned to another SEKnFind library (this has worked with other SEKnFind libraries). Patron cards are about 16¢ each plus a setup fee, or more for a card with detachable keychain cards.

WHAT ABOUT COURIER SERVICE?

Joining Kansas Library Express, the state courier service for libraries, is a requirement for joining SEKnFind.

IF MY LIBRARY IS NOT AUTOMATED NOW, HOW WILL WE GET RECORDS FOR OUR COLLECTION INTO THE AUTOMATED SYSTEM?

This process is called retrospective conversion of the catalog. SEKLS staff will help accomplish this in your library. Your library will be scheduled first-come, first-served for a certain period of time depending on the size of your collection (probably 7-20 weeks).

You will want to weed heavily before undertaking retrospective conversion. Each book will take time, and the more you weed the more time you save. In order for SEKLS cataloging staff to help with your retrospective conversion process, SEKLS consulting staff must first weed your library.

WHAT TRAINING WILL BE PROVIDED?

SEKLS staff will train new SEKnFind members one-on-one, and on-site in your library.

  • Kim Burns will train on cataloging
  • Kim Rutter will train on patron registration, circulation and fines rules set-up, overdue notices set-up, and related topics before your “go-live” day.
  • Roger Carswell will train on features of the OPAC, some tools for moderating patron use of OPAC features, and circulation reports.
  • Sandy Wilkerson will train on circulation, holds, and transfers a day or two before your scheduled “go-live” day, and will also be present for “go-live” day.

HOW MANY MEMBERS DOES SEKNFIND HAVE CURRENTLY?

Forty-one.  This includes 40 public libraries and one community college library.

WHEN CAN I JOIN SEKNFIND?

At any time. Already-automated libraries should plan on the process of importing records, set-up, etc. taking at least two months, and probably longer. When you indicate an interest in joining, we will schedule a visit to examine your existing catalog. Some clean-up work (primarily with ISBNs) may be needed. The timing will be based on your preferences, the amount of work needed to get your catalog ready for import, and the schedule we already have for other libraries’ imports.

Non-automated libraries will take longer because of the need for retrospective conversion; as noted above, SEKLS help with this will be scheduled first-come, first-served.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?

To look at the SEKnFind catalog, go to http://www.seknfind.org

If you’d like to log in as a patron would, use the login “visitor”, password “visitor”.

You can also call or e-mail SEKLS staff at any time for more information.

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