What is VOKAL?
VOKAL is the Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries, a project of the Green Mountain Library Consortium.
In the Fall of 2007, several Follett automated libraries decided to not make the upgrade to the company's new product, but to investigate open source ILS options. After reviewing the major open source ILS offering available, including Evergreen. the original committee chose to implement Koha. Koha was more stable and better supported than the other smaller-scale ILSs, and the committee felt Koha was would scale up more easily than Evergreen was able to be scaled down.Koha has a rich international network of programmers, coders and users that provide a great deal of development and support for free, in the tradition of open source. Koha would work for the smallest library in Vermont right up to the largest. Koha is scalable to a degree that it is able to function as a statewide unionized ILS.
From 2008-2009, several libraries migrated to Koha on standalone servers with positive results. In August 2010 the reins were handed over to the newly formed Implementation Team: Richard Pritsky (Hinesburg), Kim Peine (Williston), Wendy Hysko (Essex Junction) and Amy Boisvert (Jericho). Koha version 3.2 was released, the first version designed for consortium use. The number of libraries wanting to be a part of VOKAL had grown to 13 and this group decided to move to a hosted consortium version. The group chose Bywater Solutions at their hosting and support partner. In September 2010, the Brownell Library in Essex Junction became the first VOKAL member library to migrate onto the hosted system. Marlboro Elementary School migrated in October 2010, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library in Williston in November 2010 and Jericho Town Library in January 2011 bringing the very first library consortium in the state of Vermont live!