This morning after I dropped Beth off at school I swung by the house of one of my Pathfinders. On Wednesday I had dropped at photo release form off at her house so her parents could sign it. She had the paper ready and then said, “I have something to ask you.” OK! Then she began talking with her mother in Acholi (their language), and the next thing I knew they had asked me to come in. This girl had a dental appointment, but they had been informed by the dentist’s staff that the office had moved. They didn’t know where it was. I told them that if they would get the address, we could plug it into my GPS and they could return it to me tomorrow at church.

They didn’t know the address, so the mother called the dentist. Then she handed me the phone (her English is still far from perfect). I got the address and was entering it into the GPS when I came to the realization that the husband of the family wasn’t there, and neither was their only car. So I asked the question, “How are you going to get there?” They didn’t have a way, so I guess they were going to walk. So I offered to drive them there, and they accepted. Five minutes later we were driving to the dentist’s office.

I was late for work.

Last night I finally managed to get Koha installed and ready for Va to populate with card catalog data (Koha is the card catalog program we used in Vienna before we moved here). The software has grown since then. I didn’t recognize any of the screens, and noted that they were filled with strange (to me) library terminology. I was hoping Va would understand it, because I surely did not.

She called me at lunch time. She couldn’t make heads or tails of it either, and she’s running up against some sort of deadline. It took me a couple of weeks to get that software (including an operating system) installed and configured. The manual was filled with even more incomprehensible jargon, and by then, Va was in tears. We decided that maybe it would be best if I grabbed an older version of Koha and installed that instead.

Six years ago, Koha was a very nice and manageable OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). But the latest version now is fit for tremendously huge libraries with hundreds of thousands of items in their collection. It looks to me like the current implementation might require a full-time IT staff to keep it properly oiled. The previous version with which we were familiar was far more manageable.

So I left work early (to make up for getting there late) and wiped the hard drive. Then I reinstalled the OS. Tomorrow evening I will install the old version of Koha and we will try again.