The Koha library system in use at Sydney’s St Luke’s Grammar School has now been integrated with the school’s SAML-based Single Sign-on system.
Now, St Luke’s students who access any of the school’s core IT applications are automatically logged in to other applications that they visit during the same session. For example, a student who logs in to the Learning Management System, then visits the Koha library catalogue, is automatically and instantly logged in to the library management system.
The full power of Koha is available to logged in users. Whilst users who are not logged in can search the catalogue and export citations, many more features are available to users who are logged in. They can renew their loans, place reservations on items, view their borrowing history, make lists from their search results, make purchase suggestions or add a reader’s review to a title. Having students log in is key to maximising their interaction with the school catalogue.
However a barrier exists where-ever students are required to remember separate credentials to access a given system. Koha supports other methods for single sign-in including Google’s Oauth2 and CAS. LDAP based systems such as Microsoft’s Active Directory enable one set of credentials to be used across multiple applications but do not automatically complete login to each application, that is, students must log in to each application they access, albeit with the same common set of credentials.
SAML is a protocol that enables seemless single sign-on between multiple applications. It works by transferring a user’s identity from one place (the identity provider) to other places (the applications the student will use). At the core of the system is an identity provider (IDP) who provides a certificate on demand to each application the user visits. As the users identity is known to the IDP, there is no need for the user to prove their identity at each application they visit.
St Luke’s uses Studentnet for the provision of IDP services. Adding Koha to St Luke’s single sign-on application suite was a straightforward matter of configuration and testing, involving collaboration between systems professionals at St Luke’s, Koha for Schools and Studentnet.
Koha is the world’s most widely deployed Integrated Library System. Originating in New Zealand, it is now used by national, academic and public libraries around the world. Koha is fully featured, uses modern web technologies throughout and incorporates open library standards, ensuring it can be readily integrated with other systems and technologies. Koha is free and open source software, developed and maintained by librarians and IT professionals around the world. Learn more about Koha at the project website https://koha-community.org
About Koha for Schools
Koha for Schools is a recent release of Koha, specially prepared for the needs of Australian schools and offered as a cloud application, backed by the experience and expertise of Calyx Group. The system is pre-configured for rapid deployment to primary and high schools throughout Australia. Packed with features, highly flexible and configurable, readily integrated into the school’s IT environment and competitively priced, Koha for Schools brings amazing computing power to the school library scene. Find our more from https://kohaforschools.com.au
Studentnet provides IDP services to schools through its Cloudwork product. Studentnet has been assisting schools since 1996 and is dedicated to the needs of educators, students, parents, IT staff and school communities. Privacy and security are designed into the products from conception through to delivery. Studentnet’s commitment is widely recognised in the areas of security, privacy and innovation. Learn more about Studentnet services at http://studentnet.net/index.php