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KohaCon 2012: Edinburgh, Scotland

Join us for the annual Conference in Edinburgh!

MAIN CONFERENCE SITE NOW LIVE http://koha-community.org/kohacon12/


We need you!

KohaCon12 Volunteers



5 June 2012 - 7 June 2012

Tuesday - Thursday


9 June 2012 - Mon 11 June 2012

Saturday - Monday

The exact place

The exact location of the the conference is Teviot, Bristo Square, The University of Edinburgh EH8 9AJ

Google Maps: http://g.co/maps/8sgsj OpenStreetMap: http://osm.org/go/evfLiytX?layers=C

According to Colin Campbell, "The University is on the South Side beside the Old Town. The New Town is walkable (up hill) or a short bus ride away. Both Stockbridge and Leith are a short bus ride or a longer walk away (I've commuted to the University from both) East/West/Mid Lothian are all out of town, so probably best to avoid for visitors. Edinburgh airport is also just out of town and on the worst commuting route into central Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is fairly well served with buses and taxis but the central area (Old & New towns) is compact and you can walk to most places you may want to visit without difficulty."


Local hotels might be found via wikitravel, laterooms, or general directories like scoot and Yell.

mle highlights the possibliity of organising a few sofas with friends if folk are too skint to get a hostel, but sofa's need to be organised early. Please ask mle on the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or leave a message on http://www.software.coop/contact/

Travel within Edinburgh


The bus network is good, although some find that the routes can be a little tricky. Most bus shelters have electronic signage that shows a list of due times. A single journey will cost 1.40. You need the exact money or above. When you get on board you put the money into a slot and it is all taken. There is no change given, ever. If you are travelling more than 3 times in a day, it is cost-effective to buy a travel card.


The cost of a taxi from Waverley train station to Bristo Square should cost less than £5.


Edinburgh is hilly. There are many long flights of steps and steep streets.

To reach Teviot without steps, follow the National Cycle Network Route 75 signs. They have a white number on a red square on a blue sign, usually showing a white pedestrian and bicycle symbol on the sign. As you walk south from the city centre, Bristo Square is ahead when the route does a sharp right at traffic lights out of Bristo Place into Teviot Place.


It's a big city, so not the most fun you can have and not great for the environment, but if you must:

We think there is pay and display parking at George Square but this may be expensive. mle will check.

There are other NCP or private car parks available nearby, but £16/day seemed about average. (So slef is intending to leave his car parked at the hotel and walk in as much as possible.) One alternative approach might be using one of the the parking rental sites listed at http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-parking-rental#cheap

Travel Tips From Further Abroad

  • To reach the city from Edinburgh Airport, there are Airlink buses to/from Waverley Station http://www.flybybus.com/
    • jcamins says that in 2009, when he came through customs, there was a clearly marked exit on the right: ignore it. If you go out that door, you will get hopelessly lost and confused. Walk straight by it, between the car rental stand and the exchange place. It's not a very long walk, but you do want to walk up a bit. (inside the terminal) Eventually you reach a bank of doors. I think there are three. Go out. You should see the big blue Airlink buses. There's also a sign that says "Fly by bus."
  • Fastest trains from London are http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/ who offer web-only discounts and you can print your tickets at most train stations when you start your journey.
    • colinc notes "a site which should detail any scheduled disruptions (as Monday & Tuesday are public holidays) http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/seasonal/Jubilee_2012/index_custom.html The London to Edinburgh east coast mainline appears to be disruption free, west coast main line looks a bit more problematic."
    • Advance tickets are the cheapest, but you must travel on the train you booked. Off-peak allow you to use most trains. Anytime allow you to use any trains. First Class on East Coast includes reclining seats, wifi and a small meal (or two, sometimes).
      • The small meal was served a bit odd last time slef used it: they poured tea+coffee first, then the cake+cold drinks trolley came around, then the meal trolley. If you want a cake or drink with your meal, I'd take it when it's offered, even if you want to consume it later!
      • Wifi can be bought in standard class, £5 for an hour, £10 for the journey, online purchasing.
    • East Coast use King's Cross station, which is just being rebuilt. The new departures hall is now open. The Eurostar terminal St Pancras is just across the road.
    • King's Cross is about 90 minutes on the Piccadilly (dark blue on the maps) London Underground (tube) line from London Heathrow Airport. Tube tickets can be bought at the station. More information http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/ - If you use the Heathrow Express, it may be faster, but you will need to change to the Circle or Hammersmith+City (yellow or pink) lines at Paddington station.
    • First Capital Connect trains from London Gatwick and London Luton airports stop at St Pancras station, with up to six trains an hour. If you use the Gatwick Express, it may be faster, but you will need to change to the Victoria tube line (light blue) at Victoria station. There is no Luton Express.
    • Stansted Express trains (a branch of Netherlands Railways, Abeillo) from London Stansted arrive at Liverpool Street station and you will need to use the Circle, Metropolitan or Hammersmith+City underground trains (yellow, purple or pink) to transfer to King's Cross (about 20 minutes). Alternatively, you could get off the Express at Tottenham Hale (after about 30 minutes) and use the Victoria line tube (light blue) to reach King's Cross.
      • It might be quicker/cheaper/easier at some times to use Crosscountry trains (a branch of German Railways, DB) to Peterborough and change there to East Coast.
    • London City airport has a station on the Docklands Light Railway. Change at Bank for the Northern line tube (black) to King's Cross.
  • Overnight sleeper trains from London are run by http://www.scotrail.co.uk/ which go from the 1960s/70s Euston station.
  • If you're arriving at another airport, please ask...

Wifi / Mifi / Sim Cards

Do you have a mobile hotspot already? If so and it's unlocked, you could probably get a new SIM for it from any of the shops of the five main networks for free, then £10-15 for 1GB data for a month.

Similarly, make sure your phone is not locked to one network and it should work fine with any local SIM. If it is locked, then unlockers are widespread here and mle may know where to find a decent one in Edinburgh.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/unlock-mobile-phone is a general UK guide to unlocking and http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/uk.php is a summary list of links for prepaid cell phone SIMs. Remember to forward your normal SIM to the UK number if you want to get calls, but you will pay your existing provider for the call to the UK: it's usually *21*00447nnxxxxxxx* to forward and #21# to cancel it.

Second-best is probably to buy whatever international access package your normal SIM provider offers, if they have one. For example, Vodafone operates in many countries so might offer something competitive for their customers visiting the UK - T-Mobile, Three, Orange and O2 are the other UK network operators, all foreign-owned. Virgin is a rebrand here, but also available overseas. You might have to be careful which network your phone selects: check the terms of the deal and the phone settings for how to do that.

If not, you'll can buy a USB dongle with SIM and data for a month for about £30 from O2. Actual mobile hotspots (so-called mifi) started at £50 when slef looked late last year.

Some supermarkets and others resell the mobile network providers with cheaper fixed fees, but usually try to make the money back in other ways, like high or semi-hidden use charges, or providing no customer support, so I wouldn't bother with them for a short stay, but if you really want to try, http://prepaid-wireless-internet-access.wetpaint.com/page/Great+Britain says giffgaff's goodybag SIM is unlimited for a month. Let us know if you want to try that and we'll figure out a UK delivery address for you.


According to the University of Edinburgh website there is eduroam WiFi available at Teviot. If you belong to a university or other institution that offers eduroam service you should be able to use it at the University of Edinburgh too. Make sure it works at your home institution.

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Sponsorship Opportunities

The sponsorship offers are online at http://koha-community.org/kohacon12/sponsoring-kohacon12/

We are also interested in companies or institutions to sponsor various elements of the conference. Available sponsorship opportunities include:

Bursaries: To enable people to attend who might not otherwise be able to (e.g. students) or to under-represented groups. These cost £500/delegate.

Speaker sponsor: Occasionally we have speakers who would like to offer a talk, but can't afford the travel costs. A sponsor can agree to pay a fixed amount of the costs so that the speaker can attend.

We also have sponsors who prefer to sponsor the event in general, as opposed to any one particular part.

Benefits to sponsors include:

   Literature for distribution in delegate packs
   Table top in the main area where delegates meet during registration, breaks etc.
   Logo and one paragraph of text on the conference website
   Mentioned in conference publicity and emails 

Plus you are of course welcome to publicise to your website/blog/Twitter account that you are sponsoring the event.

If you are sending along a technical person who may wish to give a talk, please see our Call for Papers.

Please contact us at kohacon12@software.coop if you are interested in sponsoring the conference.


Day 1

Welcome and keynote

About Edinburgh

Places to eat near the Conference

If it's nae Scottish...

Social Events

Here are some initial ideas. We will more formally pledgebank the process shortly. Do not worry, there will be plenty of options. I just wanted to get the fishing ball rolling.

  • Fishing

mle has asked some friends who have a passion for fishing about taking some of you fishing. They gave me some lovely mackeral last year. They have offered to charter a boat and take up to 12 people out for a day's sea fishing. The estimated cost would be £60 per person inclusive. Please let me by email by 1st April and I will ask them to do the research and give us a more precise costing if there is enough interest.

  • Castle tour

  • Road Trip


Organizers: software.coop

Contact: MJ Ray, citing ref 2612

The rest: To be announced.

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