Koha Tips #6

Koha – New and Updated Information No. 6           July 26, 2011   by Pat Sloan   

 Substitute Cards to Allow customer to Pay Fines

  • I mentioned how to substitute a name for a cardnumber in the No. 5 issue.  However, this doesn’t help if the customer just needs a substitute card to pay with a credit card.



Search Techniques to find Patrons

  • Use just the first 2-3 letters of a first name or even the last name to help expand the results list.  If either the first or last name is unusual, just put that name in to get a list as well.
  • Use the Advanced Patron Search – Enter first and last names in their respective fields.  This will help find names where a regular search returns too many hits to reasonably look through.

ü  Can also search by address, phone, email, almost any field.  Caution about address is variations caused by using ‘N’ or ‘N.’ for North, St vs Street, etc.



Can’t delete a message added by another branch – sign in as the other branch (and remember to go back and sign in as your branch) or send to Pat S.


Claims Returned items returned in bookdrops – don’t waive any of the charges.


Always close out of Koha at the end of the day


Not able to use override to renew or extend an item if there is a Hold on it



Question from Greg W.  —  Both the self check and the staff computer won’t check out James Patterson’s 10th Anniversary barcode 33045035428883 to patron Ryan Beiermann barcode 23045004917413.  An error message keeps coming up.


Answer from Tami B.  —  It wouldn’t check out because the book was “expected” to be picked up at BMPL.  It happens if a customer asks to pick up a book up at a different location than it was being held at.  So for example, Mr. Beiermann probably had it held at BMPL but then asked us to send it to South for pickup.  The easiest way I have found to get around this is to go into his holds, cancel that particular title, update the holds, then just check out the book as normal!

How to view reviews attached to a bibliographic record
Charlotte K. discovered this  —  Click on File in the upper left corner, then select Print Preview. Scroll past the bib record and holdings to see reviews that have been attached.  This doesn’t work for everything, but I found info from the publisher and some Amazon reviews.


Orphaned checkout record.

  • No title or barcode for an item on a customer’s checkout record.
  • This happens occasionally – the item was deleted without being checked in first, but Koha doesn’t care.  Because the item record no longer exists, the checkout record is orphaned.  We have cleared it at the table level.  We are writing some safeguards into our later code so that you can’t delete something that’s checked out.  Until you get upgraded, though, warn your staff to be careful about deleting items – make sure there are no existing checkouts.  (Info from Jane W. at PTFS)



Check-in then Checkout for same customer

From  Jodene   —  If you check-in some items for a customer and then immediately checkout some other items to the same customer it is safest to start fresh in the check out screen with their card or typing in their name instead of using the “last patron” info from the check in screen.  This will avoid any chance or checking out the items to the wrong customer.




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