Koha Tips #8

Koha – New and Updated Information No. 8 Sept. 2, 2011

by: Pat Sloan, Lincoln City Libraries      



Add child to parent record

  • When you have the parent record on the screen and want to use the ‘Add Child’ button there are two ‘problems’ that make this procedure less than desirable.
  • The child record will automatically default to the patron category of “Grand Island Juvenile’ or whatever library is listed first when patron categories are selected.  Changing this will require development so it will not happen quickly.
  • Second, an attempt to change the address for a child who is attached [guaranteed] to an adult record does NOT work (change isn’t saved even though you click Save).
    The record of the adult must be changed and then Koha automatically changes the child’s info.
  • Solution – add a child record independently and just be sure the parent’s name is added to the record in the “Alternate Contact’ area.



Checkout limits on CDs and DVDs

  • The only way we can limit if by Item Type, not by patron category.
  • It is possible for a customer to checkout 10 youth DVDs or CDs and 10 adult DVDs or CDs.  Actually, this is the way it worked in Horizon as well.



Advanced patron search

  • You can search on any field that displays or a combination of fields.
  • Use the ‘%’ symbol for truncation for phone or email or address searches.  (examples:  %1234 to get all phone numbers that end with 1234;  pat% to get all emails that start with ‘pat’
  • Combine fields example:  Select Patron Branch = Bethany and Patron Category = Lincoln City Library Staff to get a list of accounts with Bethany as the Patron Home Branch and Library Staff records used for things like Snags, Storytime, Displays, etc.



Patron Categories

  • Lincoln City City or County Staff – This is to be used only for cards issued to a city or county staff member for city or government office use.  The address should reflect the government agency,  for example:  Parks and Recreation not the staff members home address.   This category allows items to be checked out for a 6-month period for official business.  This is not for personal cards for city or county employees.
  • Lincoln City Library Staff – This is to be used only for accounts used for library functions such as Displays, Snags, Storytimes, etc.  This is not for personal cards for library staff employees.


Replacement Cards

  • There is a $1.00 fee for a replacement card.  This should also be reflected in the Fines Tab to show that a replacement card was issued and paid for.  Use ‘Create Manual Invoice’ and select “Replacement Card’ from the drop down menu.  The $1.00 is automatically added to the amount field.



How to ‘override’ to renew an item that generally can’t be renewed because there is a Hold on it.

  • Example:  Customer would like to renew an item but can’t because the ‘Renew’ column shows ‘Hold’ which prevents a renewal.  However, you check the catalog and there are several copies listed as available at other locations (including those outside Lincoln).
  • This response is from Jane at PTFS.  It’s definitely not obvious (and Koha wants to make this hard on purpose), but you can force a renewal even in this situation by doing another checkout of the same barcode to the same patron.   Easy to do by using ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ with just the barcode.
  • You will get a pop-up window that says – ‘Please Confirm Checkout. No more renewals normally possible.  Checkout anyway?’  Click ‘Yes, Check Out’ and the item is renewed.



Lost Item, checkin as lost mm/dd/yyyy by staff (-cron)  –  What does (-cron) mean?

  • Long overdue items now go to Lost.  Earlier this summer this was not happening.  Customers had items that were long past the 21 days overdue that remained on their checkout record and had only the maximum overdue charge.
  • With the Koha 4.8 release in August items that are 21 days overdue will automatically be ‘converted to Lost.’  This will be done overnight like it was done in Horizon – the

(-cron) in the message is similar to the ‘day end’ processing in Horizon.

  • The system will ‘check-in’ the item as ‘Lost’.  This removes it from the customer’s items checked out list.  However, the lost item will appear in the upper part on the right side in the Checkout Tab as well as in the ‘Lost’ Tab and the replacement cost is on their account.



Customer Name

  • When entering a new customer record do not use the salutation of Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Ms.   Just leave that field blank.
  • We really do need the full middle name for customers. This is really necessary when searching for customers with common first and last names.  Add to all new records and any existing records as you come across them.

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