Add a Catalog OPAC login to your library’s website

Place this HTML code where you want a Catalog OPAC login on your webpage.

<form action=”http://papillion.pioneer.kohalibrary.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-user.pl” method=”post”><input type=”hidden” name=”koha_login_context” value=”opac” /><strong><span style=”color: #000000;”>Log in to your Account</span></strong>
<label for=”userid”><span style=”color: #000000;”>Card#: </span></label><input id=”userid” style=”font-size:16px; font-family:ariel;” type=”text” name=”userid” size=”14″ /><label for=”password”><span style=”color: #000000;”>     Password: </span></label><input id=”password” type=”password” name=”password” size=”13″ /><span style=”color: #000000;”>     </span><input type=”submit” value=”Log In” /></form>

The section in red needs to be modified for your library. papillion is the first part of Sump’s OPAC Search Group URL. You can get if from the URL displayed when you bring up your library’s Koha OPAC.

How to do an inventory

We are wrapping up our first full inventory on Koha at Sump. I’m pleased to say it was much better than the process we had with Follett. I highly recommend doing an annual inventory and Koha makes it very easy to figure out what’s gone missing. Every time an item is scanned in Koha, the item’s “Last seen” date gets set. We will use the “Last seen” date in a SQL report exported to Excel to figure out what’s gone missing.

There are three things you need to take inventory. A laptop computer, a barcode scanner and wireless Internet access. Inventory CartA cart for the laptop and an extension cord for charging it are very helpful too. (See picture.) If you don’t have a wifi network or laptop, you can cart the books by sections over to the Circ Desk to scan them. Log in to Koha on the laptop as Staff and go to the Check In screen. I recommend you check the “Forgive overdue charges” box before scanning any barcodes. This way a patron won’t be fined if you scan a book on the shelf that was still checked out. Have the laptop’s sound enabled. This will allow you track your scanning success by ear as you work your way down the shelves. It is also recommended that you scan the items by shelf-order to make it easier keep track of where you’re at.

Make sure to record the date you start doing the inventory. We used a map of our library and a hi-lite marker to cross off what shelves had been scanned and when as we went along.

As you scan, you should hear the beep from the scanner that the barcode was scanned successfully, see the “Not Checked Out” (NCO) message and hear the NCO double-tone warning on the laptop. If you don’t get the NCO message and tone, stop and see what’s up with the item you just scanned and take appropriate action for it. If the item has a Hold or was Lost you will get the tone for that and have to clear the Hold or Lost screen to be able to continue scanning. The items that have a Hold or were Lost can be placed on the cart for processing later.

Once your inventory is completed, run the Std Item List report and export it to Excel (2010 version used for these instructions). To make the barcode column display the full 14-digit number, click on the top of the barcode column to select the entire column, click Format and Format Cells. Click Number, set decimal places to zero and click OK. Use Excel’s Data/Filter tool any clear any item rows with an onloan date or an itemlost code greater than zero. This will eliminate all the items that are checked out or already set to a Lost/Missing status. Next, sort by datelastseen and clear all the records with a date equal or greater to the day you started the inventory. The item rows remaining in the spreadsheet will be what may be missing. Sort the spreadsheet by ccode AND itemcallnumber AND author. This should give you a shelf-ordered list of items to go search for and validate. Any items located on this list should be scanned so their “Last seen” date gets set.

And there you have it! Feel free to contact me if you need any assistance with this process.

Andrew “Sherm” Sherman, IT Coordinator, Sump Memorial Library

Shortcut for counting the number of Holds on an item at your library

Here’s a shortcut for counting the number of Holds on an item at your library when patrons ask you where they’re at in the queue.

  1. Search for the item in the catalog.
  2. Bring up the Bib Record Detail for the item.
  3. “Edit holds” for the item.
  4. Change the “Sort by” (in the upper-left corner of the screen) from “Priority” to “Pickup Library”.

The holds for this item at your library will now be at the top of the Edit Holds list where they can be easily counted.

Getting Support When Having an Issue

If you’re having an issue connecting to Koha, try another website to verify your Internet access is working. You may also want to contact another Pioneer library to see if they are having the same problem.

Tip: Instead of writing down patron and item barcode numbers while Koha is down, you can open Notepad and scan barcodes into it. I recommend entering a blank line between each patron so you can see where the checkouts for a patron start and end. Remember to save the file often. Once Koha is back up, you can copy and paste what was scanned from Notepad into Koha. (The Offline Store & Forward backup feature only works if your library is using true 14-digit barcodes for all scanning.)

You can open a support ticket with PTFS/LibLime by:

  1. Sending an email to support@liblime.com.
  2. Calling 1-888-564-2457 ext.2 and leaving a voice message.
  3. Access the customer support webportal at http://sc.ptfs.com. This is also where you can view the status of your support requests. You should have a login for this that was provided to you during migration.

When reporting an issue to PTFS/LibLime include your contact info, the time of day the issue occurred, and what transaction you were doing (this will direct them to which logs to view to spot the problem).

The most common thing I help other libraries out with in Koha is reports. Feel free to call or email me at if you need help with a report. You are welcome to contact me with any other questions you may have and I will do my best to help you out.

For Koha cataloging questions, Tammy Teasly at Lincoln City Libraries is the best resource. You can email her or call her.

Andrew “Sherm” Sherman, IT Coordinator, Sump Memorial Library