New Payment Receipt Template due to 4.18 upgrade

I have provided an example of a new Payment Receipt Template due to the new fines table structure that was put in place with the 4.18 upgrade. Any Payment Receipt Template created prior to the 4.18 upgrade will no longer work. Also be aware that you must enter something in the “Description” field to be able to “Add” a payment.

<h3>Sump Memorial Library<br>
Payment Receipt for <<borrowers.firstname>> <<borrowers.surname>><br>
Payments made on <<CURRENT_DATE>>:</h3><br>
<<fees-payments.description>>   $<<fees-payments.amount>><br>
<h3>Total Outstanding: $<<TotalOwed>></h3><br>
Thank you!<br>


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

New Fee/Fines reports due to 4.18 upgrade

I have created two new fines reports due to the new fines table structure that was put in place with the 4.18 upgrade. Any fines reports created prior to the 4.18 upgrade will no longer work and should be deleted.

The first new report is Std Fees Owed. This report will provide the patrons’ total amounts owed including accruing fines. You will need to enter your library’s Branch Code three times to run the report.

The second new report is Std Fees Paid by Branch Code & Date Range (date format yyyy/mm/dd). This report will let you see which patrons made payments for the date range you enter. To see reports for the previous day, use yesterday’s date and today’s date. For example, a report of the payments made on 5/21/2014 would have a START date of 2014/05/21 and an END date of 2014/05/22.


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


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=”” 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

Add a catalog search & hours to make your website better!

I attended a PLA 2014 session last week on building better library websites. The entire panel said every library needs to have a catalog search on the home/main page of the library website and their regular operating hours prominently displayed and/or easily located. They claimed this is what 90% of their website visitors wanted according to their analytics.

The HTML code to add a search box for a quick keyword search is pretty simple. The problem that needed to be solved for Pioneer members was limiting the search to just their library’s holdings. Randy Rowe with LCL provided the “hidden” solution. Thanks Randy! Here’s the HTML code you need to add it to your webpage:


<form id=”searchform” action=”” method=”get” name=”searchform”><strong>Search the Catalog: </strong><input id=”transl1″ type=”text” name=”q” size=”40″ /> (Type term then Enter.)<input type=”hidden” name=”multibranchlimit” value=”CCPL-OPAC” /></form>


<form id=”searchform” action=”” method=”get” name=”searchform”><strong><span style=”color:#000000; font-family:arial;”>Search the Catalog!</span></strong><select id=”masthead_search” name=”idx” style=”float:left;”>
<option value=””>Keyword</option>
<option value=”title”>Title</option>
<option value=”author”>Author</option>
<option value=”subject”>Subject</option>
<option value=”series-title”>Series</option></select>
<input id=”transl1″ style=”font-size:16px; font-family:arial;” type=”text” name=”q” size=”40″ /><input id=”searchsubmit” type=”submit” value=”Search” /><input type=”hidden” name=”multibranchlimit” value=”CCPL-OPAC” /></form>

The sections in red need to be modified for your library. ccpl is the first part of Central City’s OPAC Search Group URL. You can get if from the URL displayed when you bring up your library’s Koha OPAC. CCPL is Central City’s library code and will limit the search results to just their holdings. You will need to replace the CCPL with your library’s code. This code can be found in Administration/Libraries and Groups in the Code column next to your library’s Name.

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.