Item level Non-public notes — They’re great for storing all the notes that we need in libraries and not displaying them in the OPAC. Usually the notes consist of acquisitions information, vendor data, or damage information related to the item. The non-public note is imported into Koha using the 952$x tag/subfield. Koha takes the information from the MARC tag, and moves it into the item’s table. Great, right? Well sorta.
The data in the items table is not easy to access once it’s there. Non-public notes are stored in xml format in the ‘more_subfields_xml’ field in the items table. The nonpublic note data is hard to get to when reporting and hard to add new ones from the database command line. You could always add them in the Koha staff interface … once you found the field, but it wasn’t an easy process. Here’s an example of what you might find in the more_subfields_xml field after you imported a record with 2 DVD’s in the 952$x. (ack!)
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<collection xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance” xsi:schemaLocation=”http://www.loc.gov/MARC21/slim http://www.loc.gov/standards/marcxml/schema/MARC21slim.xsd” xmlns=”http://www.loc.gov/MARC21/slim”>
<leader> a </leader>
<datafield tag=”999″ ind1=” ” ind2=” “>
<subfield code=”x”>2 DVD’s</subfield>
So what’s the good news?
Then came BZ 13023. You may have heard the migration team celebration! With this fix, a new field was created in the items table called itemnotes_nonpublic. Now non public notes can be imported into its very own database field!! The addition of this field makes reporting on the contents in the non public notes field much easier. It also makes work easier for the database experts who have to update the non public notes from the database directly. The placement in the staff side of Koha was improved as well. The field is now easier to find and update. And there are more updates coming. In BZ 16130 (in 16.05) the non public notes field will be shown in the items detail view on the Koha staff side. Data nerds and Non Public Notes lovers rejoice!
But wait, you say….my notes are stored in the old way….in more_subfields_xml. Have no fear, we can help. The Koha tool (misc/batchRebuildItemsTables.pl) is run at the command line and moves your notes to the new field providing your frameworks are updated to place 952$x into the itemnotes_nonpublic field. So if you have notes to move, let us know, we’re here to help.