Enhancing Patron Capabilities through Sharing

At the Koha-US conference in Pueblo, Colorado hosted at Pueblo City County Library District we focused on the patron experience and their interactions with our partners and Koha. A particularly interesting discussion was one on sharing within a consortium and/or between Koha libraries to enable their patrons to the highest extent. Bob Bennhoff and Lauren Conley with Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) along with Jessica Zairo with ByWater Solutions presented on a few tools you can use to increase sharing amongst your libraries! I have listed a few of my favorites below:

CLiC funded a development for a tool called Branch Transfer Limits. This tool was created out of the needs outlined in bugs 7534, 7614, and 22330. This tool improves a patron's ability to place accurate holds. Essentially, the tool allows all the branches in one Koha system to decide what item types they will allow other branches to borrow from them. Branch transfer limits stops patrons from placing holds on items they do not have access to or would not be able to receive.

Another interesting holds function that benefits patrons is the LocalHoldsPriority system preference. This preference can give priority to the filling of holds to a patron whose home library matches the item's home library. For our partners that are a part of a consortium or who have many branches, this gives priority to allow your library to fill the holds for their patrons. This enables holds to be filled faster and more efficiently as opposed to waiting for items to be sent elsewhere.

Finally, there was discussion on the new ILL module in Koha, specifically the Koha to Koha ILL function. The ILL module with the Koha to Koha function allows Koha libraries who are not in a consortium or in the same system to loan items to one another. There are two parts to this: SRU and ILS-DI. SRU allows you to search from the library where you want the items from. ILS-DI allows you to place holds on remote systems. If you choose to enable this, you will have to specifically target other Koha systems.

Overall, there was great conversation on the functions that can be used within Koha to enhance patron experience and their abilities within your library!

View the Presentations

Sharing is Caring (about our patrons!) – How we do
resource sharing among our 110 libraries in our Koha union

The Power and Promise of Koha's ILL Module