Koha How-To

Item Recalls in Koha

With this feature, patrons can recall items or records that they need, but are currently checked out or awaiting pickup. Once the recall is confirmed, the patron who currently has the item checked out will be notified that their due date has been adjusted and they need to return their item. Once recalled items are returned, the recall requester will be notified that their item is awaiting pickup at their specified pickup location.

System Preferences for Item Recalls

There are 3 system preferences for item recalls:

UseRecalls system preference must be enabled. This preference controls whether the recalls feature is enabled or not.

RecallsMaxPickUpDelay system preference must also be set. This preference defines the maximum pickup period for waiting for recalls. It is used when setting a recalled item to 'awaiting pickup' if there is no defined pickup period in the circulation rules. You can also view the recalls waiting for more than the value of this preference in Circulation.

RecallsLog system preference can also be enabled to log recalls actions such as create, cancel, expire, overdue, and fulfill.

Circulation and Fine Rules

There are many new columns dedicated to Item Recalls in the Circulation and Fine Rule Matrix:

  • Recalls allowed (count)- how many recalls can be placed
  • Recalls per record (count)-how many recalls can be placed on a record
  • On-shelf recalls allowed ( If any unavailable / If all unavailable )- can a recall be allowed if there are other items on the shelf?
  • Recall due date interval (days)- how many days does a patron have to bring the item back in after it was recalled?
  • Recall the overdue fine amount- does the patron get charged if they don't bring back the recalled material
  • Recall pickup period (days)- how many days does the patron have to pick up the recalled item

Since these options are linked in the Circulation and Fine rules, a library can choose which patron category/Item type combination can utilize this feature.

Staff Permissions and Cron Jobs

There is a new user permission for staff that may manage_recalls.

There are two cron job that are associated with item recalls. It is recommended these cronjobs be configured to run daily.

  • /usr/share/koha/bin/cronjobs/recalls/expire_recalls.pl (expires recalls that have been awaiting pickup for longer than the recall pickup period, or have surpassed the manually set expiration date)
  • /usr/share/koha/bin/cronjobs/recalls/overdue_recalls.pl (sets a recall as overdue if a recalled item has not been checked in by the adjusted due date)


    • This will be sent to the patron who requested the material to be recalled and that item is ready to be picked up.
    • This will be sent to the patron who currently has the item checked out and now needs to be returned.
    • Details of the patron the made the recall- which can be printed out.

Patron Workflow

Borrowers can request recalls through the OPAC. They can place biblio-level or item-level recalls.

From the patron's account page, there is a new tab from the patron's account, where they can view their recall history.

In addition, there is a tab for open recalls from the patron's account summary.

Patron Notice

Once the recall has been placed, the patron who has it currently checked out will receive a notice and their due date will be changed.

Staff Workflow

Once a recall has been placed by the patron, the item will display a recalled message for staff to see:


Staff cannot currently place recalls. This is future work.

From the patron's account on the staff interface, there is a new tab to indicate open recalls for patrons. This will show any open recalls for this patron.

Additional Resources

Catalyst was the sponsor for this feature and has created great documentation, this documentation can be found here.