Koha How-To

Item Types in Koha

One of the key components of your library's collection will be the Item Type designation. Item types are a way for your patrons to identify what the item is and more importantly to Koha how this item circulates in your library.

Here is a link to the Koha manual about Item Types in Koha.

Item Type Set-Up

Within the Administration Module, under Basic Parameters, one will find the library's Item Types.

Each item type that exists in your system will appear in this list. All item types have a code (10 digits or less, no spaces or special characters), a description and other information associated with that item type.

Setting up a new Item Type

Under the Item Type page, a button to add a new item type exists. Once this is clicked, the library can fill out the form to create a new item type. The two required fields are the Item Type (this is the code 10 characters or less). The description is what the staff and public will see. The code will only be needed when creating reports and various other database things.

Search Category - item types can be grouped together for searching. If you wanted Books and Large Print Books to appear in the same search, a search group could be created through the Authorized Value, ITEMTYPECAT, and linked through this page.

Images- Koha provides multiple groups of images that a library can choose to use for illustrating an item type.

Hidden in the OPAC- Marking an item type 'hidden from the OPAC' will remove this value from the Advanced Search feature in the OPAC. This will not remove the items associated with this item type to show in the OPAC.

Not for Loan-Marking an item type 'Not for Loan' will make these items not able to be checked out. This item type will still be seen on the OPAC and staff client.

Rentals- If your item type has an associated rental charge, there are several options that can be used here.

  • Rental Charge
  • Daily Rental Charge
  • Daily Rentals use calendar
  • Hourly Rental Charge
  • Hourly Rentals use calendar

More information about setting up Rental charges - see the Koha Manual .

Default Cost & Processing Fee

Koha allows libraries to set up default replacement costs and also include a processing fee for an item type. These costs will be applied to the patron's account when an item's is set to Lost.

For more information about default replacement costs and processing fees- see this blog post:

Setting up a Processing Fee and Default Replacement Cost per Item Type

Checkin Messages

If an item type needs a specific check-in message, this can be done for all items in this type as a default. More information about the different alerts and messages that Koha can do can be found in this blog post:

Koha Tips on Item Alerts and Messages

Library Limitation and more

If this item type is used only for a specific branch, then this branch can be chosen in the Library limitation option. Multiple branches can be chosen in addition to a single branch.

What's Next

If your library has recently created a new item type in Koha, don't forget to set up Circulation and fines rules for this item type, so Koha knows how long it circulates for to each of your patron categories.

Deleting an Item Type

If your library is looking to get rid of an existing Item Type in Koha, a report to find all the items that are connected to this item type will need to be run and changed. Koha will not let an Item Type be deleted if there are any items in your database connected to this specific item.

Here is a handy SQL report to allow the library to find all items associated with a specific item type.

SELECT items.barcode, items.itemnumber, items.dateaccessioned,items.itype,items.itemcallnumber,items.barcode,biblio.author,biblio.title, biblio.copyrightdate
FROM items
LEFT JOIN biblioitems ON (items.biblioitemnumber=biblioitems.biblioitemnumber)
LEFT JOIN biblio ON (biblioitems.biblionumber=biblio.biblionumber)
WHERE items.itype=<<Item type|itemtypes>>

The Batch Item Modification Tool is very helpful to change item information in Koha:

Batch Modify Items right from your SQL Report

Read more by Kelly McElligott

Tags itemtypes, itypes