Koha How-To

Koha Question of the Week: What are the benefits to using the course reserves module?

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Question: What are the benefits to using the course reserves module?

For course reserves, do we have to use the course reserves module, or can we just create a course reserves location and circ rule? Could you please let me know the benefits to using the reserves module?

Answer from ByWater Solutions' Educator Sara

You don't have to use the module - it more depends on how you and your students/teachers will be using the items on reserve, as well as whether you expect to use the same courses or items year to year.

As you've seen, even with the course reserves module, you most often will need to create a new item type and possibly new shelving location for the items while they're on reserve. However, there are some potential benefits to using the module:

  • Using the module, you can change the item type, collection code, shelving location, holding library, and home library for multiple course items at once. (Or, however many of those you need - generally at least item type to apply new circulation rules, and then often shelving location.) Of course, you can also do this part with a batch item modification, but via the module you can also batch-add a public note and staff note specific to the course reserve.
  • When the course is made inactive, items automatically return to their original item type/shelving location/collection code/home and holding library. In theory, this can also be done with a batch item modification, but that will only work if all items are 'returning' to the same item type/shelving location etc. So if you have, for instance, item types BOOK, DVD, and REF on course reserves, you would need to manually change each item type back through individual item edits or multiple batch modifications (one per item type) when the course is done. This would also mean making note of what item type/shelving location etc. they will need to return to.
  • Students/teachers can easily see what is on reserve using the Course Reserves link on your OPAC.
  • Any notes will be automatically removed from the item once its course is made inactive.
  • If it's a class that runs each semester/term/year, you can deactivate it at the end of the semester/year but keep it in course reserves so that it's ready for new items the next time.
  • If a course tends to use some or all of the same items year to year, you can leave the items there (with the course deactivated) - re-enabling the course will change the item type/collection code (etc.) without you having to re-add and edit the items each year. You can also remove items from a course if you don't expect to use them again.

So, all that to say: if there are only a few items (and they can easily be individually or batch modified once the course is done to return to their usual item types/shelving locations etc.), and if students/teachers won't want to see what's on reserve via the OPAC, you certainly can simply change the item types and shelving locations. But if the same courses tend to run year to year, you expect to use some of the same items year to year (and they are of different item types/coming from different shelving locations etc.), or students/teachers would benefit from easily seeing what's on reserve via the OPAC, setting up the module may save you time and simplify things in the medium to long term.

Additional Resources

Self Paced Learning in Koha: Course Reserves
OPAC: Customizing Course Reserves

Link to Subject in Help Manual

Read more by Kalleen Marquise

Tags course reserve