Koha How-To

Koha Question of the Week: Can I Batch Modify Items Based on Specific MARC Data?

Each Friday, we will bring you a new Koha Question of the Week. We will select real questions that we receive and share the answers with you!

Question: Can I Batch Modify Items Based on Specific MARC Data?

Answer: The Batch Item Modification tool is a powerful cataloging resource that empowers librarians to make changes to their data for updates to shelving locations or new item types. Sometimes, though, librarians need to make adjustments based on criteria that are not in the existing item data, like making all the items associated with a particular publisher into their own collection code, for example. The tool in the cataloging module doesn't have a way to query these other criteria, but a SQL report can.

Reports can help identify these items, which identifies the materials that need to be modified, and with the inclusion of a column with the itemnumber, can even unlock a shortcut to unlocking batch tools without the intermediate step of exporting a barcode list.

The inclusion of the itemnumber column in my report made the batch actions with visible results possible. Reports can display up to 1000 items at a time, so this can be a great way to modify large portions of a collection at once.

The sample report I used queried by publisher info (a field in the biblioitems table), but for specific MARC data that is not already mapped to Koha fields in the biblio or items tables, a report can also query MARC data via biblio metadata. The possibilities are vast here - a library might be genrefying a shelving location and want to identify materials by some known subject headings, or e-books loaded into the catalog have started confusing patrons, so they want to identify materials by the 337 RDA media type field to identify which "items" should actually have a clearer item type of EBOOK. A report can identify these records, then the items attached to it, making it easy to modify them in bulk.

Additional Resources

Batch Modify Items right from your SQL Report