Koha How-To

Koha Question of the Week: Why Can't I Edit a Certain Patron Field?

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: Why Can't I Edit a Certain Patron Field?

Answer: Long-time partners sometimes run into an issue where borrower accounts have a piece of information that the library no longer collects, but upon opening up the form to modify patron information and remove it, that piece of data is nowhere to be seen. Some frequent fields where we see this come up are when a library used to use titles like Miss or Mister, or the library collected gender at time of account creation but doesn't anymore. If this information can be viewed in the patron record but can't be edited or otherwise accessed, that field has probably since been hidden by a system preference called BorrowerUnwantedField.

To clean up hidden fields that still have that data in them, the field can be temporarily un-hidden by BorrowerUnwantedField, allowing staff to delete the data out of the patron account(s) using it. If this is truly old legacy data that librarians suspect may be in other accounts, a report can identify any other accounts using that field for deletion via batch patron modification.

Once that data has been cleared out and the library wants to ensure it is not re-populated by mistake, the field can be selected in BorrowerUnwantedField once again.