Koha Question of the Week: What are Patron Sort Fields?
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: What are patron sort fields?
Answer: Patron sort fields can be used to store information about the patron outside of the 'pre-assigned fields' in Koha.
There are two types of Sort Fields in Koha. There are Borrower (Patron) Sort fields and Acquisitions Sort fields.
Each of these Sort values can be connected to an authorized value in Koha, meaning a library could have 'pre-defined' values associated with this Sort Field.
Libraries have used the Sort Fields to indicate the County the patron lives in, the Homeroom the patron has been assigned, a unique number associated with the patron outside of the other values that are being stored, and more.
The beauty of the Sort Fields (for both borrowers and acquisitions), is that this information is reportable. So a library can store information about the patron such as the County they live in, and then report on this through the reporting module. Also, with counties, the library could create a list of Counties in the Authorized Value (bsort1) and then the staff member could easily choose the appropriate county from a drop-down list. This will alleviate any misspellings or wrong information.
If a library would like to use a Sort Field to capture County, for example. The library would add those counties to the Authorized Value of either bsort1 or bsort2.
Then when a new patron is being created, the dropdown options will exist in the Sort Field that was chosen:
We can also use jquery in Koha to change the wording in the Patron Form to say "County" instead of Sort1 - if that would help your circulation staff during the registration process.
If you feel comfortable adjusting a system preference, add this code to your system preference: intranetuserjs
//Change text of sort1 and sort2
If not, and you are a partner with ByWater Solutions, we would be happy to assist you with this change!
There are more ways to store data in a patron's account that has a bit more flexibility, and that would be through the Patron Attributes. Here is a tutorial video on how to use Patron Attributes:
Read more by Kelly McElligott