Koha How-To

Setting Up Automatic Renewals in Koha

In this Koha tutorial we will cover setting up Automatic Renewals including system preferences, circulation rules, cronjobs  and notices. If you want to enable automatic renewals, you will first need to turn on your circulation and fine rules, verify your system preferences, set up your notice and notify ByWater to turn the Cronjob on.

Circulation Rules

  • no renewal before: This value sets how many days before the due date the system will attempt to auto-renew. This needs a number, such as 0, 1 or 2. This indicates the number of days before the item's due date that Koha will try and renew it on. If this is not set it will auto renew everyday after the due date.
  • automatic renewal: this needs to be set to yes (turns on the automatic renewal functionality when cron starts)
  • no automatic renewal after: this will to block/allow auto renewals after a given delay.
    For instance, if the issue date is 10 days before today, and no_auto_renewal_after is set to 10, tomorrow the issue won’t be auto renewed.
  • no_auto_renewal_after_hard_limit: to block/allow auto renewals after a given date.
    This will stop renewals at a given date. For example a library will have time to send overdue notices and get the items back before the students go on holiday.

Systems Preferences

  • OpacRenewalAllowed which allows patrons to renew their own books on the OPAC. If you change it to don’t allow that will turn the option off for patrons. Keep in mind, if you have some item types thata do NOT automatically renew, you will want to leave this  feature turned on.
  • Renewal Log you will want to set this to Log so you can keep track of when items are renewed.
  • OPACFineNoRenewalsBlockAutoRenew this allows you to control if a patron owes more than the value of the system preference OPACFineNoRenewals, to allow or not allow their item to autorenew.
  • RestrictionBlockRenewing if a patron is restricted, allow or do not allow renewing of items.


You will need to enable the cronjob misc/cronjobs/automatic_renewals.pl. Just submit a ticket and we can turn the cronjob on for you. This will automatically renew items if you’re allowing automatic renewal with your circulation and fine rules.

The cron job will change everything moving forward that circulates. If you want to change items that are currently checked out, please submit a ticket. Please let us know if you will be using the automatic renewal notice (listed below).

Notices and Slips

In notices and slips you will see AUTO_RENEWALS – notification on auto renewing
When an issue is auto renewed, a notice will be sent to the patron. The notice will alert the patron if the item was renewed or if it wasn’t renewed because the item had a hold on it.


Automatic Renewal Option for 1 time circulation

If you do not want to turn on the automatic renewal through your circulation and fine rules for a specific patron category / item type, you can do it as a 1 time circulation. You will notice a box under the checkout settings on circulation.pl when checking an item out to a patron. This will automatically renew the item once if and only if there are no holds on the item.

Things to Consider

  • Patrons or Staff no longer have the option to renew. If automatic renewals are turned on, it will renew automatically, leaving the patron and staff with a message that the item will automatically renew. Below are screenshots of the OPAC/Patron Summary and the Staff Client / Checkouts tab for the patrons’s account.

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