Koha Tutorial Videos

Monday Minutes: Circulation Rules

Jessie and Kelly are starting off a 4 part series all about Circulation Rules. This week we are focusing on adding a circulation rule to a single branch system.

Circulation Rules

Koha reads the circulation matrix from the top to the bottom. The bottom rule is usually (and recommended) to have a what is called an ALL/ALL rule. This rule will capture any combination of patron category/item type that does not have its own specific rule above, When adding a new rule to the circulation matrix, it is good to know that Koha will organize this rule into the others already created- so a library does not need to know where it should live in the matrix, a new rule can just be added.

When creating a new rule in your circulation matrix, a library must determine if this is specific to a patron category and or item type, or is it capturing a large picture.

In our example, we added a rule for a new item type, Garden Tools. We wanted all patron categories to have the same rule, so our Patron Category was set to ALL, and the item type was "Garden Tools".

As we add the rule, we have several columns that need to be filled in, some of these columns we will talk about in a future circulation Monday Minutes:

Note: a text note can be added to any circulation rule.

Current Checkouts Allowed: how many garden tools can be checked out at a time

Current OnSite Checkouts: can this item be chosen as an on-site checkout

Loan Period: how long does this item circulate for

Unit: is this loan period in Hours/Days

Hard Due Date: the options that are available are, exactly on, before and after. Here is an explanation on each option:

  • Exactly on: The due date of any item checked out with this rule will be set to the hard due date.
  • Before: Koha will calculate the normal loan period. If the calculated due date would be after or on the hard due date, the hard due date will be used instead.
  • After: Koha will calculate the normal loan period. If the calculated due date would be before the hard due date, the hard due date will be used instead.

Fine Amount: the amount of which this item will be charged if it is overdue

Fine Charging Interval: how often you would like this fine amount to be charged, for example:daily (1)


The finesCalendar system preference controls whether the days the library is closed will be taken into account or not.

When to Charge: this is used for libraries that have a fine charging interval of more than 1 day.

Fines Grace Period: the period of time that an item can be overdue before fines start accruing. This can only be done in days not hours.

Overdue Fines Cap: The maximum of the fine that this circulation rule combination can accrue. If this is left blank, then the fine can accrue forever. There is a system preference, MaxFine, which is a way to set the max amount of late fine for all checkouts.

Cap Fine at Replacement Price: A library can opt to cap the overdue fines instead of a dollar amount, it can be capped at what the particular item's replacement price is.

Renewals Allowed: what are the number of renewals allowed for this rule?

Renewal Period: if there renewals available, how long does this item get renewed for

No Renewal before: if there are renewals allowed, a library can control how soon before the due date patrons can renew their materials with the ‘No renewals before’ box. This can be entered as days/hours- depending on the rule itself.

Automatic Renewals: Is this a rule that can be set to auto-renew?

Here is a link to the Auto-Renewal blog post we discussed in our tutorial video:

Setting Up Auto Renewals with New Features

Holds Allowed: How many holds can be placed on this item type/patron category combo

Holds Allowed (daily): Is there a limit to how many holds are placed on this daily

Holds Per Record: Can there be more than one hold on this record at the same time

On Shelf Holds: can a hold be placed on this item when it is currently on the shelf (not checked out). The options are:

  • Yes: This will allow placing holds on items at all times. It doesn’t matter if they are available or checked out.
  • If any unavailable: This will allow placing a hold as soon as one or more items of the record are checked out. It doesn’t matter if there are still one or more items available on the shelf.
  • If all unavailable: This will allow placing a hold as soon as all items on the record are checked out that could fill the hold. This is especially useful for libraries that don’t offer the service of getting items placed on hold off the shelf for patrons.

OPAC Level Holds: can a patron choose which item on the record that they would like to place on hold. This comes into play with records with multiple items that are all different, like Disc 1, Volume 1, etc. Those options are:

  • Allow: Will allow patrons the option to choose the next available or a specific item.
  • Don’t allow: Will only allow patrons to choose the next available item.
  • Force: Will only allow patrons to choose a specific item.

Article Requests: here is a tutorial about this feature and how to set it up:

Koha tutorial on Article Requests

Other Parts of This Series

Part Two: Monday Minutes: Circulation Rules for Multi-Branch Systems

Part Three: Monday Minutes: Circulation Rules Default Values

Part Four: Monday Minutes: Circulation Rules Default Hold Policies by Item Type

Read more by Kelly McElligott