Koha How-To

Monday Minutes: Overdue Notices and Status Triggers

In this week's Monday Minutes, Kelly and Jessie discuss overdue notices and triggers in Koha's Tool Module. The overdue notice/status triggers tool provides staff with the functionality to send up to three notices to each patron type notifying them of overdue items.

Overdue Notices & Status Triggers

There are 2 things you will want to make sure you have defined before setting up your overdue notice and status triggers.

  1. Define your overdue notices in the Notices & slips tool. You can set up multiple messages for all patron categories or single messages for individual patron categories. Examples:
    1. Overdue Notice 1 - Adults
    2. Overdue Notice 1 - Children
    3. Overdue Notice 2 - Students
    4. Overdue Bill (3rd Notices)
  2. Make sure your patron categories require overdue notices. You will need to set the ‘Overdue notice required’ to ‘Yes’.

Now that we have checked to make sure everything is set, let's set up the overdue notices and status triggers. Navigate to More > Tools > Patrons and circulation > Overdue notice/status triggers.

If you are a multi-branch system, you will have a dropdown to

  • Delay is the number of days after an issue is due before an action is triggered.
    • For example, if you set it to 14, it is 14 days overdue before the notice is sent. (Remember to check your calendar / system preference settings)
  • You can send additional notices by clicking on the tabs for Second and Third notices.
  • You can prevent a patron from checking items out because of their overdue items. If you check the ‘Restrict’ box, this will put a notice on the patron’s record at checkout informing staff that the patron cannot check out due to overdue items.
  • Finally, you can set up the delivery method for the overdue notice. You can choose from Email, Phone, Print, and SMS

Notices and Slips

All notices generated by Koha can be customized using the Notices & slips tool. You can learn more about setting up your notices and slips in Notices and Slips. Lucas also has advanced options in Customizing Notices & Slips with Template Toolkit.

System Preferences

AutoRemoveOverduesRestrictions: Using the Overdue notice/status triggers you can restrict patrons after they receive an overdue notice. This preference lets you define whether Koha will automatically remove that restriction once the overdue items in question are returned or not.

OverdueNoticeCalendar: you have 2 options here to ask Koha when working out the period for overdue notices

  • Ignore calendar
    • Notices do not take holidays into account, so they will be sent even if holidays have meant the item is not actually overdue yet
  • Use calendar
    • Notices take holidays into account, so they will not be sent if holidays mean the item is not actually overdue yet

Patron Email Plugin

The Patron Emailer Plugin is a great way to send additional notices to your users based on report output. So let's say you wanted to look at everyone who had overdues in excess of 6 months. You could run a report and send a message to all those patrons! Check out this blog post for a video and step-by-step instructions to set it up. Using the Patron Emailer Plugin in Koha.

Sending Additional Patron Overdue Notices

If you want to send more than 3 notices to the patron you can email custom notices based on the report output.

If you would like to set this up, check out Monday Minutes: Emailing Customized Patron Notices.

Sending Notices for Long Overdue Items

The long-overdue process doesn’t include any function to notify the patron that their item has become lost and they now owe the library for its replacement. Read this blog post which includes a report to set it up from Andrew! Sending Notices for Long Overdue Items