Koha Upgrades

Q&A from 18.05 Upgrade Webinars

Self Check-in Module [15492]

Q-How do you keep track of what checks in, does it trigger if there is a hold, this could get a little tricky.

A- The self check-in module does not seem to be triggering holds. The bug [21544] has been created for this.

Q-Do you have to click the Check-in button?

A- To use the self check-in module, the item is scanned or the barcode is entered in, click Add. When all items are scanned in that will be checked in, then Checkin is clicked to complete the transaction.

Merging Patrons [9302]

Q-What system preferences or permissions exist for merging patrons?

A-This is a staff permission. It is an existing permission called : Add, edit and delete patron lists and their contents. This can be found under the Tools section.

Marti from Huntsville shared her Staff Permission Audit report :

SELECT borrowernumber, firstname, surname, categorycode, branchcode, description, flags

FROM borrowers

JOIN user_permissions USING (borrowernumber)

JOIN permissions USING (code)


SELECT borrowernumber, firstname, surname,

categorycode, branchcode, 'module-level permissions;

1 is superlibrarian' AS description, flags

FROM borrowers

WHERE flags > 0)

ORDER BY borrowernumber ASC

Q- With Merging Patrons do Hold requests transfer?

A- Yes, checkouts, holds, fines- all these transfer over to the merged patron.

Q- With Merging Patrons, is there an un-do?

A- No, there is not an un-do. Once the patrons have been merged- it is final.

Q- With Merging Patrons- Is there a permission to block this feature?

A- This feature is driven my staff permission, if the staff member does not have this permission, they will not have the ability to merge patrons. This may be something you hide on your staff client with JQuery.

Q -Can you merge more than 2 patrons at a time? Is there an upward limit ?

A- You can merge more than 2 patrons at a time. If the option of “select all” is chosen, then the merge feature is not available. We did file this bug [ 21555 ] as we discovered that the select all fail safe doesn’t catch it all. I was able to click over 60 patrons to merge when testing.

Q- When merging patrons, will any patron details transfer to final record, or will only checkouts, holds, fines, etc. transfer? For example, if the discarded record has a phone number and the final record does not, will that phone number transfer or be lost?

A- Patron details from the discarded record will not transfer over. This merging is just to allow for checkouts, holds and fines.

Patron Fines/Fees

Q- What is the difference Between Void/Reverse?

A-The option to Void has been added with 18.05 and there is currently an active bug in the community [20969] that will eliminate the Reverse option. The void option is a cleaner way to “void” payments than the reverse option in Koha.

Q-What does the Detail Button do?

A-This adds a details view for every fine and payment in a patron account that will show detailed information about the payments made forward a fine and how a payment has been split up to pay towards several fines.

Q-Which table in the database does the fine details information come from?

A-The table from which this detail information is from the Accounts Offset table.

Adding the ability to create unique Payment Types [18786]

Q-Can we add our own payment types?

A- Yes, payment type values can be added in the Authorized values- the category is called Payment_Type.

Q- Can payment type be mandatory?

A-It is not a mandatory field and can not be made mandatory currently in Koha, a partner during a webinar said that they have been able to make this mandatory using some jquery.

Q- Does the Payment Drop down for Payment Type option appear when choosing Writeoff in addition to Pay?

A- No, it does not.

Write Off [[11210]

Q- Can you write off more than the actual charge? This was a bug in Koha.

A-No, you can not. You will get an error message alerting you that the write-off amount is larger than the actual charge.

Q-Is the the ability to void given in permissions?

A-This is not a permission

New System Preference “CanMarkHoldsToPullAsLost” [19287]

Q- Does this system preference (mark Lost) work with holds queue as well?

A-This system preference can only be used with the Holds to Pull list and not with the Holds Queue.

Q-We currently hid our Holds to Pull - will we still be able to do this?

A- If you are part of a multi-branch system, you will want to continue using the Holds Queue option.

Q-If we only have one item with a bib record and we don’t mark that one item when placing a hold, will it still count as Item Level?

A- No, for an item to be able to be mark as Lost from the Holds to Pull list, the hold needs to be place on hold at the item level even if it was the only item on the bib, the hold needs to be attached to a specific item.

Q- When does the notice to the patron trigger?

A- This notice will be sent out with the Message Queue, so every 15 min.

Q- Is it when one copy is marked as lost/missing? Or is it when all copies are lost/missing?

A- Since this process requires for the hold to be place on an item level, it will be if that specific item is lost.

Q-So if it is a biblio level hold, can you still mark it as lost?

A-If it is a bib level hold, you will not be able to mark the item lost from the Holds to Pull report.

Add ability to track cardnumber changes for patrons [18626]

Q- Will that previous card number come up if found and scanned?

A- No, the log will contain the previous card number, but searching for the patron using an old card number will not produce results.

Add ability to define Hierarchical Groups [15707]

Q-If you are unable to see patron information in another group, is it possible to still circulate in another group?

A-No, if you staff member does not have the permission to see other patrons from other libraries, they also could not circulate to other patrons from other libraries due to the permission set up.

Q-Are the groups listed in the facets?

A- Groups are not listed as Facets in searching.

Q- If we have groups set up already, will they transfer?

A-Yes, they will transfer over to the new area in Administration. This was confirmed by a partner that is currently set up on 18.05.


Q- In the discussion of [19233] adding the ability to send item numbers in reports results to Batch Item Modification, this seems scary, is there a way to turn that off?

A-Currently, there is not a way to turn this off. However, staff permissions will come into effect on who can use this. Also, the report needs to have the column ItemNumber for this option to appear.

Q-To use the Batch Modify option, do we need either Item Number or Barcode listed in the results?

A- This will require Item Number to be a listed column in your report the column must be named itemnumber for this to allow for the Batch Modify option to appear.

Q- Using the batch modify from the reports module, can the column called something other than item number for this feature to work?

A-No, the column itself has to say item number for this feature to work.

Q- If a patron does not have Batch Modify permission, will they be able to do this?

A- No, if a staff member does not have the option to batch modify items (in their permissions) but does have the permission to run a report, the Batch Item option does appear, however, once this is clicked and the user is brought over to the Batch Modify tool, they will be unable to perform this task.

Q-In the discussion of [9634] allow for parameters re-use on SQL reports- will we need to re-write our own reports?

A- The reports will run as they normally would, however, if you do not want the parameters used the same across the report as this has now be changed to do- it would be best to re-write your param to be a little different, so then Koha knows to not call for the same information for each param. Koha will look to see the same name and type/authorized value.

When showing the column configurations on the reports module a question was asked “Are you hiding the columns for all users, or just yourself?”

A- This visibility change is only for yourself during this process.

Q-We found that an error is producing if a report has the "COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci" parameter set. How can we fix this?

A-For reports that do have this parameter set, you will need to replace the utf8_unicode_ci portion with this utf8mb4_unicode_ci . This appears in very complex reports and if you need assistance making this change in the SQL, please submit a ticket.

Found this line of SQL in the Koha Report Library:

SELECT letter1 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci AS letter_code

FROM overduerules

this revised line in 18.05 would look like this:

SELECT letter1 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci AS letter_code

FROM overduerules

Add column settings + new column “Publication date” to the subscription table [11976]

Q-Can we hide the received date?

A- Yes, in the configure columns area found in Koha Administration, go to OPAC. Under the OPAC tab, use Subscriptionst area, and click to hide the Serials Planned Date which is the received date.

Add a StaffLoginInstructions system preference [20291]

**A partner brought up in a webinar, that this would be a great idea for libraries to add a note to staff as they are logging in after an upgrade to clear their cache!


Q- How do we moderate Tags?

A- The system preference that allows or doesn’t allow moderation of tags is called TagsModeration. The options are Require/Don’t Require.

Browse Selected Biblios [[19290]

Q- Can you place holds on these items once you have selected them?

A- Yes, you can!

Automatically switch from circulation to new patron when a cardnumber is scanned during circulation [15752]

Q- How does Koha know that it is a cardnumber?

A- Koha says, “Hey, i don't find a book with that barcode but hold on, i found a patron, i bet you want that patron" ! Which means, yes Koha checks the patron database cardnumber field after failing on book barcode.

Q-Will it only work with barcode, not by typing name?

A- Correct, this will only work when you scan in a barcode of a patron into the item field.

Q- On the auto-switch patrons, will we be able to put in a prefix value?

A- Not at this time, a true patron barcode will need to be scanned into the field to work this feature.

Remove ‘lost’ items from course reserves [15378]

Q- Can we batch add items to course reserves?

A- No, currently you can not batch add items to course reserves.

From a partner, here is a bug for course reserves [20283]

Change ‘sex’ to ‘gender’ [19988]

Q-Does this change the field in patron imports?

A- This is not a database change, but a template change. The change does appear in the patron import, the field is now called Gender instead of sex. The import CSV still has the database language of Sex - and this does work.

Add ability to track cardnumber changes for patrons [18626]

Q-How long do the logs get kept for?

A-Standard database clean up is 180 days, unless the library has requested a different length of time.

Items table should have a damaged_on column [17672]

Q-What happens to the date when an item becomes un-damaged?

A-This date will disappear from the items tab screen. This date is also removed from the damaged_on field in the items table.

Allow Keyword to MARC mapping for acquisitions searches (subtitle) [17182]

Q-Will subtitles appear when receiving the items?

A-No, the subtitles do not seem to appear when receiving the items in Acquisitions. This was specifically for searching in Acquisitions.

Display messages on user details page as well as on checkout page [19801]

Q-Any chance that these messages can be made editable?

A- There was not a current bug for this, I have created this bug for the Koha Community Bugzilla- newly filed bug {21699}.

General Questions

Q-Who do we contact for more in depth questions about new features?

A- Please submit a ticket and we would be happy to work with you. The Education team will be posting more Blog Posts & Videos on other features through the month- please look out for those.

Q-How do we change color of Staff Client background?

A- This can be changed in the System Preference called : OpacuserCSS. This would be a system wide change, so everyone's staff client would be changed. If you need assistance, please put in a ticket and we would be happy to assist you.

Read more by Kelly McElligott