Koha How-To

Setting Up Auto Renewals with New Features

This is an updated Koha tutorial on setting up Automatic Renewals including system preferences, circulation rules, cronjobs, and notices. Several things have changed since auto-renewals was introduced in Koha, and this blog post addresses them.

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: if your library wants to add a limit to when the auto-renewal happens, a numeric value can be added here. If a value of 2 is added in this column, then the auto-renewal will occur 2 days/hours before the due date. A blank value will indicate that the auto-renewal will occur on the day it is due. (In the previous version of Koha, it was mandatory to add value in the no renewal before column, or your items would auto-renew every day until the patron hit the max number of renewals).
  • automatic renewal: this needs to be set to yes (turns on the automatic renewal functionality when cron starts)
  • no automatic renewal after: this will 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 on 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.

System Preference

  • OpacRenewalAllowed: This 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 that 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 auto-renew.
  • RestrictionBlockRenewing: if a patron is restricted, allow or do not allow renewing of items.
  • AllowPatronToControlAutorenewal: you can either allow only staff or allow patrons to allow/disallow auto-renewal for an account. If allowed a patron will be able to update their own account to allow/disallow auto-renewals. If your library has a value in the “no renewal before column” and your patron has opted out of the automatic renewals, they will not be able to renew until after that date has passed.

CronJobs

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

By default, patrons and staff do not have the ability to renew if automatic renewals are turned on. The system preference, AllowPatronToControlAutorenewal, will either allow only staff or allow patrons to control auto-renewal for an account. If allowed a patron will be able to update their own account to control auto-renewals. If your library has a value in the “no renewal before column” and your patron has opted out of the automatic renewals, they will not be able to renew until after that date has passed.

OPAC - Patrons View

Staff Client - Staff View