Koha How-To

Setting Up Self Registration for your library

We have received many support tickets asking for assistance in setting up Self Registration on the OPAC. This blog post will take you through the system preferences and steps in setting this up!

There are several system preferences that are tied to setting up Self Registration for your OPAC.

System Preferences:

  • PatronSelfRegistration
  • PatronSelfRegistrationAdditionalInstructions
  • PatronSelfRegistrationBorrowerMandatoryField
  • PatronSelfRegistrationBorrowerUnwantedField
  • PatronSelfRegistrationDefaultCategory
  • PatronSelfRegistrationEmailMustBeUnique
  • PatronSelfRegistrationExpireTemporaryAccountsDelay
  • PatronSelfRegistrationLibraryList
  • PatronSelfRegistrationPrefillForm
  • PatronSelfRegistrationVerifyByEmail

1.Determine which fields you would like this new patron to fill out (PatronSelfRegistrationBorrowerMandatoryField) - such as First Name, Last Name, etc. Here is a link to the borrower table in the schema. This is a list of the main fields for your convenience: firstname, surname, address, city, state, zipcode, email, phone. When setting this system preference up in Koha, each field required will be separated by a Pipe | For example: firstname|surname|email|phone|zipcode

2.Determine which fields that you don’t want on this Self Registration Form (PatronSelfRegistrationBorrowerUnwantedField). Same structure when entering this into the system preference as described above.

3.Determine what Patron Category code these registrations will be assigned to. Most libraries use “SELF” - if you are going to use a new patron category, you will need to create a patron category. Whatever Category you choose, you will enter this CODE into this system preference: PatronSelfRegistrationDefaultCategory . Self registration won’t appear unless this system preference has been entered.

4.If you are a multiple branch library and self registration is only available in some branches, add the branches that will allow self registration (by their code) into the system preference : PatronSelfRegistrationLibraryList

5.A system preference that determines whether the User Name/Password is given to the patron when the self registration is done or it is not give. PatronSelfRegistrationPrefillForm has the option to “Display & Prefill” or “Don’t Display & prefill” If the library chooses to Display and Prefill, when the patron registers on the OPAC, they will receive this on the screen once the registration has been complete:

6. The login and password will appear on the left, and the login on the right will be already entered for easy access to their account in the OPAC. The card number has also appeared to the patron who has self -registered - this will ONLY appear if your library has the system preference : AutomemberNum turned on- which will automatically assign the next card number to the new patron.

7. Another system preference for self registration is PatronSelfRegistrationVerifyByEmail. If you would like your patrons to verify their account with an email, this system preference can be set to Require. If required, the email field will be a mandatory field in the self registration process and the patron will not be able to use their new account until they acknowledge the email that Koha will send. If your library does not need the patron to verify by email than see Step 5 which will allow your patron to be logged in with that system preference set as Dispay & Prefill. This system preference leads into the next system preference however they are dependent of each other.

8. You can set the PatronSelfRegistrationExpireTemporaryAccountsDelay preference to delete the un-verified self registrations after a certain number of days. This will require the “delete expired opac registration cron job” to be turned on. If this is turned on and a value of # of days is set in the system preference, the cron will run nightly to clean up any registrations that have not been verified via email.

9. The system preference: PatronSelfRegistrationEmailMustBeUnique if set to Consider, when a patron is self registering, this email will be checked with your database to see if there is already this email in existence.

10. The system preference that will allow for Self Registration to be activated is PatronSelfRegistration -this will need to be set to Allow.

11. The last system preference that is part of this process is :

PatronSelfRegistrationAdditionalInstructions which allows the library to add HTML to the preference for more instructions to the user. This will be displayed on the page the patron sees after successfully registering for their library card. See the first image, this area is highlighted in yellow.


A few fields that a library may want to exclude (add to the System Preference: PatronSelfRegistrationBorrowerUnwantedField) would be categorycode, homelibrary, dateofbirth (unless you collect this info) and also expirydate.

Expirydate is not a field that the patron can fill out during the self registration phase, but it does appear in the form unless added to the Unwanted sys pref.

Categorycode will appear as a drop down menu for the patron to pick a category code, most libraries have set up a specific category code- such as Self for these registration to go to.

If you want to track your Self Registrations, it is also helpful to create a unique code for these self registrations.

During the Self Registration process, there will be a Verification code that your patrons will have to enter- this is used to make sure that this is an actual person creating the registration.

Check out other How-To blog posts!

Read more by Kelly McElligott