Koha How-To

Using the Course Reserves Module for Displays

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend KohaCon this year in Portland, Oregon. One of the presentations that intrigued me involved using the Koha Module, Course Reserves, for Public Displays. This concept would certainly be useful to public libraries as well as Special Libraries. This takes the List feature in Koha and expands it to more functionality for the patron and the staff.

Ed Veal from McKinney library presented on this subject and focused on changing the look of Course Reserves for his OPAC look specifically. His JQuery statements can be found on the Koha Wiki and this code can easily be placed in a library’s system preference : opacuserJS. Ed changed the language normally found on the OPAC for Course Reserves and made them appear as Display.

However, I want to take this a few more steps into detail for those partners that were not able to join KohaCon and also if libraries are not familiar with the Course Reserves Module.

There is already a blog post on our website that will go through the steps of setting up course reserves and a short tutorial video. Below, I am going to focus on steps to make this more of a public display option for Course Reserves.

Setting it up

1. To enable the Course Reserve Module on Koha, go to the Administration module under Global Systems preferences- enter coursereserves. Here you can your preference to "use".

2. A few key fields that are required when creating your course reserves is a Department, Course Number and Course Name. In the image below, I added a department to the Authorized Values to Display. However, if a library had more display areas, this could have more specific values such as Children’s Display, Cased Display, Local Author Display, etc. For the course number, I entered a date. And then finally, the name could be the name of the display or the month!

3. All the other fields do not need to be filled out. However, it is great to know that a library has the choice to enable this display. For example Banned Books is a display libraries do each year, so this could easily be disabled until it is that time of the year.

4. After you have entered your specific Display information, it is now time to save it.

5. Next step will be to add material to this Display. Currently, the only way to add items to a Display (Course Reserves) is to scan or enter each barcode.

6. Each item you add to the display – item type, collection code, shelving location, holding library can be changed to fit your library’s needs for this display.

Remember Item Type controls your circulation and fine rules- so if items on display have a different loan period, it is important to change this field.

7. You may add staff notes and public notes to each item. A public note on the course reserve item will replace a prior public note on the item and be displayed in the item and of the list of items within the display.

8. Shelving Location could be a key field a library would change for Displays. This also will stay as the Shelving Location after it has been checked out and back in. These values will stay until you have Disabled this Display (Course Reserves)

9. Once the display has finished in your library, if you set this Display to Disable- items will show their original location, item type, collection code, etc. Disabling this display will allow you to go back to the same display collection and do it again!

Below are images of the Display (Course Reserves) module on the OPAC.

Want more presentations from KohaCon?

Here is a link to YouTube recording of Ed’s presentation at KohaCon 2018.

Also, all presentations from KohaCon can be found on the ByWater YouTube channel- under this playlist.