Open Source News

KohaCon 2011: Presentation of BibLibre's recent work on Acquisitions and Serials

University of St. Etienne and Universities of Lyon 2 and 3 are working together to sponsor some enhancements to Acquisitions and Serials. These universities are geographically close, about 50 km away from each other, so it made sense to coordinate the sponsorship of these new features.


New permissions: For add/modify budgets, even if restricted; managing all orders and baskets; receiving orders from any branch; others as well.

Fund access restrictions: Right now, you can only restrict access to fund owners, but development would allow any user at the owner’s library to see a fund, if you allow.

Multiple tax rates: Set up a list of rates, and defaults per vendor. This can still change at order level.

Improving order line ergonomy: show prices with and without tax more clearly, with checkbox to hide some details. This additional info is shown on baskets and receiving page.

Invoice management: add more filters to invoice search, including vendor, billing price ranges and more. Separate billing dates and shipping cost

Improved Order searching: Order status can be “complete, deleted, new, partial, or requested”. Also search on EAN and ISBN. Adding in a ‘parent order’ structure, which looks like it will allow you to receive in part a specific order (2 of 3 materials). This is the base mechanism for order statuses.

Mapping Orders info to MARC: Fields covered are ordernumber, quantity, notes, price and branch, possibly more available. Defaults to 940 field (at least in UNIMARC). This can be used to show “on order” materials more easily in OPAC, without having to create the item record in advance.

Ergonomic improvements to item record creation during ordering. If you choose to create items, you get a stripped-down item form. If ordering multiple items, now only one form is shown, and the other item info is condensed into a list. You get a much shorter screen this way, which is easier to see and use.

Late order improvements: Instead of just returning everything 30 days late, this dev adds a filter menu on many, many more fields, and allows for alternate number of late days.

Place order for a serials subscription. You can only create 1 subscription order at a time, so quantity = 1 is enforced. Item creation is disabled (from the acquisition process), and only handled by Serials (in receiving). Very smart, and will make life much easier for academic libraries. Subscription details now show any Orders that have been placed.


Add new subscription screen split into two screens: On first screen, they have added option to skip or keep irregular issue numbers. On the second screen, you can specify individual issues in the subscription pattern that are not published (which then uses the previous setting). Very good for irregular publications.

Define serials frequencies and number patterns in Admin: Breaks out all this logic that was only in serials Javascript into admin pages. Users can easily add their own frequencies and numbering patterns beyond the default ones, and have them saved and ready to use when creating a subscription (instead of doing it every time). I’m very excited about this one. We can put everyone’s patterns and frequencies on the wiki, so everyone can share, just like SQL and JQuery libraries. Then the next trick is to build a database to tie specific titles to those patterns, so people don’t have to make them from scratch each time.

Serials ergonomy improvements: Moved “edit serials” buttons to above serials issues table, so large numbers of issues don’t force you to scroll way down. They also added two date published fields, one a date object, the other textual, so you can show a simpler summary instead of the exact date. This works in receiving for the received date, as well.

Claiming improvements: When claiming late issues, filters are now available on every column. Checkboxes allow you to select which issues you want to claim. This development also adds claims count and date, so if you have to repeat yourself to your subscription vendor, you know how many times, and when.

I’m very encouraged by these developments coming from BibLibre, and look forward to testing them. This work should make life in any academic library, and many special libraries, much simpler, the world over!

[Originally posted by Ian Walls]

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