Koha ILS

Defining Circ & Fine Rules in Koha 3.10

I have been getting a lot of tickets lately related to circulation and fine rules, so I have put together a tutorial video to help you get your circulation and fine rules set properly.

These rules define how your items are circulated, how/when fines are calculated and how holds are handled.

  • Get there: More > Administration > Patrons & Circulation > Circulation and fines rules

The rules are applied from most specific to less specific, using the first rule found.

Tip: If you are a single library system choose your branch name before creating rules (sometimes having only rules for the ‘all libraries’ option can cause issues with holds)

Important: At the very least you will need to set a default circulation rule. This rule should be set for all item types, all libraries and all patron categories. That will catch all instances that do not match a specific rule. When checking out if you do not have a rule for all libraries, all item types and all patron types then you may see patrons getting blocked from placing holds. You will also want a rule for your specific library set for all item types and all patron types to avoid this holds issue. Koha needs to know what rule to fall back on.

Using the issuing rules matrix you can define rules that depend on patron/item type combos. To set your rules, choose a library from the pull down (or ‘all libraries’ if you want to apply these rules to all branches):

From the matrix you can choose any combination of patron categories and item types to apply the rules to

  • First choose which patron category you’d like the rule to be applied to. If you leave this to ‘All’ it will apply to all patron categories
  • Choose the ‘Item Type’ you would like this rule to apply to. If you leave this to ‘All’ it will apply to all item types
  • Limit the number of items a patron can have checked out at the same time by entering a number in the ‘Current Checkouts Allowed’ field
  • Define the period of time an item can be checked out to a patron by entering the number of units (days or hours) in the ‘Loan Period’ box.
  • Choose which unit of time, Days or Hours, that the loan period and fines will be calculate in
  • You can also define a hard due date for a specific patron category and item type. A hard due date ignores your usual circulation rules and makes it so that all items of the type defined are due on, before or after the date you specify.
  • ‘Fine Amount’ should have the amount you would like to charge for overdue items
    • Important: Enter only numbers and decimal points (no currency symbols).
  • Enter the ‘Fine Charging Interval’ in the unit you set (ex. charge fines every 1 day, or every 2 hours)
  • The ‘Fine Grace Period’ is the period of time an item can be overdue before you start charging fines.
    • Important: This can only be set for the Day unit, not in Hours
  • The ‘Overdue Fines Cap’ is the maximum fine for this patron and item combination
    • Important: If this field is left blank then Koha will not put a limit on the fines this item will accrue. A maximum fine amount can be set using the MaxFine system preference.
  • If your library ‘fines’ patrons by suspending their account you can enter the number of days their fine should be suspended in the ‘Suspension in Days’ field
    • Important: This can only be set for the Day unit, not in Hours
  • Next decide if the patron can renew this item type and if so, enter how many times they can renew it in the ‘Renewals Allowed’ box
  • If the patron can place holds on this item type, enter the total numbers of items (of this type) that can be put on hold in the ‘Holds Allowed’ field
  • Finally, if you charge a rental fee for the item type and want to give a specific patron type a discount on that fee, enter the percentage discount (without the % symbol) in the ‘Rental Discount’ field

When finished, click ‘Add’ to save your changes. To modify a rule, create a new one with the same patron type and item type. If you would like to delete your rule, simply click the ‘Delete’ link to the right of the rule.