In conjunction with getting the Certification pathways up and running, ILS Staff have been updating and re-working the ILS Support / Training web pages. The main Training page provides the most up-to-date schedule of ILS training dates, with a link to the SCLS Calendar for ease of registration. The links to the Certification page, the consolidated Training Resources page and the Koha Sandbox page are located through the main Training page. We will continue to update these pages as new training is scheduled and documentation is updated.
And speaking of Certification, we have provided a Training Certification FAQ to collate all the questions we have received into one space. If you have a question and the answer is not listed here, please submit your question through the HelpDesk Portal. We will endeavor to answer your question as quickly as possible. If the question is not library-specific, we may add it to the FAQ.
On June 3, 2015 the ILS Committee approved the addition of the new Item Type; "Equipment" [EQUIP].
This Item Type does not allow holds or renewals, has a default replacement price of $25.00 and has a loan period of 180 days (Original recommendation was from the Seed Libraries in order to automate the due date for circulating seed packets).
Circulation Issuing Rules for this new Item Type have been added to each library's set-up. If your library intends to charge overdue fines for this item type, you must submit the change request(s) on the Circulation Issuing Rules change request form. Please allow 3-5 business days for the changes to be made.
If you need to batch change a number of items to this new Item Type, you can do it yourself following the instructions in the Linking Manual, Section XIV Updating and Deleting items, Part E Batch Edit of items (page 2) or submit a Batch Change Collection Code/Shelving Location/Item Type Request form.
The ILS staff has put together the information on the new ILS Koha TrainingCertification program. The purpose of certification is to ensure that each library has at least one staff person trained in each module. That person will be able to provide training for other staff and will be an on-site problem-solver. Please see the brand new Certification web page for all of the requirements for each of the modules included in the program.
In 2016 we are offering the following incentives to encourage staff and libraries to participate in the program. Each library or branch is eligible for up to a $100 stipend if they complete certification as follows:
—Cataloging = $25
—Circulation = $25
—Serials = $25
All modules = $25 bonus
Advance Notice (of overdue) and Item DUE messages are the only notices that provide an option to Digest the notices. ALWAYS select the Digest option when the patron indicates that they want to receive either one of these messages.
If the Digest option is selected, patrons will receive only ONE notice informing them of the 14 picture books that are due in two days, instead of 14 notices.
As part of our ongoing patron database clean-up, the Digest option has been applied to all patron records that had either one of these Messaging options selected in their patron record.
For more information about these Messaging options, read the Circulation Manual; Section V Patron Record and Registration (p. 19) and Section XIII Messaging preferences, Messaging Queue and Notices (p. 2)
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 is the launch date for LINKcat online payments. The bug with the Transaction library (Account and Account History screens) was fixed in the 4.18.9 upgrade on 3/4/2015 so we are good to go.
The e-Commerce: LINKcat online payment information (p. 22) has been posted in the Circulation Manual. This Section also includes the instructions we will be providing to the patrons. The patron instructions will be available as a printed handout and also linked from multiple places in LINKcat. Library staff should watch the recorded webinar "LINKcat Online Payments" if they have not already done so.
An initial quantity of the printed instructions and promotional bookmarks will be sent to your library the week before April 1. We will add the printed instructions to the ILS Forms Request form so libraries can order additional copies as needed.
Announcements will be in the status wiki and in Top 5 the week before and the week of the launch.
A number of libraries have reported finding Withdrawn items on their Holds Queue reports (aka pick lists). SCLS staff tested several scenarios trying to get items with a Withdrawn status to appear on the Holds Queue report. The only way we were able to get an item with a Withdrawn status on the report was to mark the item Withdrawn after the hold alert appeared on the Holds Queue report.
The system is designed to populate your library's Hold Queue report (pick list) only with items that, at the point of generating the report, have a Current Library equal to your library and have a status of Available.
If a hold is placed on a bib record that includes an item with a Withdrawn status, the library that owns the item with the Withdrawn status is ignored as the hold request "travels" through the Hold Sequence.
If an item with a Withdrawn status is the only item on a bib record, neither patrons nor staff are able to place a hold on the record. Staff are not able to place an item-level hold on items with a status of Withdrawn.
Marking an item Withdrawn after it appears on your pick list will not remove it from the Holds Queue report. If something appears on your Holds Queue report that needs to be Withdrawn, you or your staff must mark it Trace on the Holds Queue report and “Submit” the change to the report in order to remove that hold request from the report. Only after the hold request is removed from your HQ report should you mark the item as Withdrawn.
If you do find a Withdrawn item on your Holds Queue report, you should mark it Trace to remove it from your report and move the hold through the Hold Sequence. Please note that all items with a Withdrawn status are deleted once a month (near the end of the month). If the Withdrawn item is the last item on the bib record, then the bib record, and any attached holds, is deleted as well.
This is the longest and most detailed "Best Practice" entry we've ever posted but I think you will appreciate the comprehensive information. Feel free to use it to enhance your own staff instructions. Thank to Joe at Madison PL for providing this Best Practice.
Before creating any library account we want to determine whether or not a patron already has an account in our database. This is done, of course, by searching for the person’s name in Koha. Here are some steps to follow that will help you conduct the most thorough search possible, and some guidelines to remember if you think you’ve found a preexisting account:
On Tuesday, May 27, the 4 Portage County Libraries will Go Live in Koha. Library staff will no longer be sending items to Madison-Central or using Direct CKO to fill holds for patrons at these libraries.
Starting Tuesday, when you scan an item barcode to fill a hold, the location information in the Hold Found pop-up will read as the following for the 4 libraries:
Portage County PL - Almond (ALM)
Portage County PL - Plover (PLO)
Portage County PL - Rosholt (ROS)
Portage County PL - Stevens Point (STP)
Some library staff have used zero-amount Manual Invoices as a way to place a Note in a patron's Account screen. With the modifications to the accounting rules in 4.18, staff will no longer be able to create zero-amount Manual Invoices. Staff will have to use the Circ Notes field or the Messages feature on the patron's Check Out screen to add informational notes to the patron's record. Please be diligent about deleting those Messages that are out of date or no longer needed.
As part of a development project to create a Patron Note or Message history, all current zero-amount Manual Invoices will be migrated from each patron's 4.16 Account page into their 4.18 Patron Block History page (Circulation History). The other part of the development will be to add a "history" or "save" hyperlink to each message that will provide staff the opportunity to retain the message in the Patron Block History screen (which will be re-named). We don't have a date for when this new hyperlink will be implemented but as soon as it is available in the Sandbox for testing we will let you know.