Patron Category changes coming Tuesday morning

We are finally ready to move forward with the patron category cleanup project.

**Monday night, please be out of the system promptly by 9pm**

These changes will be made Monday night after 9pm. Joy at ByWater will make the necessary database changes to compress our 160+ patron categories into about 30 categories for all borrowers; circulation and overdue rules will be updated where needed. I will also be updating reports next week that have used specific patron categories, to make sure they continue to work and measure as expected.

This change was first discussed back in January, and testing and other priorities delayed patron categoriesthe implementation onto our live system. Tuesday morning, you will see these changes in place on our live system.

When you create a new patron account or edit a patron’s account the drop down list will be much shorter. A few library-specific categories remain for now.

For most libraries, you will probably use the Adult or Child category for almost all patrons; if you track patrons outside your city, township, or district boundaries, you will probably use the Other Child or Other Adult category.

You can see these changes on our test system; use your normal Koha login information.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Placing Holds in NExpress

In the process of checking the holds in our system over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that many item-level holds have been erroneously placed in the system. We have many new staff members at various NExpress libraries, and some may not be aware that item-level holds are not to be placed, except in special circumstances. It’s always best to place the hold on the next available copy in the system.

Here’s a refresher set of directions on the two most popular methods of placing holds for patrons from the staff side of the system.

If you must use an item-level hold, please make sure you add a Note to the hold before you place it. These short directions show you where to do put that note. The note helps the NExpress team know that the item-level hold was purposefully placed, instead of a possible system bug (which does happen!).

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Koha 3.14 upgrade new features and issues

The NExpress system was successfully upgraded to Koha 3.14.3 this weekend. This post will archive the new highlighted new features and any ongoing issues

New Features

  • Renew feature: NEKLS sponsored a development that is in 3.14, that allows librarians Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 9.30.27 PMto renew books simply by scanning the item’s barcode — no need to bring up the patron’s account to renew the item. To use this feature, go to Circulation –> Renew –> Scan the item to be renewed. The screen will display the success or failure of the renewal and why. Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.37.23 PMYou can then scan and renew all other needed items.
  • Font size on receipt slips should be larger (like they were before)
  • Automatic un-debar of accounts when overdue items are returned and checked in
  • Item Type column added to Holds Queue pick list
  • Added “date of birth” patron search option
  • “Previous” and “Next” display in staff side catalog detail without returning to results page
  • “Restrictions” tab on patron account to allow multiple restrictions [please note below the found issue with this new feature]
  • Acquisitions will correctly display only budgets for logged-in branch this one is not fixed after all, 2/24/14
  • Saved Reports Actions: Each saved report now has an Actions drop-down menu at the end of each report, where the show, Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.44.41 PMedit, duplicate, run, schedule, and delete options appear.
  • Let us know if you find another new feature in the upgrade, and we’ll add it to the list here

Known Issues

(last updated 2/23/14)

We have discovered several issues after the upgrade, and have reported them to ByWater:

  1. Searches are processing prematurely on different tabs, typing in the search box jumps to a different tab, etc.: if you see this behavior, empty your browser’s cache, reboot the browser, and try again. Contact NExpress staff if you’re still running into issues. UPDATE 2/24/14: Please follow these directions from Dan Alexander to clear your browser’s cache.
  2. Search results return this message:
    “Bad RequestYour browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
    Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.
    Please let NExpress staff know if you run into this message. Clearing your browser’s cache is the fix at this time. This was fixed 2/28/14 on our system by the patch on this bug.
  3. The Saved Reports subgroups are not working at this time. If you try to access any of the reports subgroups, you’ll get the message, “No matching reports found”. The reports are still there, listed under the All category for each group. Hopefully, this bug will fixed soon.  This was fixed 2/26/14 on our system by the patch on this bug.
  4. Manually restricted accounts that are restricted because of fines or lost items thresholds or because of overdue notice triggers are loading VERY slowly in 3.14 on the circulation and detail tabs of the borrower account. If you run into a slow loading account, let us know if it is restricted or not when you report it.
  5. Self-registration did not yet go live as expected. There are still a couple more issues to work out before we make it live again for Linwood.
  6. When creating or editing patron accounts, if you scan the barcode into the cardnumber box, the account will automatically save, and you’ll have to re-edit the account to finish the account creation or other edits. This is an old issue that returned with the upgrade. For now, either hand-type the cardnumber, enter the cardnumber last before saving the account, or let the account save after the cardnumber is scanned and edit the account again. This was fixed 2/26/14 on our system by the patch on this bug.
  7. The Acquistions budgets issues is still not resolved after the upgrade. All branches budgets are displaying. Until this bug is fixed, we can’t roll out the Acquisitions modules to any other libraries.

Please let us know if you run into any other issues after the upgrade.

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