Chapter 5. Circulation

Table of Contents

1. Check Out (Issuing)
1.1. Checking Items Out
1.2. Check Out Messages
1.3. Check Out Warnings
2. Renewing
3. Check In (Returning)
3.1. Checking Items In
3.2. Check In Messages
4. Circulation Messages
4.1. Setting up Messages
4.2. Adding a Message
4.3. Viewing Messages
5. Holds
5.1. Placing Holds in Staff Client
5.2. Managing Holds
5.3. Receiving Holds
6. Transfers
7. Set Library
8. Fast Add Cataloging
9. Circulation Reports
9.1. Holds Queue
9.2. Holds to pull
9.3. Holds awaiting pickup
9.4. Hold ratios
9.5. Transfers to receive
9.6. Overdues
9.7. Overdues with fines
10. Tracking In house Use
11. In Processing / Book Cart Locations
12. Self Checkout
13. Offline Circulation Utility
13.1. Firefox Plugin
13.2. Offline Circ Tool for Windows
13.3. Upload Offline Circ File

Circulation functions can be accessed in several different ways. On the main page of the staff client there are some quick links in the center of the page to check items out, in or transfer them. For a complete listing of Circulation functions you can visit the Circulation page which is linked from the top left of every page or from the center of the main page.

Before circulating your collection you will want to set your Global System Preferences, Basic Parameters and Patrons & Circulation Rules.

While in Circulation you can jump between the tabs on the quick search box at the top of the screen by using the following hot keys:


Mac users use the OPTION button in place of ALT

1. Check Out (Issuing)

To begin the checkout process you must enter the patron barcode or part of their name. The checkout option appears in three main places:

  • Check out option on the top of the main staff client

  • Check out option on the patron record

  • Check out option on the quick search bar on the circulation page

1.1. Checking Items Out

To check an item out to a patron, first search for that patron using one of the many options listed above.

At the top of the Check Out screen is a box for you to type or scan the item's barcode into.

  • Important

    Many modern barcode scanners will send a 'return' to the browser, making it so that the 'Check Out' button is automatically clicked

  • If the barcode is not found you will be prompted to use fast cataloging to add the item. Learn more about fast cataloging later in this manual.

Below the box for the barcode there may be options for you to override the default due date for the item.

  • This option will only appear if you have set the SpecifyDueDate system preference to allow staff to override the due date

At the bottom of the page there is a summary of the patron's current checked out items along with the due date (and time if the item is an hourly loan), items checked out today will appear at the top.


If the checked out time is listed as 00:00 then the item is a daily loan item. The due time for daily checkouts will show 23:59 which is the last minute of the day.

If you have set your ExportWithCsvProfile preference, you will also see the option to export the patron's current checkout information using a CSV Profile or ISO2709 (MARC21) format.

Also at the bottom of the page is the list of items the patron has on hold

From the holds list you can suspend or resume patrons holds using the options at the bottom of the list if you have the SuspendHoldsIntranet preference set to 'allow.'


If you have your AutoResumeSuspendedHolds preference set to "Don't allow" then you will not have the option to put an end date on the hold suspension

If there are notes on the patron record these will appear to the right of the checkout box

If the patron has a hold waiting at the library that too will appear to the right of the check out box making it easy for the circulation librarian to see that there is another item to give the patron

1.1.1. Printing Receipts

Once you have checked out all of the items for the patron you can print them a receipt by choosing one of two methods.

If you have the CircAutoPrintQuickSlip preference set to 'open a print quick slip window' you can simply hit enter on your keyboard or scan a blank piece of paper with your barcode scanner. The idea being that you're "checking out" a blank barcode which triggers Koha to print the 'Quick slip.'

You can also click the Print button at the top of the screen and choose 'Print slip' or 'Print quick slip'.

If you choose 'Print slip' it will print all of the items the patron has checked out, including those they checked out at an earlier date. Choosing 'Print quick slip' will print only the items that were checked out today.

What prints on the slips can be customized by altering the slip templates under the Notices & Slips tool.

1.1.2. Clear Patron Information

When you're done checking an item out if you have the DisplayClearScreenButton preference set to 'Show' you can clear the current patron by clicking the X in the top right of the patron's info to remove the current patron from the screen and start over.

If you have the CircAutoPrintQuickSlip preference set to 'clear the screen' then you simply need to hit enter or scan a blank barcode and the screen will be cleared of the current patron.

1.2. Check Out Messages

If you check out an item that has multiple pieces and you have cataloged that information in subfield 3 of the item record (in MARC21) a message will pop up when you check out that item telling you how many pieces should be there.

There are times when Koha will prevent the librarian from being able to check out items to a patron. When this happens a warning will appear notifying the librarian of why the patron cannot check items out.

  • Patron owes too much in fines

    • You can set the amount at which patron checkouts are blocked with the noissuescharge system preference

  • Patron has been barred from the library

  • Patron needs to confirm their address

    • This can be set by the librarian editing a patron record and adding a flag

  • Patrons has lost their library card

    • This can be set by the librarian editing a patron record and adding a flag

1.3. Check Out Warnings

Sometimes checkouts will trigger warning messages that will appear in a yellow box above the check out field. These warnings need to be acknowledged before you will be able to continue checking items out.

  • Patron has outstanding fines

  • Item on hold for someone else

  • Item should be on the hold shelf waiting for someone else

  • Item already checked out to this patron

  • Item checked out to another patron

  • Item not for loan

  • Patron has too many things checked out

  • Item cannot be renewed

  • Barcode not found

  • Item being checked out is marked as 'lost'

    • Depending on the value in your IssueLostItem preference, you may just see a warning

      or a confirmation box

  • Item being checked out is not recommended for a patron of this age

  • Item being checked out meets the decreaseLoanHighHolds system preference criteria