Chapter 4. Circulation

Table of Contents

1. Check Out (Issuing)
1.1. Checking Items Out
1.2. Check Out Messages
1.3. Check Out Warnings
2. Check In (Returning)
2.1. Checking Items In
2.2. Check In Messages
3. Circulation Messages
3.1. Setting up Messages
3.2. Adding a Message
3.3. Viewing Messages
4. Holds
4.1. Placing Holds in Staff Client
4.2. Managing Holds
4.3. Receiving Holds
5. Transfers
6. Set Library
7. Fast Add Cataloging
8. Circulation Reports
8.1. Holds Queue
8.2. Holds to pull
8.3. Holds awaiting pickup
8.4. Hold ratios
8.5. Transfers to receive
8.6. Overdues
8.7. Overdues with fines
9. Tracking Inhouse Use
10. In Processing / Book Cart Locations
11. Self Checkout
12. Offline Circulation Utility
12.1. Firefox Plugin
12.2. Offline Circ Tool for Windows
12.3. 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 main staff client

  • Check out option on the patron record

  • Check out option on the quick search bar

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

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, items checked out today will appear at the top.

  • This screen will show whether an item is renewable and if not, why not.

  • To override the renewal limits you can set the AllowRenewalLimitOverride system preference to allow overrides and a checkbox will appear below the list of checkouts that reads 'Override Renewal Limit'

    • Checking that box will add checkboxes in the renew column above where before the item was not renewable.

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

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

The first is that 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.'

The second is that you can click the Print button at the top of the screen and choosing 'Print Slip' or '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 'Quick Slip' will print only the items that were checked out today.

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

1.2. Check Out Messages

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