13. Offline Circulation Utility

13.1. Firefox Plugin

Franois Charbonnier

Nicole C. Engard

Changed content where necessary. 

2012

There is an offline circulation tool that you can add to your Firefox browser as a plugin/addon. To do so, just go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en/firefox/addon/koct/ page and click on the "install now" button. You may have to confirm the installation, just click on "install now" and then restart Firefox to complete the installation.

Once you have installed the plugin and restarted Firefox, you will see the Koha logo in the add-on bar at the bottom right of Firefox.

A click on the logo will open the tool in its own window.

The plugin consists of four tabs:

  • The Check Out tab is where you check out items

  • The Check In tab is where you check in items

  • The Log tab keeps track of every transaction done while in offline mode

    • The log will keep information until you empty it. Each time you open the plugin and it contains data in the log it will warn you

      If you'd like to clear the log, check the 'I want to delete rows' box before hitting the 'OK' button. Otherwise clicking 'OK' will keep the items in the log and let you continue working with the tool.

  • The Param tab is to set up the plugin

The first thing you want to do then is to set up the plugin. Go to the Param tab to set up the plugin

Answer the 4 questions presented:

  • Server = the URL of the librarian interface

  • Branch Code = the code for the branch where you are located

  • Username = your staff account login

  • Password = your staff account password

Important

To save the settings, you will have to close the plugin window and re-open it by clicking again on the Koha logo in the add-on bar.

Tip

You can create a staff account dedicated to the offline circulation. So that, no matter who is at the circulation desk, they can all use the same login. Along those lines, you can use a group login that you already have in place for circulation as well.

Once you have everything set up you can start checking items in and out.

Checking out:

  • Go to the Check Out tab

  • Scan the patron barcode

  • Scan the item barcode

  • Click 'Save'

Checking in:

  • Go to the Check In tab

  • Scan the item barcode

  • Click Save

Each time, you check out or check in an item, a new transaction is recorded in the local plugin database and you will see, at the bottom of the plugin how many transactions has been made during the offline circulation. For example, "10 Row(s) Added" means you did 10 transactions.

Then, if you want an overview of every transaction, go to the Log tab. This tab will show you the transactions in the plugin database

Tip

The status will be "Local." as long as you are offline and don't process the transactions into Koha.

When your Internet connection comes back up you will want to get these transactions in to Koha. Before processing these transactions you should be aware of a few issues.

Because you are not connected to your Koha database when using this plugin holds will need additional processing. If an item you check in while offline has a hold, the hold is kept on the item. Since, you can't confirm holds found during the processing of every check in, the holds stay on the item and will need to be managed later. If you only checked in a few items you can just keep a record of them all. If you checked in a lot of items you can use the Holds Queue once it rebuilds to see what holds made it to the shelf erroneously.

Similarly, if an patron card was expired, the offline circulation tool won't know about it, so the checkout will be recorded regardless of the patron's account being blocked normally.

You have two options for adding this data to Koha

  • Commit to Koha

    • If you checked in/out on more than one computer at the same time, what you want is to process every transaction consistently. Let's say for instance that one patron checked a book out on one computer and then checked the same book in on another computer. To be consistent, you need to record the check out first and then the check in. Not the opposite! To do so, you need to group every transaction in one place, sort them all and then, process everything. So, you need to use the "Commit to Koha" option from every plugin/computer you worked with. This way, the log will go to Koha and be accessible from the Offline Circulation page.

    • Get there: Circulation > Offline Circulation (Firefox add-on)

    • Once all of the logs from all of the circulation computers are loaded you will be able to check them all or select just those you want to process into Koha.

    • Click on the Process button and Koha will record every sorted transaction one by one. For each transaction, the status will change to:

      • "Success." if the transaction was processed correctly

      • "Borrower not found." if the borrower card number is incorrect

      • "Item not found." if the item barcode is wrong

      • "Item not issued." if you checked in an available item

    • Once finished you will have a summary of all of your transactions

  • Apply directly

    • If you performed all of the circulation actions on one computer then everything is sorted already so you can choose to "Apply directly"

    • The status column will be updated to let you know if the transactions were applied

      • "Success." if the transaction was processed correctly

      • "Borrower not found." if the borrower card number is incorrect

      • "Item not found." if the item barcode is wrong

      • "Item not issued." if you checked in an available item

    • Once you're finished you can review all of the items right in the Log tab

Once you are done you can clear the log by clicking Clear. If you don't you will be warned the next time you open the Offline Circulation tool.

13.2. Offline Circ Tool for Windows

The Offline Circulation Utility can be downloaded at: http://kylehall.info/index.php/projects/koha/koha-offline-circulation/

13.3. Upload Offline Circ File

The offline circulation tool for Windows will generate a KOC file that you can upload into Koha once your system comes back up.

On the Circulation menu click 'Offline Circulation File (.koc) Uploader'

Browse your computer for the *.koc file

Once the file is uploaded, click the process the file

When this is complete you'll see the summary of actions from when you were offline (including any errors).