Koha: Let the people read, for longer

by Aleisha Amohia

A feature has been quickly developed within Koha that allows libraries to update the due dates of items currently on loan, in bulk! Before this feature, due dates could only be batch extended from inside the database – now, librarians can do it themselves in their Koha staff client.

The Catalyst Koha team has put together this demonstration of the feature to show how it works and how easy it is to use.

Step 1:

Navigate to ‘Tools’, and click on the ‘Batch extend due dates’ feature.

A screenshot of the Patrons and Circulation screen

Step 2:

Select the criteria of the checkouts for which you will extend the due date.

You can select multiple or all borrower types. For example, you may only want to extend due dates for items that have been checked out by ‘Staff’ and ‘Students’. In this case, hold down the ‘Ctrl’ button in your keyboard and select your desired options.

You can select multiple or all library branches. In this demo, I want to extend due dates for all branches, so I have selected none of the options to limit my criteria. You could also select all branch options for the same result.

You can also specify ‘from’ and ‘to’ due date limits.

You may only want to extend due dates for checkouts that are due after the start of March, in which case you would put ‘1 March’ in the ‘from’ field and leave the ‘to’ field empty.

On the other hand, you may want to extend due dates for all checkouts that are due before August, in which case you would put ‘1 August’ in the ‘to’ field and leave the ‘from’ field empty. Note that this option will include items that have been long overdue, or may be lost.

In this demo, I only want to extend due dates for checkouts are due in March, April and May.

Finally, choose a new due date for these checkouts. You can either enter a hard due date (for example, the first Monday in August), or choose a number of days to add to the current due date. Once you’re happy with your selections, click ‘Continue’.

A screenshot of the Batch extend due dates screen

Step 3:

Koha will show you a list of all the checkouts that fit your criteria. On this screen you can deselect any checkouts you do NOT want to change.

Once you’re happy, click the button to ‘Modify selected checkouts’.

A screenshot of the Batch extend due dates screen after modification

All done! In only a few short steps, you can quickly ensure that your borrowers are not left stressed and book-less in this time of library closures and self isolation.

A screenshot of the confirmed new due dates

This simple and useful feature is now ready for Koha versions 18.11 and beyond. Sites that can be automatically upgraded will already have this feature in their staff clients.

If you don’t see the link in your Catalyst-hosted Koha staff client and would like to use the feature, let the team know (from Australia or New Zealand). Check out our recent post detailing how our team can support libraries through COVID-19.