This guide was kindly developed and shared by BASE colleagues. Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
This guide published July 2016 (Revised October 2016)
Additions and amendments to this version of the guide are highlighted in yellow
Superseded guidance is crossed through.
|2.||Issuing (Check out) and Returning (Check in) Items|
|2.1||Issuing items – ‘Checkout’|
|2.1.1||Changing the due date – special due dates|
|2.2||Returning items – ‘check-in’|
|2.2.1||A user claims to have returned an item|
|2.3.1||Renewing a user’s items|
|2.4||Checking an item’s status|
|2.5||Item types and their corresponding loan periods|
|3.1||Where to find details of a user’s fines|
|3.2||Patron Fine Thresholds|
|3.3.1||Special Item Fines|
|3.5||Marking an item ‘lost’ or ‘missing’|
|4.1||Placing a hold/reserving an item for a user|
|4.1.2||Holds placed by users on the OPAC|
|4.2||Cancelling a hold/reservation|
|4.3||Sending a reserved item to fulfil a request from another library – ‘Daily Tasks’|
|4.4||Receiving a reserved item from another library – ‘Check in’|
|4.4.1||Returning the item to the original library|
|4.5||A user has reserved an item that is now missing – what happens next?|
|4.6||When your library is closed – the ‘Calendar’ function|
|5||User Registration and Administration|
|5.1.1||Good practice: before a user registers|
|5.1.2||Completing the user registration form|
|5.1.3||Good practice: after a user registers|
|5.1.4||Registering a new user|
|5.1.5||If a member already exists on the system and renewing a membership|
|5.1.6||Issuing the BASE Library Membership card|
|5.2||What to do when a user has lost their membership card|
|5.3||Deleting a user record|
|5.4||Adding a ‘note’ to a member’s record|
2. Issuing (Check out) and Returning (Check in) Items
2.1 Issuing items – ‘check out’
From the home screen of Koha
Select the ‘Check out’ tab, scan the barcode from the user’s membership card and click submit.
If the user does not have their card with them and they have an alternative ID card registered (i.e. staff or student ID), you can search for their account by this number instead and a list box will appear on the next page.
If you need to search for a user by name, you can search either by surname (which will provide a long list in some cases) or by full name i.e. ‘Sarah Smith’.
The user will be displayed including details of current checkouts and holds along with any messages about the account about fines owed or overdue items.
From within a member record
Select the ‘Check out’ tab on the left hand menu.
Scan the item barcode in the ‘item barcode’ field. Once identified, the item is issued to the user by the system. Check the box to Always show checkouts immediately. This will continue to show checkouts immediately on any patron record, until browser settings are cleared.
If you find that you need to check the ‘always show checkouts immediately’ box frequently, it may be that your session information is automatically cleared from the browser each day.
Once you have finished with a user account, click back on the ‘breadcrumb’ trail or the Koha logo to return to the Koha homepage.
2.1.1 Changing the due date – ‘Specify Due Dates’
NB: you can only do this at point of issue.
Use this function to change the date an item is due to be returned.
Do not scan the barcode UNTIL you have changed the date in the due box otherwise the item will default to the current due date.
2.2 Returning items – ‘Check in’
Change the tab at the top of the screen to ‘check in’; enter or scan the item ID (the barcode) and click submit
A summary box will appear as to where the item should be sent i.e. home location/shelving or placed in transit to another trust.
Sites with self-issue kiosks are recommended to check in items on the returns shelf manually, so that hold notices can be picked up by staff and the item sent to the necessary site.
2.2.1 A user claims to have returned an item – ‘Add a message’
To add a message to a user account i.e. if a user claims an item has been returned – you will need to open the user account at ‘check-out’.
Enter the user ID into the search box and the next screen will show the item a user already has on loan.
Click ‘Add a new message’ here and you will be taken to the next screen
Under ‘leave a message’ you should select “For other Librarians” – this will display the notice on the staff client.
Type in your message and then click ‘Save’.
The system will return you to the ‘check out’ screen and the message will be displayed in red.
You now need to click on the Item ID barcode which will then take you to a quick record for the item.
Under ‘Statuses’ you need to change “Lost Status” dropdown box to ‘lost’ or ‘missing’ and then click on set status.
This will update the record on the catalogue and remove it from the users’ account.
If an item is subsequently found and is ‘checked-in’, an alert will flash on the system:
2.3.1 Renewing a user’s items
Search for the Patron record and display.
When displaying the record, you will see a users’ checkout list. Select the ‘Always show checkouts immediately’ tickbox to automatically ‘un-hide’ the list of checkouts.
To renew an item, you need to enter a tick alongside the appropriate title(s). Then click on the ‘renew or return checked items’ button.
Or simply click on ‘Renew all’ to renew all items without making any other selections.
If an item cannot be renewed it is usually because it has already been renewed twice, which is the limit set by the system and the renew box will not display.
Remember to inform the user of the new due date!
2.4 Checking an item’s status
There are two methods for this.
1. Use “bc:…”
To see an item’s details without searching for it on the catalogue, enter “bc:” then the barcode of the item in the ‘Search the catalog’ box at the top of the screen.
Details of the item will then be displayed.
2. ADVANCED SEARCH
Use this facility to check where an item should be and what its current status is. Click on ‘Search’ at the very top of the screen.
In the ADVANCED SEARCH module, change the ISBN dropdown box to BARCODE; scan the item barcode and the relevant book title will be displayed. You then need to scroll down the list to find the appropriate copy to identify the current status.
Click ‘Go to item search’ if you do not know the barcode or to search for a collection of items or a range of items between certain classmarks:
2.5 Item types and corresponding loan periods
When cataloguing an item, you can assign an item type which dictates what the loan period for the item is, if any. The table below lists the item types and what loan period they have attached.
|ART||Journal article||MOD||Anatomical model|
|BK1||Book (1 week loan)||MODR||Anatomical model, reference only|
|BK2||Book (2 week loan)||MUL1||Multimedia (1 week loan)|
|BKFI||Book, fiction||MUL2||Multimedia (2 week loan)|
|BKIL||Book, interlibrary loan||MUL4||Multimedia (4 week loan)|
|BKON||Book, overnight loan||MUL8||Multimedia (8 week loan)|
|BKQR||Book, quick reference only||MULO||Multimedia, online|
|BKR||Book, reference only||MULON||Multimedia, overnight loan|
|BOOK||Book||MULR||Multimedia, reference only|
|EJ||Electronic journal||OC||Online Course|
|EPUB||Electronic publication||OFF||Official publication|
|EQ1||Equipment (1 week loan)||OFFR||Official publication, reference only|
|EQ2||Equipment (2 week loan)||PAM||Pamphlet|
|EQ4||Equipment (4 week loan)||PAMR||Pamphlet, reference only|
|EQ8||Equipment (8 week loan)||REP||Report|
|EQON||Equipment, overnight loan||REP1||Report (1 week loan)|
|EQR||Equipment, reference only||REPR||Report, reference only|
2.6 Postal loans
Items can be posted to BASE members instead of being collected in person. This is particularly relevant in the case of multi-site Trusts or for users with additional needs.
It is recommended that the loan period be extended by 5 working days to allow postage time (see section 2.1.1 for how to modify due dates). The user must be informed of the final due date.
Select ‘Yes’ under the ‘Loans by post?’ dropdown within the ‘Additional attributes and identifiers’ section of the member record to indicate this member’s loans are to be posted.
For more information on the Base policy on postal loans please see ‘Your Guide to Base Policies’ for staff.
3.1 Where to find details of a user’s fines
To see the total estimated fine amount a user owes, Search Patron, open Patron record, click on the “Fines” button on the left-hand side of the screen.
From this screen you see an account overview, pay fines, create a manual invoice and create a manual credit.
Displays all outstanding fines and payments on a patron account.
There are 4 options – Pay, Write Off, Pay Amount or Pay Selected
Pay – this will let you pay the whole amount
Write off/Write off all– this is the cancel/waive function
Pay Amount – for staged payments
Pay Selected – if a patron wishes to only pay selected invoices, you can select this option.
Create a Manual Invoice
A manual invoice can be added to a Patron’s account for miscellaneous items including Interlibrary Loan supply.
Clicking on this tab gives you 7 options; these are:
1. Lost Item
3. Account Management Fee
4. New Card
6. Copier Fees
Select the item you wish to create an invoice for and enter a barcode/reference number; description; note and amount required and then click SAVE. This will automatically add the invoice to the patron record.
Create a Manual Credit
A manual credit can be entered if someone has paid a bill detailed above in error or overpaid. Similar details can be entered in the various fields and information will automatically save to a patron record.
3.2 Patron Fine Thresholds
Patron accounts have a fine threshold of £5. Once a patron’s fines reach £5.01, they will be unable to place a hold via the OPAC, renew items, borrow items or use a self-issue machine.
Library staff will see a blocked account via the staff client too.
3.3 Current Base Item Fines (as at July 2016)
The following fines apply to overdue items for all users:
• 20p per item per day for standard and two week loan items
• 50p per item per day for 7 day loan items
• £1 per item per day for special loan items.
The maximum fine that is charged per item is:
• £5.00 for standard and two week loan items
• £5.00 for 7 day loan items
• £10.00 for special loan items.
3.3.1 The ‘special’ fine rate
This fine rate applies to high value items that are loaned out. For example the following item types attract special fines:
• Book-VSL (1 day loan)
|In addition to high value items such as laptops, any items that are for reference only (but loaned out in exceptional circumstances) will be charged at the special fine rate of £1 per day.|
3.4 Fine-free returns – Forgive fines on return
If you hold a fine-free item return day or amnesty, you can check in items and ignore the fine. The fine is completely removed from the user’s account upon discharging the item in this way.
Please note, any unpaid bills previously incurred against the same item will not be removed, it is just the current overdue fine that is ignored.
Click CIRCULATION tab; click on Check-In
From the next screen, you need to select the ‘Forgive overdue charges’ tickbox before you scan an item for return
3.5 Marking an item ‘Lost’ or ‘Missing’
Advanced Search > Barcode > Edit
Marking an item as ‘lost’ using the advanced search option indicates that the item is thought to actually be lost and not retrievable.
Marking an item as ‘missing’ using the advanced search option indicates that the item may not actually be lost. Use this option when there is a possibility the item could be found.
See 2.2.1 if the item has been lost whilst on-loan
If an item is not found on the shelf when looking for a reservation/loan, click ADVANCED SEARCH, change drop-down box to BARCODE; Scan the barcode in the book and then click on SEARCH.
You now need to click on the Item ID barcode which will then take you to the item information screen.
Under ‘Statuses’ you need to change “Lost Status” dropdown box to ‘lost’ or ‘missing’ and then click on set status.
This will update the record on the catalogue and remove it from the user’s account.
In both cases, if an item is subsequently found and is ‘checked-in’, an alert will flash on the system:
Important note: Koha auto-updates overdues to ‘long overdue (lost)’ after 45 days overdue, this process doesn’t automatically check-in the item but leaves it checked out to the user in question. Whereas the process above will check-in the item and it will show as returned on the user record.
4.1 Placing a hold/reserving an item for a user
Search Patrons and then click submit; Retrieve the user record and then you have an option ‘Search to hold’.
The next screen allows you to search for an item by title, barcode, ISBN etc. Select the option you require – you can also add a filter to search by item type too:
From the list on the next page, select the book you would like to place a hold on.
Under the ‘Place hold’ dropdown box, you are given 2 options:
• Place Hold
• Place Hold for (library user)
If you click on Place Hold, you will need to search for the Patron again in order to complete the action.
If you click on Place Hold for (library user) – the user is automatically added to the hold queue.
Click Forget [user] to clear this user’s details from Koha’s current search memory.
At Place Hold – a confirmation screen will appear. NB: All holds placed on the system should automatically default for collection from a patron’s home library.
4.1.2 Holds placed by users on the OPAC
All holds placed by users via the OPAC are always title-level holds, not copy-level holds. This means users cannot place a hold on a specific copy of a title. Staff members can, however, place holds on specific items from the staff OPAC.
4.2 Cancelling a user hold/reservation
‘Search Patrons’ and then click submit. Retrieve the user record and scroll to the bottom of the account page. Click on the Holds tab:
From here, you can delete individual holds or suspend a user hold (i.e. if they are taking leave and won’t need the book for a few days).
Click on ‘Cancel marked holds’ to delete an item from the user account.
4.3 Sending a reserved item to fulfil a request from another library – ‘Daily Tasks’
If another BASE library requires a copy of one of your items to fulfil a user’s reservation it will be shown on the ‘Holds to pull’ report for your library, linked on the homepage of Koha.
Select your library from the dropdown at the bottom of the ‘Libraries’ column to view items requested and available at your library.
To send a hold, you need to retrieve the item from the shelf and ‘Check-in’ the barcode – a box will open on the next screen telling you where to send the item to.
To confirm the transit, you need to click ‘Confirm hold and transfer’.
4.4 Receiving a reserved item from another library – ‘Check-in’
When an item is received in the post, you should click ‘check-in’ to be shown the appropriate location information i.e. for shelving, for a hold etc.
Finally, click on Confirm, and the patron will be sent an email confirming that an item is awaiting collection.
4.4.1 Returning the item to the original library
When the user returns (check-in) an item that has been borrowed from another library, the system will display a message to tell you where you should return it to.
You should now arrange for the item to be returned to the indicated library.
4.5 A user has reserved an item that is now missing – what happens next?
If an item is already marked as ‘Missing’ in the catalogue, a user will not be able to place a hold on it.
If a user places a hold on an item that subsequently is found to be missing, the item should be marked missing (see section 3.4). The hold should automatically move to the next available copy.
If there are no other copies of this item on the catalogue, please contact the library that requested the item/the user’s home library, who will need to source the item from elsewhere and notify the user of what has happened.
The hold should then be cancelled (see section 4.2) and the user informed of the cancellation and reason.
4.6 When your library is closed – the Calendar function
Home > Tools > Additional Tools > Calendar
Librarians have permission to define their own unique library closings and holidays. Holiday dates are used by Koha to calculate item due dates. You do not need to add shared or general holiday dates into Koha, as these are added by the Area Systems Librarians.
4.6.1 Adding Events
Before adding unique holidays, choose your library from the drop down menu.
When adding unique holidays you will be asked if you would like to copy the event to all libraries. To add a unique holiday, simply
- Click on the date on the calendar that you would like to apply the closing to
- In the form that appears above the calendar, enter the closing information (for more info on each option click the question mark [?] to the right of the option)
- Library will be filled in automatically based on the library you chose from the pull down at the top of the page
- The day information will also be filled in automatically based on the date you clicked on the calendar
- In the description enter the reason the library is closed
- Next you can choose if this event is a one time event or if it is repeatable.
- If this is a one day holiday choose ‘Holiday only on this day’
- If this is an annual holiday closing choose ‘Holiday repeated yearly on the same date’
- If the library is going to be closed for the week or a range of time choose ‘Holiday on a range’ and enter a ‘To Date’ at the top
If you’d like to copy the unique holiday to another branch, you can use the copy menu below the calendar:
- After saving you will see the unique holiday listed in the summary to the right of the page
4.6.2 Editing Events
To edit events
- Click on the event on the calendar that you want to change (do this by clicking on the date on the calendar, not the event listed in the summary).
- From this form you can make edits to the holiday or delete the holiday completely.
- All actions require that you click ‘Save’ before the change will be made.
- Clicking on repeatable events will offer slightly different options
In the form above you will note that there is now an option to ‘Generate an exception for this repeated holiday,’ choosing this option will allow you to make it so that this date is not closed even though the library is usually closed on this date.
All actions require that you click ‘Save’ before the change will be made.
4.6.3 Additional Help
When adding or editing events you can get additional help by clicking on the question mark next to various different options on the form.
5. User Registration and Administration
5.1.1 Good practice: before a user registers…
- The user must show their Trust ID badge, or a University ID badge if they are a student, as proof of identity.
- Does the user already have a BASE Library card?
- Search the system to check for the borrower’s details.
- If the user exists on the system, please see 5.1.4 to update their record.
- If the user does not exist on the system they must complete a BASE Membership Registration Form (see 5.1.2).
- If another member exists in Koha with the same name, see 5.1.4 note at point 2.
5.1.2 Completing the user registration form
- The BASE Membership Registration Form is available to download from the BASE website www.base-library.nhs.uk.
- If a user selects to receive correspondence by email, check that their preferred contact address includes their preferred email address.
- Users can indicate if they do not want to receive service announcements from the library. Announcements could include information such as closed dates, if the website will be down for maintenance or if a new service is launched.
- The user registration form includes a signature box for the student’s manager to confirm the student’s eligibility to use the service. It is not necessary to get the manager’s signature where eligibility to use the service is not in doubt. However, as a safeguard, the box remains on the form in case the need arises to confirm a student’s eligibility to use the service by means of getting the manager’s signature.
- Clinical Attachments can be classed as students or full members, this is at the local discretion of Trusts.
5.1.3 Good practice: after a user registers
- Don’t keep any additional registration forms a member completes, e.g. in error, use them to update member details on the library system and then destroy forms. Only the original registration form should be kept electronically.
- Check you are not accidentally keeping electronic or paper records that have been deleted from the library system.
The policy was recently re-agreed at BASE patch to keep forms only for two years post-expiry.
5.1.4 Registering a New User
1. To register a new user, click on ‘Patrons’ button:
- External Membership: For those outside of the membership categories below, a fee is made for this membership.
- Library Staff Membership: BASE Library consortium staff
- NHS Full – Additional: Staff with e.g. dyslexia (longer loan periods) who self-declare
- NHS Full Membership: All NHS staff
- NHS Student – Additional: Students with e.g. dyslexia (longer loan periods) who self-declare
- NHS Student Membership: All students
- Trust Volunteer: Membership for volunteers within BASE Trusts.
- Trust Volunteer – Additional: Volunteers with e.g. dyslexia (longer loan periods) who self-declare
Enter the library member’s details into the form.
The password strength indicator (grey bar) will show a green colour for a strong password, the more green contained in the bar, the stronger the password. Enter the default password of ‘1111’, the user can change this on logging in to their account.
Select the correct salutation for the user and complete name details.
Note: If another patron exists in Koha with the same name, when initially creating your new patron, enter only the surname and leave the first name field blank. This is to avoid a ‘duplicate record’ error message which does not allow the record to be saved. Once saved, edit the record, add the first name and save.
Enter the member’s preferred address details in the Main address box. (Currently this will be a duplicate entry of the details in either Address 1 or Address 2.)
Indicate in the ‘Address no.1/2’ box which address is the member’s preferred address for contact as indicated on the registration form.
If this preference changes to the other address in future, simply replace the number in this box and copy the new preferred address into the ‘main address’ block.
Note: Koha will always take the details that are contained in the ‘Main address’ block and ‘Primary email’ field to send notices to users.
If a user would like to be contacted at two email addresses, enter them in the primary email field separated by a comma. Notices will then be sent to both email addresses.
Only one email address can be entered into the primary email field.
Duplicate the address entered in the ‘Main address’ box into the corresponding address box – address 1 or 2 as indicated in the ‘Address 1/2’ field.
If a user has given another address on the registration form, enter it in the remaining address box, Address 2 in the example below, and include Manager’s name here if provided.
Enter user’s card number and ensure the correct library is entered. Category will default to what you chose at the beginning of the registration.
The date registered will default to today’s date. Only add an expiry date if the user is a student or on a temporary contract.
OPAC note: Enter any notes here that you want the user to see on the OPAC.
Circulation note: Enter notes here you do not want the user to see.
Please enter the date and site code the user registered at in the circulation note, to allow the paper registration form to be located.
Leave the following ‘Patron account’ and ‘Patron restrictions’ selections as the default:
Registered on BaseDoc : Indicate whether the user is registered on BASEDoc here (you may be registering the user at the same time).
External Member / NHS Full Member / NHS Student Member Categories: Select user demographic information from the relevant membership category dropdown.
Lost Card: If the user has lost their card, enter the old card number here. This is a searchable field and will return this record if the old card number is searched for.
Loans by post: If the user is unable to come in to the library, select ‘Yes’ here.
SMS Permission: Complete according to the user’s stated preference.
Staff ID / Student ID Number: Complete if information available.
Select the user’s department from your Trust dropdown box, if relevant:
Finally, a new user can set their own parameters on when to receive an email for:
- How many days before due date they want notification
- When an item has been checked out to them
- When a held item is available
- When item is due
- When an item has been checked in.
These can also be changed by the user directly in the OPAC. The default for all users is as follows:
Click ‘Save’ when the form is complete.
5.1.5 If a member already exists on the system and renewing a membership
Search for the patron by surname, first name or by BASE library card number. Click on ‘Edit’ and make changes to the account as required. Please ensure to update the main address and the library code as a minimum.
Click ‘save’ when all changes have been made.
To renew a membership locate the member’s record as above then click on ‘More’ at the top of the record and ‘Renew patron’. A confirmation message will appear, click ok, then the renewal period will be confirmed on screen.
5.1.6 Issuing the BASE Library membership card
If a user returns their registration form by post or email, the BASE Library membership card must be withheld until the user attends the library in person to show their Trust or Student ID badge.
In exceptional circumstances, if the user provides a photocopy of their Trust ID badge or payslip and the library is satisfied this is adequate identification, the membership card can be posted to the member.
Explain to the user that the number underneath the barcode on the library card is their membership number or ‘Login’ when using the OPAC: www.base-library.nhs.uk
Explain the default password (‘1111’) and the need to change it after logging into the OPAC, to ensure their account cannot be accessed by anyone else.
Issue the user with a copy of the leaflet ‘Your BASE Library Membership: Important Information’.
Enter the user’s membership number on the library membership registration form in the ‘Membership Number’ box.
The registration form should be stored securely until the user’s record is deleted from the system. (See also ‘expired members policy’ in the Guide to Base Policies)
5.2 What to do when a user has lost their membership card
If a user is already registered with BASE but does not have their original library card you will need to do the following:
- Search for patron record
- Click ‘Edit’ on patron record
- If the current card is lost and a new card has not been issued, mark Patron account flags, Lost card: Yes
- If a new card has been issued, mark Patron account flags, Lost card: No
Scroll down to Additional attributes and identifiers
- Type in the patron’s CURRENT (lost) user ID number to the ‘Lost Card’ box
NB. This field is not searchable from the staff client, but can be found using a report.
- Scroll back up to the section marked OPAC/Staff Login
- Enter the patron’s NEW user ID number here
- Scroll to bottom of the page and click ‘Save’.
Please remember to also update the library card number in BASEDoc, if the member is also registered there. This ensures the member can continue to login with the same details for both their library and BASEDoc accounts.
5.3 Deleting a user record
Search for the patron you wish to delete by surname, firstname or by user ID number
Click on the More icon and select Delete.
IMPORTANT – this cannot be undone – only click “Delete” if you are 100% sure that the account should be deleted!!
Please note: In cases where a record is due for deletion, but another library holds the electronic or paper registration form, please inform the applicable library and leave the record on Koha to be deleted by the library holding the file. The library holding the file will also arrange for the record in BASEDoc to be suspended.
5.4 Adding a note to a member’s record
You can add two types of notes to a patron record – one that can be displayed directly to the user on the OPAC and one that can only be viewed by library staff.
It is therefore important to make sure that you are entering the correct information in the correct field.
- Search for patron record
- Click ‘Check Out’ tab on left-hand side of the screen
- The next screen will give you an option to ‘Add a new Message’
From the next screen, select which message you would like to display:
- Add a message for Other Librarians
- User (name displayed)
Enter your message into the Notes field and then click ‘save’
For library staff information, please include the following information in your comment:
- Date added
- Date comment can be removed
- Your library code
- Staff member initials, if helpful.
Any notes or comments added to a user record should be in accordance with the Data Protection Act which states you should only store the minimum amount of information necessary for your purpose and keep information accurate and up to date.