CALYX Newsletter December 2015

Koha News from CALYX

Welcome to another update on Koha and your support service from CALYX.

 

Imminent upgrade of Koha to Version 3.20 for hosted clients

CALYX is planning to upgrade all hosted clients to Koha Version 3.20.6 on the evening of Wednesday 9 December 2015. As usual, no existing functionality will be lost in this upgrade. New features will be added to Koha which librarians will be able to utilize according to your own preferences and schedule. No action is required of clients prior to the upgrade. Your Koha system will be unavailable for a brief period during Wednesday evening.

As is our practice, we will make a demonstration Koha 3.20 instance available from Monday 7 December to give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the changes before they are applied to production systems.

Contact CALYX if you have any questions about the forthcoming Koha upgrade.

 

Your Koha Current Version

All clients currently using CALYX hosting service are running Koha version 3.18.8. The Koha project has two major feature releases each year, in May and November. Every other month there is a maintenance release.

For those of you wondering why we moved from 3.16 to 3.18 and now to 3.20, it is because the intermediate 3.17 and 3.19 versions, like all odd numbered versions, are development systems for the next stable release. The odd numbered branches are never actually released as stable Koha.

CALYX policy is to upgrade our hosted clients twice per year on average. In this way, we ensure that our clients receive only stable, robust software, whilst also having access to the latest features and improvements. We believe we are the only Australian Koha support company providing this service as part of your hosting package.

 

New Features in Koha 3.20

Koha 3.20 was first released in May of this year and has been followed by monthly maintenance releases. New features likely to be of particular interest include:

Batch record modification;
The ability to generate RSS feeds for public lists;
Checkout and due date managed to the hour – particularly useful for single day loans;
More effective z39.50 searching for Authority Records.

There are numerous other minor enhancements and improvements. You may read the Release Notes at https://koha-community.org/koha-3-20-0-released/ or contact CALYX for more information about the new features.

Our friends at ByWater Solutions (USA) are continuing to provide informative videos about Koha functionality:

Jessica Zairo explains the use of the inventory and stocktaking tool which has had a number of minor tweaks, including substantially speeding it up:

As yet this is their only video dealing specifically with Koha 3.20, but you may be interested in watching some of their previous videos – most of which are still extremely relevant and full of useful tips:
https://www.youtube.com/user/bywatersolutions/videos

 

Batch Modification for Bibliographic and Authority Records

Along with the upgrade to 3.20 comes the ability to batch modify records, both bibliographic and authority. This new feature works a little differently to the existing batch item modification, but it promises to be just as useful.

The first thing to do when batch modifying either bibliographic or authority records is to set up a ‘MARC modification template’, which can be found in the Catalogue section of the Tools module. This is where you set the changes you want to make to the records, for example, to move all 260$a fields to 264$a (making them RDA compliant) you would add a new action ‘Move’ for all the ‘260 a’ fields (note the separate text boxes for field and subfield) to ‘264 a’ fields.

Once you have created and named the template, it is time to generate a list of record numbers. This is the number at the end of the URL when you are viewing the record details screen (eg. https://demo-admin.calyx.net.au/cgi-bin/koha/catalogue/detail.pl?biblionumber=1897) and there are two ways to do this.

The first way to do this is to add all the records to your cart, and from there select modify from the actions dropdown. This will take you directly to the review part of Batch record modification. This method only works for biblio records.

The second way is to collect them from a report and enter them in the appropriate section of the Batch record modification option in the Catalogue section of the Tools module. In this method you must select whether the records are biblios or authorities and then which MARC Modification Template you wish to use. Once these are selected, click continue to go to the review part of Batch record modification.

On the review screen it is important to check that the records you have selected are correct, and that the template you are applying is the right one. Once that is done, click Modify selected records to apply the changes.

Before clicking Modify selected records, you can preview the resulting MARC for individual records to make sure that they will look as you expect them to. This is important as there is no easy Undo once the records are modified.

This is likely to be an extremely useful tool for libraries that wish to make as much of their collection RDA compliant as possible, easily moving publication information and adding information into the 336, 337, and 338 fields. Let us know what other uses you find for it!

 

Looking forward to Koha version 3.22

Koha 3.22.0 was released on November 26. It includes a new professional cataloguer’s interface, an alternative to the current method of cataloguing using frameworks. Also, in keeping with the theme of the last few releases, there is a new batch function to speed up issuing (checkouts). CALYX anticipates deploying Koha 3.22 in the middle of 2016.

Thanks go to St Peter’s Anglican Primary School at Campbelltown NSW for sponsoring the patches for bug 14522 and bug 14315 included in the 3.22 release.

With the release of Koha 3.22, the 3.14 and 3.16 versions of Koha are no longer being officially maintained. Non maintained versions of Koha may contain security vulnerabilities or uncorrected errors. Libraries using a Koha version earlier than 3.18 should upgrade as soon as possible. To check your Koha version, view the About Koha page of your staff client or, at the OPAC, right click and choose View Page Source (the Koha version is in line 11).

 

Update to Offline Circulation Tool for Windows

Anyone using Koha’s offline circulation tool for Windows should be aware this application has recently been updated and the latest version can be obtained by following the ‘Get desktop application’ from Koha’s Circulation module.

Anyone not using this feature can contact CALYX for more information about how to keep using Koha if you lose internet connectivity for any reason.

 

Koha Tip: Have You Checked Your Search Settings Recently?

This combination of searching system preferences provides a good balance between returning a variety of useful results, while excluding most unrelated items.

QueryAutoTruncate: only if * is added
QueryFuzzy: Don’t try
QueryStemming: Try
QueryWeightFields: Enable
defaultSortField/defaultSortOrder: relevance / descending
OPACdefaultSortField/OPACdefaultSortOrder: relevance / descending

More information on searching is in the manual.

Contact CALYX for any assistance you may require.

 

Koha-oz Mailing List

Librarians sometimes find that the general Koha mailing list is informative but contains a lot of technical material not relevant to their needs. An alternative is Koha-oz, a list for Australian librarians using Koha. To join the discussion, receive useful tips or be informed about Koha meetups and events, join Koha-oz by visiting:
http://lists.koha-community.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/koha-oz

 

Happy Christmas from the CALYX Team

From the CALYX team, we thank you for the privilege of being your Koha support provider this year. Thank you for your collaboration with us in the exciting project that is the world wide Koha community. We look forward to working with you again next year.

We’d like to wish all Koha users a very happy and safe holiday season.

 

Best wishes from
CALYX information essentials

 


Click here to sign up to the CALYX Newsletter!