August 5, 2015

Koha Features Overview

Koha 17.11. is a feature major release.
It includes 9 new features and 138 enhancements.


Koha is entirely web-based for both staff and public functions. Koha is built on LAMP – Linux, Apache web server, MySQL database and Perl as the primary programming language. The search index is provided by Zebra from IndexData ( Zebra is a high-performance, general-purpose structured text indexing and retrieval engine. It supports large data sets (tens of millions of records) and includes support for SRU, Z39.50 and several query languages.

Koha supports a wide range of standards making Koha a truly platform-independent solution. Koha is distributed under the open-source General Public License (GPL) Version 3 or later.

The following list of features is provided as a brief overview and is not comprehensive. For further information or a demonstration, please feel free to contact us or use our demo site: OPAC and staff interface soon to be upgraded to this version.

Here is the link to the full release notes and to the official Koha Community website.


Koha Version 17.11
Date Published 28/11/2017
Implemented for all CALYX clients on TBC


OPAC/Public Catalogue Interface

  • Fully customisable OPAC with optional display of latest titles in a carousel or in a list
  • Dashboard for logged in users displaying checkouts, overdues, holds and fines. Turned on via a new system preference OPACUserSummary
  • Virtual shelf browser with attractive cover images from several popular services
  • Enhanced content: Open Library, Syndetics, Baker & Taylor & LibraryThing and more
  • A responsive design that displays well for desktop and mobile web browsers.
  • Librarian can modify OPAC content and layout by inserting HTML, CSS and JS
  • Searching by keyword, location, item type, user defined tags, subjects and more
  • Search results show availability and online resource show links with permanent URLs
  • Tagging, commenting, star ratings and social media share buttons
  • Publish Library News to the OPAC (and/or to the staff client)
  • Wheelers ePlatform, Overdrive and EBSCO EDS API Integration
  • Personalised patron experience:
    • Ability to place, suspend and cancel holds, edit their details
    • Up to date user account information and history (fines and payments)
    • Subscribe/Unsubscribe to/from library notices via email or SMS delivery
    • Make purchase suggestions, create Lists
  • Landing page for access to subscription third party content
  • OPAC can be used with citation tools such as Zotero, EndNote and others
  • Patrons can add notes for staff review about an item’s condition during check in

Cataloguing Module

  • Add bibliographic and authority records by batch uploading
  • Add records by original cataloguing or copy cataloguing via Z39.50, choose your interface
  • Add, modify and delete items and bibliographic records individually or in a batch
  • Add and link to authority records with Z39.50 compatibility
  • Catalogue following RDA rules and Libraries Australia specifications
  • Create custom cataloguing templates with pre-set values for efficient cataloguing
  • Built in links to Library of Congress MARC bibliographic cataloguing help
  • Create spine and barcode labels
  • Ability to duplicate or merge existing records and items
  • Create topic specific public or private lists
  • Perform collection inventory

Circulation Module

  • Ability to place interlibrary loan requests for books or articles in Koha from the OPAC interface. Allows for searching of catalogues of lending libraries using their API and for requests to be placed from them. Patrons can view and comment on their requests from the OPAC
  • Check in and out with a barcode scanner or RFID reader
  • Enter holidays or public holidays into calendar for calculating fines and due dates
  • Ability to forgive fines on check in (depends on permission level)
  • Scheduling for generating ‘holds to pull’ lists
  • Course Reserves management
  • Set circulation, fine and holds rules for each branch and transfer between branches
  • Ability to link chooser and deliverers for house bound patrons
  • Delivery frequencies are customisable through authorised values HSBND_FREG
  • Ability to restrict checkouts by patron age as well as by patron type
  • Fast issuing of large numbers of resources using batch check out
  • Due date managed to the day or hour
  • Ability to set multiple holds on records for different item and patron types
  • Ability to place requests for articles contained in a journal or book
  • Ability to translate notices into different languages

Patrons Module

  • Upload and modify patrons and patron images in bulk or individually
  • Create patron cards via a quick add form
  • Ability for librarians to view the holds history of library patrons. It is useful especially when holds have been cancelled. Before this patch the hold just disappeared when cancelled (automatically or manually)
  • Run tailored reports on circulation to suit your library
  • Search patrons by name, phone, email address, name and more
  • Connect children to guardians and see entire family’s checkouts on one screen
  • Provision of Discharge Certificate <> mostly for students leaving
  • Ability to pay patron fines and fees from circulation module using PayPal
  • Ability to create clubs in which patrons may be enrolled
  • Ability to enable patrons to edit their own personal details
  • Automatic account lockout in case of brute force attacks or other security breaches
  • Option to enforce a strong password policy for user accounts for added security

Reports Module

  • Koha has a powerful and flexible reporting capability with guided reports and the ability to create, save and schedule new SQL reports.
  • Complete access to all data stored in Koha; write any report you need and access the large, free, online report repository created by librarians from across the world
  • Group reports by branch, category or any custom criteria
  • Easily run any saved report at any time or set up a schedule, export results to CSV file

Acquisitions Module

  • Creation of items customisable per basket. This adds a new create_items basket attribute that can be set to override AcqCreateItem [15685]
  • Enter budgets and funds; duplicate budgets and funds for the following year
  • Keep track of all vendor information in one place
  • Automatically generate order emails using the new notice template ACQORDER
  • Order from vendor files and track order status
  • Order multiple copies and copies of existing records
  • Order by searching Z39.50 targets
  • Generate late reports and claim letters
  • Importing and overlaying of pre-processing records
  • Track budget encumbrances and expenditures
  • Create ‘on order’ items to allow patrons to place holds
  • Accept purchase suggestions and keep patrons notified
  • Order using an EDI account to connect with vendor
  • Use EAN identifiers so vendor knows which account to use for billing
  • Support ordering via EDIFACT messages (sent and received)

Serials Module

  • Create subscriptions with full prediction patterns
  • Receive issues one at time or in bulk
  • Generate late issue reports and claim emails
  • Simple special issue receiving process that doesn’t alter prediction pattern
  • See full serial history
  • Print routing lists for each subscription
  • Duplicate subscriptions for multiple branches
  • Ability to create custom fields for managing subscriptions

Administration Module

  • Interactive web based installer
  • Full access to over 600 system preferences to make Koha run just the way you want
  • Ability to set different MARC organization codes for each library/branch. This is particularly useful for consortia with different libraries and different MARC organisation codes
  • Full circulation and fines rules matrix for each branch
  • Define your own libraries, item types, shelving locations, collections and more
  • Enter/change Z39.50 targets
  • Ability to collect usage statistics from libraries using library geolocation data
  • Customisable payment methods via plugin. It provides institutions with more flexibility and an easier path to integrate local payment methods
  • Ability to recall history of account offsets and fee and payment histories. The addition of the account offsets table allows you to know which fees paid which fines visa versa


Koha community

Koha has an active user community worldwide that participates in guiding software direction and sponsoring development. Over 60 companies worldwide are now actively contributing to Koha with over 100 individuals submitting code. Watch Koha development in real time here.