Koha Newsletter: Volume 1/Issue 4: April 2010

Official Koha Newsletter (ISSN 2153-8328)
Volume 1, Issue 4: April 2010

Table of Contents



New Features Coming to Koha
by Paul Poulain

BibLibre has won a contract with a large French public library (Nimes, about the 20th public French library). The contract contains some new features that should be very interesting for a lot of Koha users. The two major ones are :

  • catalogue automatic update : this tool will be able to automatically update your catalogue with a z3950 server. Every biblio in your catalogue will be checked on the z3950 external server, and will be replaced by it if one is found. The rules followed to find the biblio will be defined in parameter files (001 entry, (if not found) then ISBN, then ISSN, then title+author, then …) You’ll be also able to define some fields you want to keep in the local version, some you never want to retrieve from the z3950. The script will also try to retrieve authorities if you have a z3950 server for authorities (at least for UNIMARC, but we try to make it as modular as possible so that someone can do it for MARC21 as well)
  • bulk updates on biblios

All of them will be, as usual, available on http://git.biblibre.com, and included in the next official release (Koha 3.4).

Self-Checkout Improvement
by Ian Walls

Marlboro College is sponsoring an enhancement to Koha which will allow users to login to the self-checkout system with their userid and password rather than barcode. This option aims to increase patron security and privacy in environments where their barcodes are easily determined. The enhancement is nearly complete, and will be submitted by ByWater Solutions to the community within the next few weeks.

Did You Mean?
by Susan O’Neal

The Middletown Township Public Library [NJ] has sponsored the development of a “did you mean?’ feature for Koha’s OPAC. It’s pretty decent and since nobody can or does spell anymore, we think it’s a needed feature. You can check it out on our OPAC available from the library’s web page: http://mtpl.org.

PTFS was the developer and they are submitting it to the community on our behalf through the appropriate channels.

We would appreciate feedback as to how it can be improved!

Koha Libraries

Penn Manor School District Migrating to Koha
by Charlie Reisinger

Penn Manor School District, a public school district in Lancaster Pennsylvania has successfully migrated the first of its 10 school buildings from Follett’s CircPlus system to Koha 3.0.5. Since April 1st, Central Manor Elementary school has acted as the district’s pilot building ahead of the June 2010 district-wide transition. Please feel free to visit our district’s library site at http://library.pennmanor.net. Penn Manor would like to thank the Koha Community for crafting such an incredible system and would also like to thank Savitra Sirohi and the team at OSSLabs for their help in our data and record conversion.

Enhanced Koha Search Widget
by Lenora Oftedahl

The StreamNet Library at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is currently working on revamping their website. As part of the re-style, the library included a search widget on the front page. Not really something so new except we built the functionality using tools from Firefox to borrow elements from other Koha Community Members (Butte Silver Bow Public Library). We need to work on the look at feel of the search box & button, but for now the widget works.

Koha Tips & Tricks

Rebuild Zebra Tip
by Chris Nighswonger

I have added rebuild_zebra.pl -b -a -z in crontab, however, new entries are not indexed and cannot be found. I have to reindex everything each time with rebuild_zebra.pl -b -a -r. What’s wrong?

The problem could be one or more of several issues (given in order from most likely to least likely):

  1. Check that you are exporting the two environmental variables necessary to run Koha scripts from the command line. These are (modify to fit paths on your system):


    Note: You must also include these at head of the crontab file which invokes any Koha scripts.

  2. Be sure that you are running rebuild_zebra.pl as your kohauser. This would include setting up the cron job under your kohauser.
  3. Check directory permissions. Everything Zebra must be owned by your kohauser.
  4. Be sure you are *not* running the zebraqueue daemon. Currently this daemon has major problems and the recommended method of indexing is to run rebuild_zebra.pl as a cron job. Running both causes more problems.

Patron Purchase Suggestions

One of the Great Features of the Koha catalog is Purchase Suggestions.

When a patron is logged into their account in the Online Public Access Catalog, they can place a Purchase Suggestions from the “My purchase suggestions” tab or if they cannot find what they are looking for in a search, they are prompted to make a Purchase Suggestion. >> Read More


Newsletter edited by Nicole C. Engard, Koha Documentation Manager.

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