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KohaCon12: Offline Circulation

Jun - 7 - 2012
Nicole C. Engard

KohaCon

My colleague at ByWater, Kyle Hall, was up next talking about the Koha Offline Circulation Tool. Kyle wrote the first offline circulation tool in 2006 and within the last year rewrote the whole thing to make it work with latest releases of Koha. With 3.8 we also have another offline circulation tool to use – this one is a Firefox plugin.

Kyle started with a demo of the desktop application. If you’d like to see a demo you can view the video I did last year here (maybe Kyle will do a new one for us with more information).

Pros:

  • Can load a file of patron and fines info in to the system
  • Great for book mobiles which are offline all of the time

Cons:

  • If you have multiple computers and/or branches you have to upload all of those files.
  • If library A checks out a book in the AM and the patron returns it to library B in the PM you need to load library A’s file first or else the checkin on library B’s file will be ignored (because the book isn’t checked out yet)

Next up was the Firefox plugin (a video for this will be coming soon). Things to remember after installing the plugin:

  • Show the Add Ons bar in Firefox to see the Koha logo
  • After setting up your params close the plugin and reopen it

This tool lets you decide how you want to apply your changes, either by applying directly so that they’re recorded immediately or if you have multiple computers you can commit them to Koha so that they go in the right chronological order before getting added to Koha.

Pros:

  • Has a way to keep things in order
  • Lives in your browser so it works on more operating systems

Cons:

  • There is no way to load patron data in to it so you won’t see what the patron has checked out or what money they owe

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