Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Koha - 2nd week

Look! It's now official... we made the news services Arcadia Public Library Goes Live With Koha.

We still have some issues to iron out, but we are making progress. As with the last post, many of the problems we face are not knowing that what we put in the initial profile for the "test" system may not act as we really want it to in the "live" system. For instance, we "thought" we had set up "Circulation and Fine Rules" correctly only to realize that the system wasn't limiting DVD charges to 5 per patron for seven days. After trying a few combinations, we now have that working correctly. We are a single library so thought using the "default" settings that we'd created was correct, but we actually needed to create settings and select the configuration our specific library.

We have a problem with adding new bibliographic records from the Marc Import. It looks like Koha doesn't automatically attach a holding or item to the new records so our patrons (and staff) haven't been able to place holds on newly purchased material until they are cataloged. We have come up with a work around for this, at least until this issue is considered by development for an enhancement, by using MarcEdit to add the necessary 952 fields (a, b, c, y) to the Marc Import file before it is staged so that the temporary item record is created when the new bib record is imported into the catalog.

Authority records are not showing up in the catalog. Cathi has been downloading files from Technical Services but these records are showing as available authorities when the catalogers need them. We have a ticket in for this with our consultant team, ByWater Solutions.

The most troubling problem is that titles that were migrated aren't always searchable in the catalog and then in most cases reappear after the item is checked in even though it isn't actually checked out. This is puzzling to us. We know that a small percentage of our titles didn't migrate correctly from our old system, SirsiDynix Symphony, for one reason or another. For example the item barcodes that ended with a $ didn't migrate over correctly--the trailing $ was omitted. We are able to add the $ to the barcodes and this corrects the problem. This is an issue that we are fixing as the items turn up on a one-by-one basis.

I give kudos to the staff. Luckily the Christmas school vacation days are a slower time for the Library; it allows us to work out some of the kinks with the system. And while the staff continue to pass on problems/issues to Cathi and myself, they are still positive about the system.


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