Going Fine Free in Koha

By Galen Charlton, Implementation and IT Manager at Equinox Open Library Initiative

So, after much discussion, presentations before your board, research, and community engagement your library has made the decision to stop charging overdue fines. What time is it now? It’s time to implement that decision and update the policies in your ILS!

The starting point in Koha is to stop new loans from being charged overdue fines. In Koha, the place to go is Administration → Circulation and fine rules:

Screenshot of Koha's circulation rules interface

Within Koha you can also adjust the following system preferences, particularly if there are to be no exceptions to your fine-fee policy:

  • Turn off CalculateFinesOnReturn and CalculateFinesOnBackdate
  • Set finesMode to “Don’t calculate”

What about existing overdue fines? If your library has elected to forgive them, one approach is doing so piecemeal as patrons return or check out items. Equinox can also help with data projects to do a batch forgiveness of overdue fines; please get in touch with Equinox Support if you would like more information.

Equinox Migrates Bowling Green Public Library To Missouri Evergreen Consortium

Equinox Migrates Bowling Green Public Library To Missouri Evergreen Consortium

Duluth, Ga., February 01, 2021

Equinox is pleased to welcome the Bowling Green Public Library to Evergreen with their successful migration to the Missouri Evergreen Consortium.

Bowling Green Public Library’s move will support 4,444 patrons and includes a total of 20,517 bibliographic records. Equinox provided project management for the migration along with Evergreen ILS software configuration. Data extraction and bibliographic deduplication were also completed, encompassing item, patron, and transaction records. Evergreen training was also provided by Equinox. This is the sixth public library that Equinox has migrated to the Missouri Evergreen Consortium since 2020.

“Everyone at the Bowling Green Public Library is thrilled to be joining the Missouri Evergreen consortium,” said Patricia Moore, Library Director at the Bowling Green Public Library. “The transition has been smooth and we are looking forward to working with other libraries.”

The Missouri Evergreen Consortium began as a resource-sharing initiative in 2012 in an effort to create an integrated library system for libraries in Missouri. The consortium is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as Administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

“Bowling Green Public Library’s migration to Missouri Evergreen happened during a time when the library was offering limited public access to materials while continuing to provide alternative services due to COVID-19 restrictions. Library director, Patricia Moore, led an heroic effort to manage the library’s migration project during this time,” says Jennifer Weston, project manager at Equinox. “As a result of Bowling Green’s diligent efforts, their patrons now have an interactive OPAC to place holds on materials and receive notifications when materials are ready to be picked up. For the first time, their patrons can now review and manage their library accounts online. It was truly an honor to work with Pat and the Bowling Green Library to provide new opportunities for the library community.”

About Equinox Open Library Initiative

Equinox Open Library Initiative is a nonprofit company engaging in literary, charitable, and educational endeavors serving cultural and knowledge institutions. As the successor to Equinox Software, Inc., Equinox carries forward more than a decade of service and experience with Evergreen ILS, Koha ILS, and other open source library software. At Equinox, we help you empower your library with open source technologies. To learn more, please visit https://www.equinoxinitiative.org/.

About Evergreen

Evergreen is an award-winning ILS developed to provide an open source product able to meet the diverse needs of consortia and high transaction public libraries. However, it has proven to be equally successful in smaller installations including special and academic libraries. Today, over 1500 libraries around the world are using Evergreen including NC Cardinal, SCLENDS, and B.C. Sitka. For more information about Evergreen, including a list of all known Evergreen installations, see http://evergreen-ils.org.