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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.

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