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Koha Tip: Highlights of 19.11

By Felicia Beaudry, Product and Education Specialist, Equinox Open Library Initiative

Koha 19.11 was released in November 2019 and includes exciting new features and enhancements.  The following are just a few highlights of the release:

Cataloging
The Advanced Cataloging Editor has been enhanced to include keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting text to and from a new internal clipboard.  This makes it easier to duplicate fields and subfields. Additionally, access to a virtual keyboard has been added for entering diacritical marks.

Circulation
Koha’s Patron Clubs tool has been available since version 17.05, allowing patrons to be enrolled in clubs managed by the library (e.g., summer reading, book clubs, etc.).  The new Club Holds features allows staff to place a title level hold for club members in batch.  Each member of the club is added to the holds queue for the title in random order.

Claims Returned features have been enhanced. Circulation staff may now mark an item claimed returned directly from the list of checkouts on a patron record, rather than go to the item record.  An alert is now available to notify staff when a patron has more than a defined number of claimed items. The system can be configured to charge a fee automatically to a patron for a claimed item or ask staff whether a fee should be charged.  These enhancements are configured with new system preferences.

A new alert regarding Patron Age notifies staff when a patron’s age is not within the configured age range of the patron category.  An action button allows for changing the patron category directly from the alert dialogue.

Accounting
Koha has long allowed Adult and Organizational patron account types to act as guarantors to Child and Professional types.  Guarantors will now have the option of paying off all charges for their guarantees when making online payments in the public catalog.


For libraries that use Cash Registers, those devices can be added to Koha through Administration and connected to cash payments.  This will provide a new way to track and report on transactions.

Reports
Staff will now have the option to perform Batch Patron Modification directly from the output of a report that lists borrower numbers or library card numbers.  The will significantly streamline the workflow when a report is needed to identify patrons requiring modification.

Administration
Item Types
 may now be limited to one or more libraries within a Koha instance.  This gives greater flexibility to library systems and consortia that want to allow for individual items types among their libraries.

These are just a few of the many features and enhancements of 19.11.  For more information, see the official Koha 19.11 release notes at https://koha-community.org/koha-19-11-release/.

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