More about Koha 3.2

There is a General Koha Meeting today to talk about a number o’ issues, including 3.2.  Galen shared release notes, so I thought I’d go through them and give my comments…in hopes of making these stick in my brain:

_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_
ACQUISITIONS [Yawn, sorry…not something little public libraries use]

  • the acquisitions module has been significantly revamped:
    • support for hierarchical funds and budgets
    • budget planning by calendar and item type
    • vendor contract periods

ADMINISTRATION [Yeah! I know Jesse put a lot of work into the sys prefs and they are much easier to use.]

  • significant usability enhancements to the system preferences editor
  • many additional granular permissions

CATALOGING [Yeah! We have been waiting patiently for many of these, especially bulk item edit.]

  • bulk item editing [Doubleplus good]
  • revamped inventory/stocktaking
  • ability to export bibliographic information in CSV format from the staff cart
  • new quick spine label print button
  • support for temporary location and in-process item statuses
  • usability enhancements to cataloging workflow:
    • can now choose whether to edit items after saving a bib record
    • option to move an item from one bib to another [Awesome!  We can start cleaning up the catalog!!!]
    • option to delete all items attached to a bib [Scary, but in a good way.]
    • ability to clone an item [Woot!]

CIRCULATION [Can’t wait to test, play, test, repeat]

  • ability to define library transfer limits
  • email checkout slips
  • option to enable alert sounds during checkin and checkout [OMG – We finally have Sound Cues!!!]
  • improvements in Koha’s ability to express circulation policies
  • option to charge fines using suspension days instead of money [Interesting, I wonder if any of folks would want?]
  • hold policies are now on the branch/itemtype/categorycode level [Yeah, finally some of the sys groups stuff]
  • renewal policies are now on the branch/itemtype/categorycode level [GREAT!!!  Again, long promised, now delivered]
  • ability to specify an expiration date for a hold request when placing it via the staff interface or OPAC [Yes, but what will it do and how will staff know that the hold has expired and needs to be sent to the next patron and/or sent home for shelving?]
  • daily batch job to cancel expired holds [Again, how will this work from a practical work-flow point of view? I see testing in my future.]
  • improvements to interface to change the priority of hold requests for a bib in the staff interface [Anything holds related is doubleplus good.]
  • new messaging system for patron records, allowing an unlimited number of patron notes to be stored and managed

OPAC [Oh Please Add Content – as in, we don’t have the ability for Amazon added content in our current install, but know it’s only a few short upgrades away from us.]

  • additional patron privacy options [Always a good thing]
  • numerious enhancements to the bib display XML templates [Again, always a good thing]
  • per-patron OPAC search history, with ability for patrons to manage the retention of their search history [Circ history opt out – woot, woot]
  • support for Syndetics, LibraryThing, and Babeltheque enhanced content [Yippee, alternatives and more content]
  • support for RIS and BibTeX export [No clue, but I bet it’s great.]

REPORTS

  • guided reports can now take runtime parameters [Anything else?  Reports are a time suck/black hole for me]

SERIALS [We want to use this, can we now?  I need to check the Documentation to see if we will be able to set up some subscriptions for testing]

  • can now specify the subscription end date, library location, and grace periods [These sound good]
  • option to automatically place hold requests for members of a serials routing list
  • numerous bugfixes

STAFF INTERFACE

  • the cart has been added to the staff interface [Cool – for those patrons who give you a list of books to reserve]
  • enhanced patron card and item label creator
  • support for XSLT templates in the staff bib details display [BEST. ENHANCEMENT. EVER.  Go Diego Go be gone!]

WEB SERVICES AND INTERFACE [Hmm, maybe Liz knows what this means?]

  • integration with SOPAC, including support for various web services defined by the ILS-DI recommendation
  • support for CAS single sign-on
  • improvements to OAI-PMH support

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It takes a village to raise an ILS (again, from Galen’s email to the Koha list):

Credits
==================
We thank the following libraries who are known to have sponsored
new features in Koha 3.2:

  • Aix-Marseille Universities, France
  • BrailleNet (http://www.braillenet.org/)
  • BULAC, France (www.bulac.fr)
  • East Brunswick Public Library, East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  • Foundations Bible College & Seminary, Dunn, North Carolina, USA
  • Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg, Germany (www.hfjs.eu)
    • XSLT changes to display 880 fields
  • Howard County Library, Maryland, USA (http://www.hclibrary.org/)
  • MassCat, Massachussetts, USA
  • Middletown Township Public Library, Middletown, New Jersey, USA
  • Northeast Kansas Library System, Kansas, USA
  • Plano Independent School District, Plano, Texas, USA
  • SAN Ouest Provence, France
  • vokal (Vermont Association of Koha Automated Libraries),
  • Vermont, USA
  • www.digital-loom.com
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