Koha How-To

Reopening Your Library: Fines

It’s all fine! Here are things you need to consider about your fines in preparation for reopening.

Did you turn off fines during your library’s closure? No? Then there’s nothing to see here. Go read something else interesting on our website. Yes? Then we need to talk.

I turned fines off

How did you turn off fines? There are two main ways to turn off fines: through changing circ rules, or through system preferences/crons.

If you changed your circulation rules, you will need to go and change them all back. Nothing else is needed. When you check items in, the fines will be assessed.

If you had the fines cron disabled, and/or changed the system preference FinesMode, there are a couple of scenarios to take a look at.

Scenario system preference FinesMode was set to Don’t Charge. Things to consider for accruing fines:

  • Do you want to charge fines that existed before you changed the FinesMode preference? (for instance, an item was due on March 1, your library closed on March 15 - do you want to charge the fines for March 2-14?).
  • If you do want to charge those fines, you will just check the items in as normal.
  • If you want to waive the existing fines, use the “Forgive Fines” checkbox on checkin.
  • We have some jquery that can be added to your site to have that checkbox checked by default. If you have a lot of materials to process the first couple of days, it might be helpful to have that done. To do this, add the following jquery to your intranetuserjs:
$(document).ready(function () {
if ( $('#circ_returns').length ) {
$('#exemptcheck').prop('checked' , true);

Scenario we turned off the fines cron, but the system preference was not changed

  • If you want to waive the fines that have accrued, click the “Forgive Fines” checkbox
  • If you want to charge fines, checkin as normal

Once you have turned the system preference Fines Mode back on, and the cron has been enabled, you are ready to resume regular operations.

A couple of things to be aware of

  • We will not be able to change fines for only some patrons, or items, etc. We will be able to remove fines in a specific time period, such as March 1-30, but it would be across the board.
  • If you have accruing fines and want to waive partial amounts, you will need to do manual writeoffs. For instance, fines were at 25 cents when you closed. Upon reopening, that fine may be $4.50. You would need to write off the $4.25 manually. There is no way for us to do this for you.
  • Remember that fines are calculated at checkin based solely on your circ rules as they exist at that moment of checkin. Koha does not consider whether your fines were set differently for part of the checkout period. If you want to only charge fines for part of the time the item was out, you need to set that up with the calendar and the FinesCalendar system preference.

And remember, no matter what, it’s all fine!

Read more by Donna Bachowski

Tags Fines