Re: Koha Digest, Vol 75, Issue 58

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Re: Koha Digest, Vol 75, Issue 58

Stacy Pober
Sue McMillan wrote:
> Hi Anne, I don't believe there is a bulk biblio delete built into Koha.  It certainly would be a good development though.

Perhaps she's on one of the PTFS/Liblime versions of their  Koha-based ILS?

At least one of the Liblime sporks has  a batch item deletion and
editing tool.  I have not found it to be very useful and instead do
all the batch record editing with MarcEdit (free, though not
open-source).   When there are a large number of deletions, I use Undo
Import if at all possible.

I have wondered why the process of deleting records is so tedious in
Koha generally.  You cannot delete the biblio without first deleting
the items attached, and that adds quite a few steps to the process.
It's a lot of clicks and it's a slow process. One of our ebook vendors
deleted a few thousand books last year from our subscription.  The
amount of staff time needed to go through all the steps of deleting
those records was unreasonable, so we just suppressed the records in
the OPAC.  We would have preferred to delete the records entirely.

In some library systems, they have a batch deletion method that allows
you to delete records by batch uploading the MARC records with a
"deletion flag" in one of the fields.  Since our major ebook
subscription vendor does provide MARC records when they delete books,
it would be simple to change one field to have a deletion flag with
MarcEdit and then upload those.  It would certainly be quicker than
thousands of iterations of the rather tedious individual delete
item/delete biblio procedure.

I'm just mentioning it here because you might want to consider
incorporating something like that into Koha.  There is no quick and
easy delete method other than undo-ing entire batches in any version
of Koha, as far as I know.   If you are working on a tool that allows
the deletion based on biblionumber or biblioitemnumber, consider
including  an interface that allows users to enter a range of
continuous numbers, so you could specify deletion of record
132000-132600 or whatever, rather  having to list each number
individually. Having an input box that allowed thta kind of  range of
records would have made the Liblime tool much more useful, and would
have provided an viable alternative to the batch undo method, which
doesn't always work perfectly.

As with the bulk edit/delet tool, there have been other features added
to the proprietary Liblime version of Koha that sounded useful when
planned, but turned out to either not have the functionality expected
or else broke some other important feature when activated.  For
example, there is a "simple search" feature which was highly
anticipated because it was supposed to offer a more user-friendly
search syntax.  The feature exists, but if you turn it on, Advanced
Search no longer works properly.  As a consequence, I don't think many
libraries are using that feature.

I've sometimes wondered whether the people active in software new
feature development process need to explicitly include the phrase
"should not interfere with any existing functionality" when they're
writing specifications.  It's kind of like the medical principle of
"First, do no harm".

I think end-users assume this is implicit in their proposals but
designers sometimes fail to preserve the full functionality of the
program in the design process. .

--
Stacy Pober
Information Alchemist
Riverdale, NY 10471
[hidden email]

> From: Sue McMillan <[hidden email]>
> Hi Anne, I don't believe there is a bulk biblio delete built into Koha.  It certainly would be a good development though.
>
> Regards
>
> Susan McMillan
> Cataloguing and Systems Librarian| South Taranaki District Council
> 105-111 Albion St, Private Bag 902, Hawera 4610, NZ
> Phone: +64 6 278 0555 | www.southtaranaki.com
> ?
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of library
> Sent: Friday, 27 January 2012 12:52 p.m.
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Koha] Biblio deletion
>
> When I try to import the file into the Batch Item Delete tool I get the
> following message.
> I'm not sure I have understood the function of the tool as it seems to be
> asking for a barcode not the biblio numbers that I am trying to load.
> Software error:
>
> Can't call method "as_usmarc" on an undefined value at
> /koha/lib/C4/Items.pm line 589.
>
>
> Regards Ann Murphy
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Re: Koha Digest, Vol 75, Issue 58

Chris Cormack-6
On 28 January 2012 08:17, Stacy Pober <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Sue McMillan wrote:
>> Hi Anne, I don't believe there is a bulk biblio delete built into Koha.  It certainly would be a good development though.
>
> Perhaps she's on one of the PTFS/Liblime versions of their  Koha-based ILS?
>
> At least one of the Liblime sporks has  a batch item deletion and
> editing tool.  I

Koha itself has batch item modification and deletion, and it works
well. But she was asking about batch Biblio deletion. Koha doesn't
have that yet.

<snip lots of stuff not about Koha but interesting nonetheless>

The batch deletion of Biblio's has to be done very carefully, checking
for orders, receives, serials subscriptions etc. Items is a little
easier.

In Koha itself, the batch deletion of items works pretty darn well, so
as long as the biblio deletion tool is coded in the same way, we
shouldn't run into the problems some forks have had.

The nice thing about the Koha development process, is that all changes
need to be signed off, then pass qa, then pass the RM. That's after
they have passed whatever internal process the developers have.

Also new features always go into Koha turned off, and you have to
enable them. Principle of least suprise.

Chris
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