Accelerated Reader Report

When Paola Free Library joined NExpress, there was a problem importing their Accelerated Reader data from their old ILS into Koha.  All of their Accelerated Reader data was, therefore rendered in notes fields and I’ve been moving it to the 526 fields in the Marc records where that data truly belongs.

What I found as I moved the data for Paola into those fields is that there is a huge inconsistency with the way that this data is stored throughout NExpress.  But don’t be concerned.  It’s almost certainly not our fault.  It’s because of poorly formatted data in the records we’re downloading from other locations.  I’ve started cleaning up the problems I’ve found so far and I’m going to try to work out a process I can use regularly to clean up messy AR data in records we import from the outside world.

Another issue that I’ve discovered with this data is that AR information is very difficult to search in Koha.  Since the 526 fields are not indexed, the only way to really do a search is by keyword or by doing an advanced search on the “Notes” fields in Koha because most of the AR data that we’ve been adding to Koha looks like it’s being added in the item public notes fields.  And since the reading levels and points values contain decimals, keyword searches are problematic, to say the least. My personal experience with people wanting AR books is that they usually come to the desk and, instead of asking “Do you have any books about ___?” or “Do you have a copy of ___?” they come in and ask “Do you have any AR books?” or say “I need an AR book worth 2.5 points.”  And they usually follow this up by saying “I need to read it by tomorrow so I can take a test or I’m going to fail my reading class.”  Since Koha has a hard time doing searches for “Accelerated Reader” as a keyword, this means that finding a good AR book for a patron can be difficult.

Because this data is difficult to search for in the catalog, I created a report that should help generate lists of AR information based on either the “Interest level” (LG, MG, UG) of an item, the “Grade level” (.3, 1.2, 5.6, etc.), and the point value.

Currently the report might get you some slightly unexpected results because the data imported in the 526 fields is a little bit off.  As I work to clean up that data, the report should yield more consistent results.

This new report is #2804 and the attached document has instructions for running this report.

Finally, from a reference standpoint, I hate it when kids come to the desk and ask “Do you have any AR books?” because, as soon as they ask that, I know that they’re viewing this excercise not as a fun trip to the library but as a school assignment.  It’s something they have to do but they probably don’t want to do and just finding them the first book off of the shelf that meets the grade level and point level they need to pass their test probably isn’t going to help them learn to love reading.

So, what I always try to say to these patrons is, “Almost every book in the children’s section of the library is an Accelerated Reader book.  So, let’s go find 10 books off of the shelf that you think you might have fun reading that you’re interested in that seem to be about the same level as the books you’re reading in school, and then we’ll bring those books back to the desk and look at their AR information and see if any of them meet your grade level/points requirements.”  I find that it’s better to help the patron find some books they might actually be interested in first, and then I worry about making sure at least one of those books meets the requirement of their assignment second.  When I do this, instead of checking out one book that they don’t want to read, they often go home with two or three books that they do want to read and at least one of them will help them get their AR test done.

Click here accelerated-reader-2016-10-12 for more instructions on how to use report #2804.


Alternative Holds Queue Report

There is a new report that can act as a replacement to Koha’s built-in holds queue report.  This report does not contain patron information (so if you print it out you don’t have to worry about shredding the report when you’re done searching) and the barcode numbers that appear on this report are in barcode format and can be scanned by a barcode scanner.

For more information, see the attached training document.


Weeding Reports

There are lots of ways to weed your library’s collection. Many of you attending today’s NExpress users group meeting will hopefully stay for the Weed ‘Em and Weep: Hoarding Is Not Collection Development recorded webinar viewing.

In advance of that webinar, I thought it would be useful to go through the weeding reports available on our NExpress system, as well as a reminder about the CREW weeding manual {aka, the weeding Bible}.

CREW Method

The CREW Method has been around a long time, and there’s no real need to re-post the detailed methods available in the CREW weeding manual (a free PDF download available through the State Library of Texas). The manual takes you through the variety of theory, criteria and guidelines used in weeding, including:

  • Why libraries should weed
  • Guidelines for different collections, including childrens, non-print, and non-fiction
  • Criteria for weeding:
    • Copyright date
    • Last circulated
    • Negative factors, aka, MUSTIE: Misleading; Ugly; Superseded; Trivial; Irrelevant; Elsewhere

You do not have to strictly follow the manual’s guidelines. Each library’s collection and community is different. Adjust the criteria accordingly to meet your library’s needs.

Weeding Reports

(unless noted, these reports can be accessed through Saved Reports –> Catalog Records and Items tab –> Weeding Subgroup menu; or use the small search at the bottom of the reports list to search by the listed report #; remember, you must be logged in as a TECH or DIRECTOR user to access and run reports)

On most of these reports, you’ll choose your library and then set more limiting criteria, including dates (always in yyyy-mm-dd format, ex. 2014-12-04), collection codes, locations, item types, and call numbers. These reports can be downloaded to your computer

Super Weeders

These reports include all the criteria needed to make overall weeding decisions, including current location, barcode, call number, title, copyright date, accessioned date, item type, collection code, issues count, renewals count, total_circ count, datelastborowed, item statuses, and notes.

  • #1013 — Item Type Super Weeder
  • #1192 — Collection Code Super Weeder
  • #1442 — Call Number Super Weeder: this one works with a call number prefix — in the type the starting call number scheme you want to run on + % sign (Ex., look at all your Large Print Patterson’s; if your call number scheme is LP F AUTHOR, put LP F PATTERSON%. The system will then return all items with call numbers that begin with LP F PATTERSON.)

No Checkouts/Hasn’t Checked out since a specific date

Make sure in the date option box to put it in yyyy-mm-dd format.

  • #1017 — Items with No Checkouts (All Items)
  • #1966 — Never Checked Out or Hasn’t Checked Out Since a specific date (All Items)
  • #2202 — Items with No Checkouts (Limited to Collection Code/Shelving Location)
  • #2203 — Items with No Checkouts (Limited to Collection Code)
  • #2204 — Never Checked out or Hasn’t Checked Out since a specific date (limited to collection code/shelving location)
  • #2205 — Never Checked Out or Hasn’t Checked Out since a specific date (limited to Collection Code)

Date Last Borrowed/Last Seen (hit a scanner gun)

Make sure in the date option box to put it in yyyy-mm-dd format.

  • #1151 — Date Last Borrowed, limited by Item Type
  • #1426 — Last seen on a specific date or earlier
  • #1664 — Date Last Borrowed, limited by Collection Code
  • #2241 — Last Seen Date, limited by Collection Code
  • #2392 — Date last borrowed, limited by Collection Code and Location
  • #2411 — Date Last Borrowed (All Items)

Multiple Copies of a title

  • 1573 — Identify multiple items of a title

Deleted Materials

  • #624 — Weeded Items
  • #765 — Deletes items from a Year, Listed
  • #1537 — List of Deleted Bib Records in a Year
  • #1538 — Count of Deleted Bib REcords by Year
  • #1553 — Deleted Items by Month
  • #1716 — Deleted Bib Record Status
  • #1755 — Searching for a Deleted Barcode
  • #1825 — When was an item deleted, based on barcode?
  • #2147 — Yearly Deleted Materials by Itype (available under Daily, Monthly, Yearly tab –> Yearly subgroup)
  • #2148 — Yearly Deleted Materials by Collection Code (available under Daily, Monthly, Yearly tab –> Yearly subgroup)

If you need a different report created, please let NExpress staff know what information you want in a report, and we’ll get one written for you! Please let us know if you have any questions.