Monday, March 16, 2009

Summary of discussion about Item Types

Wow ... don't I know how to generate discussion!

I have been bowled over by the really helpful discussion about this issue over the last week or so; on the Koha list, via email and also on this blog.

I started getting confused (again) about this isse and so went through and assigned a piece of paper per issue raised, then listed all the comments below each topic. By the end of the exercise there was a wide spread consensus on how to use Item Types and CCodes, which I share for you below.

Biblio Level Info
Search results display Biblio level info; which can include:

  • Format (book, DVD, video cassette)
  • Audience (children, young adult, adult)
  • Content (bibliography)
  • Material Type (using XLST search will display wee icons.)

Item Level Info
The holdings table displays Item level info, which can include:

  • Item Types
  • CCodes
  • Shelving Location
  • Call Number

Advanced Search
The Advanced Search interface displays either

  • Item Types (with their associated icons)
  • Collection Codes (with their associated icons).

You cannot set both as Advanced Search options, although this would be a cool enhancement.

Notes on Item Types
  • set circulation policy
  • you must have item types
  • you don’t have to have CCodes
  • can be used to define collections
  • can be OPAC advanced search points

Notes on CCodes
  • have no relationship to circulation policy
  • any number of CCodes can have the same the Item Type
  • are optional
  • are used to define collections
  • can be OPAC advanced search points

Notes on Call Number
How the item is shelved ie its shelf position, can include alpha and numeric characters.

Notes on Shelving Location
A physical location ie a floor or building

General Rule:
Nice quote from Joshua:
"If you don’t have to have CCodes to distinguish between Item Types and Collection Codes, then don’t – just use Item Types".

When CCodes would be needed:
And a great example of when you would need CCodes (Thanks Owen):

You have a policy which says borrowers may have no more than 10 AV items on loan at a time. So Item Type is set as AV and a bunch of CCodes are created:
DVD, JDVD, Video, JVideo, CDROM, Audio Book on Tape, Teen Audio Book on CD, etc. A patron may borowe a total of 10 AV materials from any of the CCodes related to Item Type=AV.

MARC Fields
For anyone still interested in playing this game, I would love some help identifying the marc fields where we enter the data that will display for these fields:

Biblio info
  • Format
  • Audience
  • Content
  • Material Type

Item info
  • Item Types
  • CCodes
  • Shelving Location
  • Call Number (including dewey and / or genre, and filing letters)
Thanks for everyones help with this ... hopefullt we will save many hours of planning for others to grapple with this issue!

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