Missing first name field in Patrons Module of Koha ILS

Just the other day, a Koha instance was migrated into one of the servers I co-managed. A patron was added in the ‘Patrons’ module but we were missing the ‘First Name’ field. So what happened? Why is the ‘First name’ field missing in the ‘Add patrons’ workflow of our Patrons module?

This got me digging further into this Koha ILS instance. I took a look into the ‘Edit patron’ workflow, I am also missing the ‘First Name’. Hmmm.. So I headed into the log, I might be able to capture any errors in there, but to no avail. I googled “Koha patron module missing first name field”, first page did not gave me any answers. Went to the ‘Global System Preference’ for Patrons and even edited the ‘BorrowerMandatoryField’ and added ‘firstname’ in there. Checked that ‘firstname’ is not included in the ‘BorrowerUnwantedField’ setting. But still I am not getting the Firstname field!

So off we went to that Patron category and looked at the settings until we saw the category type was set to Organization for our ‘ADMIN’ Category.

So, we tried changing this from ‘Organization’ to ‘Staff’ and went to the ‘Edit patron’ workflow of the Patrons module and Voila! The First Name field shows up in our interface! Problem solved!

Going to the Koha ILS manual (19.11), I don’t see in Patrons and Circulation > Patron categories a caution for using Organization as ‘patron category’ type. I don’t see this also in the Patrons module documentation. With this being said, I will try to contribute this part in the Koha ILS documentation so that the Koha ILS documentation will have that notification or caution for current and future Koha ILS users. That’s all and thanks for reading!

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