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Board Games

Welcome to the William James College Board Game Library!


Hello amazing work-study student! This guide will help you add entries to the board game library.

1. Get a game!

Games for the library come from purchases or donations. This guide assumes that you have a game in your hands that needs to be processed.

2. Check the game’s status.

Make sure that you’re not doing work that has already been done by searching for the game in Koha. You can access Koha by clicking ‘WJC Library Catalog’ on the library’s homepage or going here: Search for the game’s name.

a. If the game doesn’t appear anywhere in the search results then start at step 3.

b. If the game does appear then click on its name. This will bring up its full record. If the game has no information then start at step 4.

c. If the game appears and it has information then scroll down and look at the holdings. If it says ‘no physical items for this record’ then start at step 5.

d. If the game appears, has information, and has holdings then check the holdings to see if the copy of the game you are holding appears in the list. If it does not then start at step 6. (If it does then this game has already been put into the system- you can skip to making the game more durable and making sure that the game’s LibGuide is updated.)

For example: here’s what pops up on Koha when you search Citadels:


There is one search result that is clearly unrelated, but the first result is the game we’re looking for. Clicking its title shows the following:


Since the title can be found in Koha this means that step 3 has been done. You can also see details about the game, so step 4 has been done. There are no physical items, so step 5 has not been done. In this case you would skip to step 5 and start work there.  

3. Creating a MARC record in Koha.

All US-based libraries–including ours–use MAchine Readable Cataloging, or MARC. This system contains fields for every part of every book or object a library holds. Creating new MARC records usually takes a Master’s in Library Science, but thankfully we don’t need to create records–we’ll be copying records already made by master cataloguers.

a. Go to WorldCat:

b. Use their search bar to check for a good entry on the board game you want to add to the library. (In this case ‘good’ means ‘it looks fully filled out, or close enough.’) Copy the OCLC or ISBN.

c. Log in to Koha:

d. Go to ‘more’>Cataloging Editor in the top navigation bar (left/center of the screen).

e. You will have a few options of how to make a new entry. Click ‘from Z3950 search’. This will pop up a new window.

f. Paste the OCLC or ISBN you copied from WorldCat in the first search bar. In the drop-down menu select either ‘control number’ (this is what Koha calls an OCLC) or ISBN depending on which information type you copied from WorldCat. Click ‘search’.

g. Your search results will pop up. If there is more than one result then click ‘view/hide record’ to quickly look at the record. Check to make sure that it looks complete, and that it’s in English. Once you have selected the record you like best click ‘open in tab’.


h. Once you have clicked ‘open in tab’ you can close the pop-up window. The main screen will show the game’s MARC record.

i. When you are done editing click ‘save’. Do not save to the reservoir- the bugs in Koha will eat your data if you do. Your data is saved when these buttons turn blue; if you continue to make changes they will turn yellow to show that your data has unsaved changes. The entry will now be searchable in Koha by students and faculty in about 15 minutes.  

4. Editing the MARC record.

Next we’ll check to make sure the MARC record has all the fields we need.

5. Creating an item.

Objects in a library (like books and games) are made of two parts: records and items. The record (which you entered above) contains the information about a book or game that stays consistent no matter how many copies of the book or game the library owns–who made it, when it was published, etc. Item data is information about each individual copy of the book or game that the library has–like who has checked it out and whether it’s a special edition (ex: Nature Fluxx or Zombie Fluxx). To enter an item:

a. Make sure you are logged in to Koha:

b. Search for the record via the ‘search’ button on the top bar.

c. When the entry you’re looking for pops up (because you successfully entered a MARC record, hooray!) click ‘edit items’ on the left-hand toolbar.


d. Click ‘add item’, and a new window will pop up. Fill in the information from the following image.


Make sure to hit save!

6. Adding additional copies of a game.

Sometimes the library already has copies of a game but got a few more (like for a workshop, class, or to use in more students’ individual practices). If this is the case:

a. Make sure you are logged in to Koha:

b. Search for the record via the ‘search’ button on the top bar.

c. Check the number of items that pop up under the game’s entry. For example: in this image there are already 10 copies of Fluxx, so if we were adding one more it would be item #11.


d. Click ‘edit items’ on the left-hand toolbar. Since items for this game already exist a pen-and-paper icon will appear next to the existent items. Click it, and then select clone item, like this:


e. This will pop up a new window. All of the existing item’s information will be pre-filled into this window. Change anything that is different:

i. The copy #. For example, this would be item #11 since the library owns 10 copies of Fluxx.

ii. The barcode.

iii. The public note. For example: if you cloned the item Original Fluxx but are holding a copy of Zombie Fluxx you would need to change this.

For help refer to the picture in step 5 about creating a new item–the pop-up box (and information you need to fill in) are the same. Make sure to save your work!  

7. Make the game durable.

The game is now in the library! In approximately 15 minutes patrons will be able to see the new game in Koha, hooray! Next, let’s make the game ready for repeated play.

a. If the game has cards put them in sleeves.

b. Put book tape on the edges of the game boxes.

c. We’ll be adding PDF copies of the rulebook and inventory in a later step.  

8. Create or update the LibGuide for the game.

a. I’m still learning this step myself, sooo… b. Rulebook c. Inventory d. BGG e. Goals/skills f. Additional info g. Let’s Play h. Quick rules rundown 9. Link Koha and the LibGuide. Somehow.

10. PLAY THAT GAME! Seriously, play it. Know thine library.