Pika Configuration for OPAC Computers

This documentation describes how to configure Pika for use at public OPAC computers.

Top of page

Table of Contents

OPAC Computer Stations

This allows computer stations to be set up to behave as OPACs (Online Public Access Catalog). These would be shared public computers that are typically used exclusively for browsing the catalog.  

These computers will have a couple of unique needs.  

  1. We know that they are in the library, so we want to show “It’s Here,” rather than “On Shelf” for items while patrons are browsing the catalog while physically in the library building.

  2. We want the session to timeout and logout shortly after a patron is finished using the catalog computer.  Otherwise, another patron could accidentally place a hold or view account information for the account of the previous patron who is still logged in.

There are several ways to control the behavior of certain machines within Pika.

There are two ways of configuring the computer to behave as an OPAC.  This document will describe the behavior of each as well as the functionality if multiple parameters are detected.

  1. Branch Parameters

  2. IP Addresses Detection 

Top of page

Branch Parameters

You can set up a branch with a branch limiter.  If you are setting up all the computers on a network with a starting URL, you would start that computer at the catalog page.  Instead of starting it with just the catalog, you would add the branch code to the URL.

Branch Parameter Code:  <pika address?branch=branch code>.  The branch code will match the locations table.

This would allow searching that will show your branch items first.

The item will have the “It’s Here” information, as well as the location, and call number.

Force automatic logout when using Branch Parameters

If you would prefer to have the catalog timeout, you can add the code to force an automatic logout. Branch code with logout: <pika address?branch=branch code&opac=true>.  Note: use lower case for branch=, as well as opac=true.

When the patron goes to login, the Remember Me button is not listed, because we do not want patron login information stored on a publicly accessible computer.




You can see more on how Pika is configured to time out by going to Pika Configuration and Locations.

The time is listed in seconds.  The timeout when logged in is the amount of time a patron’s session can be static, before the system logs them out.  The timeout when logged out is the amount of time, after a patron has logged out, that the catalog will reset to the main page.       

Once the patron has been idle for 90 seconds, they will get the message, “Still There?,” before the system logs out.  They will get about 10 to 15 seconds to click the Continue button.

Clear setting for Branch Parameter configuration

You can clear any previous setting by using the code, this will bring the catalog back to the default.  Clearing settings code: <pika address?branch=&opac=false>.

Once the settings are cleared, the Remember Me checkbox will be available when someone logs in.

Top of page

IP Address Detection

You can configure the computer as an OPAC using the IP tables.  You would go into IP Addresses under Pika Configuration.


You can configure any IP address. You can scroll the list to find your IP address, or limit the search by IP Address or Display Name.  You can configure any IP addresses (even multiple ones) to correspond to a school, or a building.  If Pika sees an IP address it knows which library it matches.  Click Edit to make changes.

The IP Address is a listing of individual or multiple addresses.  The /24 for is a quick way to enter a range of IP addresses.  This should match your network setup.


You would give it a Display Name to match your library or branch. The Location is a dropdown menu to pick the location that the display name will correspond.  

Treat as a Public OPAC is used to turn on or off the automatic timeout.  If you know that the IP is a staff or wireless IP address, you can uncheck the box.  If someone logs in to the wireless the assumption is that they are using their own device.  They can figure out if they want the login session to remember them. 

Top of page

Staff settings when using IP Detection method

We know that everything at a library has a specific IP address range, or one specific IP address. When you are using a range of IP addresses, staff machines on that network will included in that range.  This means that they will get logged out just like patrons if their session is idle for the allotted amount of time.  One way to avoid being logged out is to change your Bypass Automatic Logout settings to ON from My Preferences.  This is located under My Account, and Account Settings.

All library staff members should have access to turn on the Bypass Automatic Logout preference. Contact Marmot if you do not see this preference in your Account Settings.

Top of page

Testing IP Addresses

You can test your IP address from any page. You would enter <pika address?test_ip=your IP address>. 

Typically, you might be setting up your IP addresses from an administration office.  You do not want to have to go out to every single branch to see how the setup works.  You can test all the IP addresses to see what the catalog will look like for each branch.

Once you run the test, you can search for an item.  It will show the “It’s Here”, and your branch information.

The test systems are all configured to show some extra debugging information in the footer.  You could go to the test site for your library <pika2.address>.

The footer lets you know the OPAC thinks that the person is at home.  It shows the person’s IP address.  It shows that the person is scoped to look at Mesa County’s collection.

Using a wireless IP address, the information for the footer changes.  Wireless IP testing code: <pika2.address?test_ip=your wireless IP address>

The footer lets you know the OPAC thinks the person is in the library.  It shows the library’s IP address.  It shows that the  person is scoped to look at Mesa Central’s collection.  As you are setting up your IP address this is useful to make sure they are set up properly.

To remove the test IP, you would set it to blank. Remove test IP code: <pika2.address?test_ip=>.

This same testing will work for a branch.  Branch testing on test system code:  <pika2. address?branch=branch location>

The footer lets you know the OPAC thinks the person is still at home, but is looking for items from a specific branch scope results.