Barcode Scanners - BiblioTECH Library System

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Barcode Scanners

Support > Tech Notes (for IT) > Installation > BiblioTECH Client

BiblioTECH uses barcodes to facilitate speedy identification of resources and patrons.

BiblioTECH barcode usage requirements ...

  • Resources and Patrons do not need to have a barcode assigned(If not assigned, then they need to be identified by Title or Name)

  • Barcodes must be unique within the system

  • Barcodes can contain digits and/or letters(Avoid barcodes that contain [space] characters)

  • Barcodes must contain a minimum of 4 and maximum of 30 characters

  • BiblioTECH does not encode any information in barcodes(Therefore, you can use a mix of barcode formats in the same system)

  • BiblioTECH has facilities for handling 'special' barcode formats (eg. "numeric mode" where  12345, 012345 and 0012345 are treated as the same barcode)

Barcode Scanner Types
While almost all barcode scanners perform the job of scanning barcode well, there are a number of options which need to be considered when purchasing a new scanner

  • Connection : whether connected by a USB cable or by radio (BlueTooth/RF, etc)"Cabled" scanners hardly ever suffer from interference but the cable can limit operations"Radio" scanners can suffer from misreads (being used too far from base, signal masked by metal shelving, etc).

  • Memory : some scanners allow you to scan a large number of barcodes and to then 'play back' those barcodes. BiblioTECH recommends that you DO NOT use such a feature. Library systems rely on transactions - each must be completed before the next can proceed. The 'play back' process of barcode readers does not allow for any exceptions to be handled by the librarian.

Barcode Scanner Operation
A barcode scanner is seen as an additional "keyboard" in the system. That is, when you scan a barcode, the scanner converts the coded information into a sequence of characters which are then fed into the computer's keyboard system.

In addition to using barcodes, BiblioTECH allows you to instead type titles, patron names, etc. The system recognises that you want a barcode processed when it receives the [Enter] key which a scanner automatically adds to the end of the actual barcode characters.
Note: If your scanner is not automatically adding an [Enter] to the end of a barcode, check the barcode scanner's manual - it will describe the procedure to turn this feature ON.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) Barcodes
Almost all books have their ISBN printed as a barcode on the back cover. Initially, ISBNs contained 10 digits. However, the printed ISBN barcodes have always contained 13 digits. A few years ago, the standard was changed so that all new ISBNs contain 13 digits (ie matching the barcodes).

To enable ISBN barcodes to be used in Library Systems, barcode scanners contain special handling that translates the 13 digit barcode back into the 10 digit ISBN. This is no longer required.

Note: If your scanner is translating ISBN barcodes, check the barcode scanner's manual - it will describe the procedure to turn this feature OFF.

How to check what your barcode scanner is sending
Open Windows "NotePad"  and scan a barcode.

  • The text displayed should agree with what is printed on the barcode label

  • The cursor should be on the next line (ie. an [Enter] is being transmitted)

  • Check an ISBN barcode - the display should should show 13 digits

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