Monday, January 08, 2007

Using Barcodes in Search

Brian Surratt at Texadata mentions he is having some success scanning barcodes on the back of books when doing ISBN searches on OCLC. It is not yet 100% accurate, many of these numnbers are in the 024 field. Yet it is working and will only get better with time.

I've been using barcode scans in ISBN searching on my Z39.50 client with mixed results. OCLC is creating 13 digit codes based on the 10 digit input code. They are also moving those in 024 to 020. Few if any institutions will do this work. Using scans in Z30.50 searches will be uncertain for many years to come. Maybe the profiles could do some remapping, have an ISBN search hit both the 020 and 024 fields?


Anonymous said...

I purchased a $15 cuecat from and scanned about 200 books from my personal library into librarything over the holidays. I knew you professional catalogers would catch on sooner or later...

Anonymous said...


I've been using book barcodes to search Z39.50 and OCLC at my library for several years. The EAN ISBN barcodes that are on the backs of most hardcovers and the inside front covers of most paperbacks are decodable into the ISBN-10. For many scanners, you can program the hardware to make that decoding for you automatically. That way, you don't have to worry about the un-decoded barcode being in the 024 or not.. thought it would certainly be great if OCLC does get that done.

I'm not sure about ISBN-13s and EAN barcodes yet.. I think it works the same.