How Libraries Use Barcodes


In these modern days, barcodes have snuck their way into every corner of our lives. We can’t look anywhere without seeing evidence of barcode registration and technology. This is a very good thing as barcodes make our lives a lot smoother and easier than they would otherwise be.  Barcodes are even used in libraries throughout the world. In what ways do libraries utilize barcodes and how does this improve all the systems and processes within each library?  What kind of barcodes are used in libraries? Barcode Solutions is here to answer all of these questions and more.  

Firstly, do libraries use specific barcodes?  Yes, they do. Libraries use several different kinds of barcodes. The first type of barcode are ISBN barcodes.  These barcodes are designed from an International Standard Book Number and they are given to each individual edition and variation of a book. An example of this is that a paperback and a hard cover will each be assigned their own unique ISBN. If the ISBN barcodes were created before 2007, they will be ten digits long. After 1st January 2007, they were lengthened to thirteen digits long.

Another barcode that libraries make use of are ISSN barcodes. These are eight-digit barcodes that are assigned to serial publications, such as magazines.  These International Standard Serial Numbers help libraries to distinguish between each different serial publication as well as between serial publications that have the same name.

In order to publish a book or a magazine or any other serial publication, it is necessary to apply for an ISBN and an ISSN number respectively. This can be done through the National LibraryOnce you have received this unique number, we at Barcode Solutions, are more than happy to design an ISBN or an ISSN barcode for you. Our service is quick, efficient and friendly.

So, how do libraries use these different barcodes in their every day running? Barcodes assist libraries to control the lending out of books as well as magazines. Each publication will have its own barcode.  In addition, each client will be issued with a library card with a unique barcode on it. In order to take out a book or a magazine, librarian needs to scan the individual publication’s barcode as well as the client’s barcode on their library card.  This will tell their computer system that this book or magazine has been taken out by this specific client. In this way, libraries are able to control their inventory of books and magazines. If a client requests a specific book, they will be able to look on their system and say whether they have the book in stock or not as well as when this book is due to be returned.

Having a barcode system in place enables libraries to fast track the checking out process.  Without the use of barcodes, clients would have to wait in very long queues just to take out their library books. Utilizing a barcode system in libraries will boost the image and professionalism of the library itself and will encourage loyal clients.

Another way that libraries use barcodes is to control access.  Libraries are restricted to members only and using barcodes on library cards can help to enhance the security and safety in each library. Security guards can be stationed at the entrance, where they can scan each individual library card, thereby controlling who has access to the library and who will be denied access.

If you would like any more information about how to go about getting an ISBN or ISSN barcode, please do not hesitate to contact Barcode Solutions. We are here to provide top quality barcodes for any publication that you would like to publish.



Ashley Macdonald
Ashley has recently joined the FeedsPortal content writing team and brings with her a wealth of journalistic experience, which we believe our readers will find extremely useful.

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