31 December 2007

Barcode information

If you need help filling out the bottom portion of your invoice, which requests barcode information, read on!

In order for patrons to access the Listen Up! Vermont collection at home, they will need to log in using a unique number. Patrons will first choose your library name from a pull-down list, and then will have to type in a number, which should be between 6 and 14 digits long.

The first four digits in that number can either be:
  1. the four numbers that begin your barcodes
  2. a sequence of four numbers of your choosing, which is easy to remember and yet does not begin with 1 or 0. Maybe your zip code, without the zero? The year your library was founded?
Then, OverDrive requires that each library submit a range of barcodes -- really, patron numbers. If you are not automated, look at your patron list and fill in your first number assigned to a patron (maybe that's 1, or 12, or 86) and then the last number. You want room to grow, so add to that last number -- if you have 1500 patrons and the first number assigned to a patron that is still in use is 24, then your barcode range could be 24 to 2100, giving you 600 new patrons until you run out of access.

If you are automated, you probably want your patrons to be able to type in their entire barcode, just to make things easier. Send in your barcode range with your four digit beginning number, the placeholder digits in the middle, and what you think might be the lowest number barcode you've assigned. On Follett, I could find this by going to Reports, choosing Circulation Reports, and then choosing Used/Unused Patron Barcodes. Again, think about how many new patrons you register a year and add 5 years worth of barcodes at the end.

So, for examples -- you could have something like 540112 (maybe you are patron number 12 at the library in Burlington), or you could have something like 22373000230000 (if you are a patron at an automated library submitting a full barcode). As far as I know, both will work just fine, provided you choose the right library!

OverDrive requires this range so that not-just-anyone can access the collection -- that the person trying to use the service will actually be a patron at a library. Make sure your barcode range is something that makes sense for you, your patrons, and your records!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm not quite getting this yet. For us poor Follett users, our patron barcodes start with e.g., 2VSPK - can we use letters in the first four "digits"? If not, then let's say I use our ZIP minus the leading 0 - so 5060. Then do I include the midrange zeros in our barcode, and indicate the range of barcodes currently in use + 5 years worth? And how in heaven's name do I explain this to the patron? "You use your library barcode, except that you drop 2VSPK, use 5060 instead, and then type the rest, except the last character, which could be a number, letter, symbol, or nothing." Aaarrggh!! How have other Folletteers gone about this?

Or perhaps this is moot for folks who are considering migrating to the open source software currently under development, and I should simply make something up?

Help!
Amy C. Grasmick, Kimball Library, Randolph

Stephanie Chase, coordinator said...

Don't fret about the barcodes -- OverDrive's giving me some more specific information. I'll give you a call!

Katacheese said...

This is definately confusing. I have follet, but the patrons don't have cards. It's all in the computer by their last name, so I'll have to assign them a number they'll have to remember- maybe the last four digits of their telephone number? Oy vey.