[Koha] More questions - another 2 cents worth

robweir at alum.drexel.edu robweir at alum.drexel.edu
Wed Jun 18 06:48:43 NZST 2003

I think there may be some confusion between a lccn number (library of
congress control number) and library of congress call numbers. If I
understand correctly, a lccn number is single unique number used to identify
a specific title, kind of like a serial number. However, (librarians, please
correct me if I'm wrong) lccn numbers are not used for cataloging and
shelving books in a library that used the LC system. Instead there are a
series of four or five lines of call numbers that are used instead.

Rather than try to explain it, let me refer you to
http://www.lib.ksu.edu/instructional/understandinglccn/webcall2.html or
http://www.hcc.hawaii.edu/education/hcc/library/callno.html for some
explanation and samples of LC call numbers.

The problem is that koha doesn't currently have adequate fields of the
proper type for storing these four or five lines of information in the
database (I think there are such fields in the MARC tables, but not in the
basic koha tables). I agree that accommodating the different cataloging
systems is a template issue, but feel that the necessary fields need to be
in place in the database tables first. I had actually emailed the
development list on this same issue a couple weeks ago (subject: inflexible
field types for call numbers).

My recommendation would be that we survey as many knowledgeable librarians
as possible to find out how many fields are necessary for storing call
numbers under the various systems, what the maximum length of each needs to
be, and then add those fields to the database tables (unless the programmers
could suggest existing fields that can be used). I think if there were four
or five flexible fields for storing call number information, then indeed
koha could be adapted to almost any cataloging system by reworking the


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chris Cormack" <chris at katipo.co.nz>
Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 1:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Koha] More questions - another 2 cents worth

> We do have an lccn field in the koha database. And you can load data into
> it, its currently not displaying or searchable yet though. This is a
> templating issue, im sure we could change it quite fast.

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