[Koha] No edge label - Is is realistic ?

Rosalie Blake rosalie at library.org.nz
Thu Jul 12 08:50:44 NZST 2007

Hi Michael
The public librarians in the audience are startled by your question - 
because we know that something more than 90% of our patrons choose what 
to borrow by browsing. And clearly they wouldn't cope at all well with 
your system.

But having looked at your website, I think you're talking about a 
special library whose clients are the staff of your organisation? And 
that's a completely different scenario. You're really talking about a 
warehouse where items are selected from a catalogue. I suspect that your 
users are very adept at identifying what they want to look at, and that 
display of stock and browsing appeal are not at all relevant. I also 
suspect that stock turnover is not particularly high (a handful of items 
to be returned each day, rather than several trolleys full?). If this is 
so, I don't see any reason why your logic shouldn't be carried through 
to its logical conclusion. Go for it!

And let us know how you get on.
Rosalie Blake

PS I can think of public library borrowers who would be delighted with 
this system - after all we could identify "the big reddish book that was 
shelved on the bottom shelf in the third bay". Which is something of a 
problem with our way!

Michel Virard wrote:
> To old hands,
> I am in the process of designing my bar-code label and I realize that a central element is the "call number" in most libraries, i.e. the number used to find the physical address of the book once returned to shelves. Since we have a new (and small) library with no "manual card" heritage, we have been looking at ways at using Koha to simplify operations and, essentially, to eliminate the need for a call number.
> In many libraries I have seen operating (Montreal municipal library is one) each book has essentially two stickers: a small one on the edge that show a call number (often on two or three small lines - no bar code) and another sticker on the third cover, with one bar-code and printed lines.
> The explicit purpose of the edge sticker is to permit rapid return of books to their proper shelve by a human clerk. The shelves are then organized by genre (French Novels, English Novels, Dictionaries, etc.) physically stored in shelve islands.
> We found that this type of organization is optimized for borrowers browsing books on the shelves. It is the normal way to operate most libraries, however, one has to accept that a lot of the space of the library is organize for people moving around  and not as a simple storage area for books. Also this type of storage is wasteful of shelve space simply because there is no separation of books by format size, thus every shelve has to accommodate the largest format and shelves have to be reachable by the shorter borrowers.
> Our major constraint is we are very limited in space, so we are considering replacing physical browsing mostly by virtual browsing, since Koha allows this type of regrouping. Also, we want to store books on shelves barely higher than the book format they will support. There will be no other regrouping than the sorting into three sizes. The size being self evident will not need a marker and since we will use the combination First-Author-Last-Name + Main-Title to do the physical sorting, we think we can eliminate the edge sticker entirely.
> Are we crazy ? Are we going to hit a brick wall ? I would appreciate any comment, especially from old hands who have seen it all.
> Michel Virard
> Montreal
> Canada
> mvirard at symtec.ca
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