[Koha] scanning isbn number for circulation

Kurt Bodling kbodling at mountvernon.org
Fri Mar 4 03:48:20 NZDT 2011

Well, the way to do it - should you want to - would be simply to key in or scan in the ISBNs in the Koha barcode field 952 $p. That would be easier than mapping and re-mapping.

Koha would not allow duplicate in that field, so second copies and items with the same barcode number would send up error messages, and you'd have to come up with something else for those other copies. And key that new number in. And hope it doesn't conflict with a later item that has that invented number as its real ISBN.

And in "a pretty small library for a research institute" I would also be fairly sure that we would have or soon acquire items that don't have any ISBN at all: home-grown research reports, offprints of articles, recordings, etc.

So I'd say it's quite possible to do this (even though I wouldn't recommend it either). Just be prepared for the steep "down" side.

Kurt A. Bodling
Technical Services Librarian
George Washington's Mount Vernon
     Estate, Museum & Gardens

From: koha-bounces at lists.katipo.co.nz [mailto:koha-bounces at lists.katipo.co.nz] On Behalf Of M. Brooke Helman
Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011 6:54 AM
To: Koha List
Subject: Re: [Koha] scanning isbn number for circulation


I'm trying to use the isbn number on books as the book barcode. however, when I scan the barcode of the isbn it registers the number but does not find the book.
I think I need to set a mapping somewhere. I tried mapping the koha value items.barcode to marc 20a (isbn) but that does not seem to do the trick. We currently
do not have barcodes on our books and were planning to just add them through z39.50 as much as we could by scanning the isbn number and using this for cataloging.

* can anyone tell me how to make sure that the "item barcode:" that is asked when checking out is the same as the isbn number?
* would you for any reason advise against using the isbn code and, if necessary, have several versions of the same book like this?

We are a pretty small library for a research institute and not a public library so our collection is "limited".

         I try not to say things like this too often, but don't do that. The ISBN is not a unique identifier: it's quite possible to have two items with an identical ISBN. In fact, it's highly probable for this to happen with popular materials - new books acquired in duplicate. Stuart Yeates gave a wonderful talk on ISBNs and ebooks at KohaCon10, and it's available here:



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