[Koha] Which is a book's unique identifier?

Elaine Bradtke eb at efdss.org
Wed Jun 22 00:33:06 NZST 2011

It's my understanding that the safest place to put an individual
book's unique identifier is in the item record - under barcode.
The biblio number does not refer to the individual physical item.
Also, at least in older versions, it can change, which means it is
unstable. (I haven't tried it in the latest version).  If you want a
permanent, stable and unique (within your library) number for a book
or other physical item) as opposed to the catalogue record, then use
the barcode field.  We are putting our accession numbers there (we
don't use bar codes as such).  Being very old fashioned (and a small
library), we still write accession numbers in the register by hand.

I don't know what folks do who have both an accession number and a barcode.

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 4:49 AM, Mahesh T Pai <paivakil at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
> Probably a silly question, but I am not a librarian.
> Koha version is currently 3.4.1; and previously, it was
> The librarian says that they used to search for a book by barcode
> number, The number they refer to as barcode number is what is found at
> biblionumber column in table biblio.
> This is also same as what is called "accession number".
> Now,
> Is barcode same as accession number?
> For some reason, I feel that should not be same - accession number would
> be unique to each library; bar code may not be? (or have I misunderstood?)
> Again, biblioitemnumber is autogenerated, but books need not be entered
> into the data base in same order as they are acquired - especially when
> a library is newly moving into Koha.
> The search result by bar code is very inconsistent between opac and
> staff client. Same code _sometimes_ shows up as not found in staff
> client. This is apart from the problem already reported here, wher
> search for 123 throwing results for 123[0-9] also.
> Probably, both me and the librarian have not got at least some concepts
> about Koha.
> Some elaboration would be appreciated.
> --
> Mahesh T. Pai   ||
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Elaine Bradtke
Data Wrangler
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