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[Koha-devel] Re: [Koha] [BUG] barcode mandatory or not ?

From: baljkas
Subject: [Koha-devel] Re: [Koha] [BUG] barcode mandatory or not ?
Date: Fri Sep 26 14:59:04 2003

Friday, September 26, 2003     15:28 CDT

Hi, all,

Stephen Hedges noted that at NPL they
>have in the past used [the] catalog to store pieces of information 
>that were not physical items, like names and addresses of local social 
>agencies, and websites (before we had Koha). That would allow people
>to search for something like "poverty" and get hits not only on books
>about poverty, but websites about poverty and the names of local
>agencies that deal with poverty.

That is super! I tried to convince a social service agency that this was a
feasible thing to do with a library catalogue when I was a volunteer
library coordinator years ago.

(For the MARC'ists in the Koha community, you may note: while websites can
be coded in 'regular' MARC21 (electronic resources, I believe still), so
can agencies and individuals. The MARC fields are slightly different from
normal (i.e. a book), but the information is online at the LC website under
the rubric Community Information at
  URL <http://www.loc.gov/marc/community/eccihome.html> )

>If the catalog is used to store information that does not relate to a
>physical item, then the barcode should not be mandatory.

As for non-physical items like websites: that is an excellent point,
Stephen. I ran into a problem with the Athena system because it was nigh
impossible to convince it that websites didn't need a barcode and we ended
up creating fake ones just so it would let us be.

Plus the listserv already received the example from a barrister in the UK
about libraries that had 24-7 potential patrons but not 24-7 library circ
service. The military library where I last worked as a cataloguer had that
situation and we actually used manual (logbook) circ instead of the
system's circ module. This also allowed us to allow students/staff to
sign-out newly received items if needed before cataloguing could be
completed. Luckily, our MicroCat system didn't require a barcode.

>However, I think the templates for adding and editing items should then 
>be set to return a warning, in case someone mistakenly enters a
>physical item without a barcode.

Also an excellent idea!

Steven F. Baljkas
library tech at large
Koha neophyte
Winnipeg, MB, CANADA

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