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Q: What is a barcode?
A: A barcode symbology is simply a visual arrangement of bars and spaces that represents numbers, letters or punctuation marks. There are a number of barcode symbologies, including Code 39(Code 3 of 9), Follet classic, and Codabar, all of which are popular in libraries.

Learn more about barcodes.

Q: How does a scanner work?
A: The basic operation of a scanner is to scan a barcode symbol and provide an electrical output that corresponds to the bars and spaces of a bar code. In the past, scanners required decoder boxes that would interpret the scanned information and send the data to the computer. Today, we suggest scanners that include decoding functionality and send the correct data directly to the computer.

Q: What is Codabar?
A: Codabar is a barcode symbology commonly found in libraries. It has 14 digits including sequences that identify the item type, number and institution as well as a final check digit. An eye-readable form of the number is printed below the scannable number.

Q: What is Code 39 and how is it different from Codabar?
A: Code 39 is another common barcode symbology. It generally has less than 10 digits and also identifies the type of item, its code and the institution. Code 39 can include alpha characters, though it is not recommended. Both Codabar and Code 39 can scan bi-directionally, meaning the barcode can be presented upside down or right side up.

Q: What is the difference between “smart” and “dumb” barcode labels?
A: Smart barcodes are pre-assigned by computer to specific items in the database based on copy and volume holdings. Smart barcodes are applied before you start using a new circulation control system (e.g., new library buildings and/or systems). After your new system is in use, you will need to use a combination of Smart and Dumb barcode Labels. Dumb barcodes are a generic label with a number that is not associated with anything until it is manually linked to an item record in your software. These barcodes can be used to easily update or expand your collection.

Q: What is the benefit of using barcodes throughout our library?
A: The use of barcodes will lead to reduced staff workload, increased accuracy, improved circulation capabilities, faster check-in and check-out, easier sorting and inventory management. Barcodes are associated with item records in your Library Management Software and can hold critical information such as item number, call number, copy and volume numbers as well as associated codes used in your library. All this information can be held in one label and any of the information can be changed or updated without the need to re-label your collection. Once you have barcodes on your books or other resources, you can quickly scan the barcode information into your computer to help you accurately track your resources.

Learn more about the benefits of barcodes in libraries..

Q: Will the scanners and printers at Barcode Discount work with my ILS software?
A: The equipment we feature in our library section is designed to work with all ILS software packages. In addition, they work with any computer, much like a keyboard or mouse. Just plug it in and you will be ready to go!

Q: What barcode symbologies do the Barcode Discount scanners read?
A: Our featured scanners will automatically read the most common barcodes used in libraries like Codabar and Code 39. In addition, they read UPC and ISBN as well as other common symbologies.

Q: Can I use a scanner to do a book inventory?
A: Yes. Many librarians use a wireless scanner to do their inventories. You can take the scanner with you around the library and quickly scan everything that you need to account for as you go.

Q: Can you print barcode labels for me?
A: Yes, we can print barcode labels using any number sequence, your library name and other customized information. Custom print jobs can be done on many different types and sizes of labels. We also have a selection of pre-printed, removable labels including Date Due Reminders, New Arrival Labels, and Best Seller Labels.

Q: I’d like to print my own labels; does Barcode Discount sell blank labels?
A: Yes, we sells blank labels in many standard and custom sizes. Blank labels with permanent adhesive are available in paper, polypropylene and polyester. Removable and extra strength adhesives also available.

Q: Does you sell RFID equipment?
A: Yes. We sell RFID readers, printers, and labels. Please call us for assistance.

Barcode Discount