A barcode scanner is a device that is used to read barcodes and convert the encoded data into a digital format that can be understood by a computer. Barcode scanners are commonly used in libraries to automate the circulation process.
When a patron checks out an item, the library staff member will use a barcode scanner to scan the barcode on the item and the barcode on the patron’s library card. The scanner will then send the encoded data to the library’s computer system, which will update the item’s availability status and the patron’s account with the due date for the item.
When a patron returns an item, the staff member will use the barcode scanner to scan the barcode on the item, which will update the item’s availability status and remove the item from the patron’s account. If the item is overdue, the system will calculate any fines that are due and update the patron’s account accordingly.
Barcode scanners can also be used in other areas of the library, such as for inventory management, tracking the location of items on the shelves, or for security purposes.
There are different types of barcode scanners such as handheld, CCD, laser, and 2D barcode scanners. Handheld barcode scanners are portable and easy to use, while CCD scanners are small, lightweight and inexpensive, laser scanners use laser beams to read barcodes, and 2D barcode scanners are capable of reading 2D barcodes, which can store more information than traditional linear barcodes.