There are several methods of barcoding library collections, including:
- Linear barcodes: These are the most common type of barcode used in libraries. They consist of a series of parallel lines of varying widths, which are read by a barcode scanner. Linear barcodes, such as UPC and ISBN codes, can be printed on a label and applied to a book or other item.
- 2D barcodes: These are also known as matrix codes or QR codes. They consist of a series of geometric patterns, which can be read by a barcode scanner or smartphone camera. They can store more information than linear barcodes, and are often used for mobile library services, where patrons can scan a barcode to access additional information or to check out an item.
- RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags: These tags contain a microchip that transmits information to a reader via radio waves. RFID tags are more expensive than barcodes, but they can store more information and can be read from a greater distance.
- Barcode software: Some libraries use barcode software, which allows them to create and print barcodes for items in their collection. This method is usually used when library staff are doing a large number of barcoding.
- Outsourcing: Some libraries choose to outsource the barcoding process to a vendor who will provide them with pre-printed barcode labels. This method is often used when libraries have a large number of items to be barcoded and they don’t have the equipment or staff to do it in-house.
It’s worth noting that the best method will depend on the library’s specific needs, budget, and resources.