How to make a list of items by scanning barcodes

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It is often useful to be able to identify a large set of records for batch updates or reports by scanning the barcodes of books. For example, in order to add the suffix "(flat)" to the call numbers of open-stacks books shelved flat, you could attach a barcode reader to a laptop, put the rig on a book truck, then walk the stacks scanning the bar codes. You'd just have to keep in mind that anything currently signed out would have to be added separately. From that file of bar codes you can generate a list of holdings IDs in Voyager Reports, then you can add the "(flat)" suffix in a $m using Global Data Change.

Collect bar codes in a file

First, you need a .txt file that contains bar codes, each on its own line.

  1. Create a new .txt file and save it with a meaningful name. The file name must not contain spaces, SoMakeItCamelCase or Use_underscores_or_dashes so that it's one string.
  2. Open the .txt file on a computer attached to a barcode reader
  3. Use the barcode reader to scan each barcode. Don't worry if you scan the same barcode more than once: it can be deduped later. It's better to risk duplication than to risk skipping one.

To make a list from the file of barcodes

If you need to generate a list of titles, call numbers, or whatever from the barcodes, use MS Access Voyager Reports:

  1. Import the list of barcodes to a new table
  2. Use that table to build a query with the ITEM_BARCODE table as the match point. Remember that barcodes are stored in the item record, not the holdings record, so you'll need to link several tables together before you can get to call number (from MFHD_MASTER) or title (from BIB_TEXT)

To change data based on the file of barcodes

There are two built-in ways to make bulk changes in Voyager:

  1. Global Data Change: allows changes to Bib and Holdings records (anything in MARC can be added, removed, or altered)
  2. Pick-and-Scan: allows changes to Item records (e.g., item type, location, status) and bulk suppress/unsuppress of Bib and Holdings records

Please see the Head of Collection Information Services for log-in information and instructions