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Using a Portable Barcode Scanner and an assortment of ‘addon’ programs to simplify moving large numbers of collection items. Felicity Garriga, (Analyst) Betsy Earl, (Programmer) State Library of Victoria.

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Using a Portable Barcode Scanner and an assortment of ‘addon’ programs to simplify moving large numbers of collection items.

Felicity Garriga, (Analyst)

Betsy Earl, (Programmer) Library of Victoria.

Based on VUGM presentation by Christie Nelson & Michael Eason

(Because that already had the graphics!)

the big picture
The ‘big picture’
  • State Library of Victoria is opening a number of new ‘spaces’ in 2003 as part of its Redevelopment Project
  • This will involve moving about 100,000 items
where from where to
Where from? – Where to?
  • We will be moving items selectively from one collection to another rather than moving entire collections
  • Material may be going –
    • From closed storage (stack – requires callslip) to open access (no callslip required)
    • From open access to closed storage
    • From open access to open access – with a different Location code
constraints caused by closed access collections callslips
Constraints caused by Closed Access Collections & Callslips
  • Callslips are used to identify & retrieve material in closed stack collections
  • Callslips are driven by Item Type (Itype) and Patron Groups, and a complex set of rules
  • Material moving from open>closed or closed>open access collection(s) will require a change of Itype
  • ALL items moved will require a change to Location (& prefix), 852 $b and $k.
time constraints
Time constraints
  • The material will not move until just before the new spaces open some time in 2003
  • New material is constantly being acquired for the collection & the latest material should be included in the open access collection(s) eventually
  • The spine labels need to be produced with the correct (new) data whilst the physical items remain at their old locations
    • Because of the time needed to do any data cleanup
    • Because of the volume of material involved

Integrate entire

TRR collection


Material at the shelves in Stack

Roll Itypes and

Clean up dirty

data in cataloguing





Barry starts


Barry ends

Predominantly Stack > Open Access

Nov 2002

Feb 2003

May 2003

Aug 2003

Aug 2002

Stack>Open Access

Arts move


Arts move


Open Access>Stack


There will actually be 6 moves going on concurrently

collection moves
Collection moves
  • Redmond BarryIntegration of items 30,000 items from Stack collection(s) – (S & SF) and with all of items in previously open access (temporarily closed access) TRR (60,000 items)
  • ArtsArts stack>new Arts Open Access – 5000 items to be movedOld Arts Open Access > Arts Stack - 3000 items to be moved
  • GenealogyIntegration of 200 current Stack (S & SF) items with current Open Access Genealogy
  • La TrobeRemoval of 3000 of La Trobe Open Access collection to La Trobe Stack
  • ChessMove of 800 items from Open Access to Stack, mainly to be done directly from database on basis of date
  • Rare BooksSelective removal of 200 items from closed stack to Rare – which are not able to be requested via Callslip
  • Serials will always cause grief
    • Itype is critical to callslip use – which includes serial titles
    • At SLV a serial title may have split runs through a number of collections, therefore has a number of MFHDs – so it may be necessary to shift the item record between MFHD – and different MFHDs may have different Itypes
    • Change the Itype on active serial and the default Itype on the Checkin record has to be changed manually,
  • Dirty Data
    • Previous system hangovers
    • Human error

Multiple MFHDs as title at multiple locations,

At present latest issues are in Stack, after moves will be Open Access

Default Item type will need to be changed to OpenAccess manually on a title by title basis for all titles which latest issues will not require callslips

which items would move
Which items would move?
  • Staff provided with data on total item usage (migrated from Dynix + last 12 months on Voyager)
  • If used in last 12 months, had ‘last-use’ date available
  • Staff reviewed collection items at the shelf using the report on collection use as a guide
  • Information gathered with respect to ‘conservation’ needs at this point
spine labels
Spine Labels
  • These need to be printed in advance of the physical item move (due to volume of material)
  • Need to be created in shelf (DDC + Cutter) order to simplify matching, and only include material that is actually changing location, not necessarily the entire collection(s)
  • Initially intended to use VgerSpin, but worked out an even simpler way – we hope.
the steps overview
THE STEPS - Overview
  • Create new Itypes (control callslip access) for collections being moved, eg. LTmove, and make sure these have the same ‘privileges’ as existing itypes of material being moved.
  • Scan the barcodes at the shelf.
  • Transfer barcode data to computer.
  • Save barcode data as a single file
  • Use that file as the input to Vger Location changer, and change to the ‘move’ itype. Any anomalies will become obvious from the log files of the changes. These can go to whoever is going to clean up the data – probably cataloguing!
what do i need hardware
What Do I Need? Hardware
  • Any PALM O/S based barcode reader with a built in laser scanner – we started with Symbol, like that shown but ended up with Visor/Handspring
  • Comes with a Hotsync Cradle to transfer data to your computer.
  • Cost: about $1000.00
what do i need software
What Do I Need? Software….
  • Observer Scan & Control software (by Paul Asay at Indiana State University)
  • This loads on the PALM and on your desktop computer.
  • Price: Free!
what do i need software15
What Do I Need? …Software
  • Vger Location changer

(Gary Strawn, available from NWU site)

  • MS Access and the ability to create queries and reports
  • VOYAGER database
  • MS Office – particularly Word and Excel for Spine Labels
tasks scan the barcodes
Tasks -Scan the barcodes.
  • Observer Scan is a PALM application that accepts and stores barcodes from the built in laser scanner.
  • Point the scanner at the barcode and push either appropriate button(s).
  • Stores 1,000+ barcodes.
tasks transfer the barcode data to your pc
Tasks -Transfer the barcode data to your PC
  • Uses Observer Control on your PC.
  • Click Setup HotSync, then push button on Palm cradle.
  • It creates a barcode table in MS Access format (browse.mdb) as well as an ASCII text file. SLV uses the ASCII file.
  • Each file is named for location & sequence and saved to a folder for that collection move
  • eg G:\Collection Moves\Arts\Rare Books\Unprocessed\ A 790 R24 barcodes.txt
using vger location changer
Using Vger Location Changer

‘Roll’ the file of barcodes from current Itype to move Itype to isolate those items which are to be moved. In this process, the logs identify ‘problem records’.

  • 2 records are correct, 2 are not. ie. The Itype for the collection is normally ‘7’, and anything that does not meet that criterion needs to be investigated. This is being done by Cataloguing.
  • There appears to be about 1 error per log of about 150 – 200 records.

20030120 12:07:05 Item 1004663 change permanent item type 7 to 25

20030120 12:07:05 Item record changed

20030120 12:07:05 Item 159555 change permanent item type 6 to 25

20030120 12:07:05 Item record changed20030120 08:15:03 Item 1024202 change permanent item type 7 to 25

20030120 08:15:03 Item record changed20030120 08:15:03 Item 1032021 change permanent item type 24 to 25

20030120 08:15:03 Item record changed

when the actual physical move takes place
When the actual physical move takes place
  • We will use the same program to change the location & prefix (852 $b & $k) - and Itype if necessary
  • Gary Strawn kindly added the prefix option at our request, as we, probably unnecessarily, chose to ‘migrate’ this option from our previous system, where it was used because of an inability to display the collection code (location)
keeping track with ms access
Keeping track with MS Access
  • Using the standard Reports.mbd, a query is written for the new move Itype plus current location and limited to a particular DDC sequence for convenience
  • This extracts the following fields of interest to various parties
    • Location
    • Display Call#
    • Normalised Call#
    • Title
    • Author
    • Edition
    • Enumeration
    • Chronology
    • Bibid
    • Itemid
    • Mfhdid
    • barcode
  • Due to display constraints of our previous system, the enumeration & chronology were sometimes entered into the Call number field. They are now entered into the correct field(s), so we have messy, inconsistent data.
moving to excel
Moving to Excel
  • Export results of query to Excel workbook. This forms the basis of a number of different documents which are used for different purposes
    • Spine labels
    • Move co-ordination & control
    • Cataloguing cleanup
    • Serials records changes
spine labels detailed procedure
Spine labels – detailed procedure
  • Excel spreadsheet is edited to remove all fields but
    • Location
    • Display call #
    • Enumeration
    • Chronology
  • The spreadsheet is edited to change the location from the current one, to the new one which will be appropriate after the physical items move.
  • The file is then used as the basis for the labels using Word & a macro developed by our Admin support staffer.
in word
In Word
  • Use Mailmerge in conjunction with macro to
    • Import the file from Excel
    • Edit the Display Call# to remove the (original) Location code
    • Set out the information according to SLV preferred format
    • There may be some manual editing required, but this will be minimal
    • A test file of 300 labels took < 2 minutes to lay out, editing & printing will take additional time




(Vol 6. 1999)

Location code




display vs normalized call no
Display vs. Normalized Call No.

Sorted ascending on DISPLAY_CALL_NO

  • DISPLAY_CALL_NO is easy to read but does not sort correctly.
  • NORMALIZED_CALL_NO has extra spaces added to facilitate proper sorting.

Failed to sort properly!

Sorted ascending on NORMALIZED_CALL_NO

  • “Show” the Display field but set “Criteria” and “Sort” on the Normalized field.
what are the reports used for
What are the reports used for?
  • Statistical count of number of items selected/rolled. Daily, so that Collection Managers can monitor progress towards target numbers
  • Problems lists – additional titles which need Cataloguing clean-up
  • ‘Pick-up’ move list – items to be removed from any given collection
  • ‘Put-down’ move list - full list of all items to be in collection to guide integration of material from multiple sources
observer other uses
Observer: Other uses
  • You can scan a batch of barcodes then print a report showing historical charge and browse counts for those items -- very useful for weeding.
  • You can load browse counts from scanned barcodes directly into Voyager.
  • You can use it to to discharge books while the Voyager system is down or unavailable.
How can I get “Observer”?Observer home page at Indiana State University Libraries:
  • Download Observer Scan and Control
  • Lists sources of the Symbol SPT-1500
  • Describes the software in more detail

Also on SupportWeb – “From Our Customers” Resource Sharing Area