February 10, 2012

ISBN Searching

In 2007 the folks who govern such things decided that all International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) would be 13 digits. This had implications for everyone who deals with books and some aspects of the transition were smoother than others.

One of the issues this raised for NHAIS libraries was that lots of books that had only 10 digit ISBNs assigned to them (published before the full transition to ISBN13) had barcodes on them with the 13-digit number encoded. This meant that if you scanned the barcode on the back of the book in order to search NHU-PAC for it you would not find the matching bib record.

As of this morning that problem has been resolved in NHU-PAC. The "ISBN is" search option, on both the Welcome and Advanced Searching/Boolean tabs, can now retrieve matching records from NHU-PAC for ISBN13 searches, even when the actual bib record contains only the assigned 10-digit ISBN.

This change has no effect on either Z39.50 connections to NHU-PAC or to the ILL system's ISBN search capabilities.

This change should be especially helpful to catalogers doing retrospective conversions. Additionally, if you are fond of excess typing and include the hyphens in your ISBN searches the records will now be found. (But why type extra hyphens?)

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