Thursday, December 21, 2006

Expanding Ball State Libraries' Online Catalog to Handle Modern Bibliographic Information

Personnel in Library Information Technology Services at Ball State University Libraries recently implemented an important update to the Libraries’ SirsiDynix Unicorn integrated information system. This update allows the system to support the expanded nine-digit OCLC control number, an important change since the fixed length eight-digit number is not large enough to accommodate growth as OCLC anticipates adding their 100 millionth WorldCat record.

The update also provides support in Unicorn for 13-digit International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) used by publishers on books to uniquely identify and distinguish both publishers and books. The 13-digit ISBN is necessary because publishers expect to soon exhaust all available 10-digit ISBN identifiers.

James W. Hammons, librarian and Lead System Administrator for the Unicorn system implementation, describes the upgrades as “… two imminent and momentous changes in the bibliographic data world.”

The implementation of this upgrade illustrates a continuing commitment to provide the best access possible to information resources for Ball State University students and faculty. The University Libraries are dedicated to maintaining the systems necessary to provide access to the rich collections and materials that support teaching, learning, and research.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, (765) 285-8032.


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