NOTE: As of January 2017, the information in this article is dated and may no longer be accurate.
Does anyone remember GEAC? Well, now they are Extensity, part of Infor, and they are still in the ILS business; the old GEAC ILS is now Vubis-Smart.
Did you know that this company is still in charge of keeping a national registry of barcode prefix assignments for libraries? Did you even know that such a registry exists? Until recently the registry was written down in a paper catalog in an office at the corporation. You can’t find this information online, so it is often hard to find, a secret to a few powerful people! Well, every library that automates in the US should sign up for a unique barcode prefix. It’s simple and free.
Just call and tell them that you need to register for a library barcode prefix.
I think they finally got the list into a spreadsheet but it is still not online. Sometimes they already have a number assigned for a library if the library has been around for a while, so you can always ask them to check first before giving you a new number. They can also try and get you a number near other libraries that you may already have registered.
Hopefully, they will eventually create an online form for registry. Maybe someday they will even do the library community the benefit of creating an online directory with this information. For now though, it is still nice of them to provide a number to call with a nice individual to answer the phone. Maybe this is what most people would prefer.