My Church Library uses "Concourse" by Book Systems, Inc. In this program there is a feature (you pay a small fee) to activate and it will print Bar Codes for you. I use a 3-across sheet (Avery Labels) and can print up to 30 at one time. It works really great. I have a Bar Code Reader and one you print the Bar Code and put it on the book, you can scan it to print labels as well. It is Wonderful!!! I would suggest you try the program. You can get a "Demo" to check it out. I use Concourse for entering materials, searching and printing.!!!
To print bar codes, I would check first with your automation software. Most automation software has the bar code printing feature built-in. (We use "PC Card Catalog" which includes the feature.)
But I would like to put in good word here for "pre-printed" labels. These can be purchased from DEMCO, Bro-dart and any other library supply vendor. Their cost is about $30-$35 per thousand. The labels are printed on more rugged stock than typical label stock. And the printing is more accurate than what most office printers can manage. (Your bar code scanner will appreciate the precision.)
Comparing costs of "pre-printed" vs. "self-printed" labels you need to consider cost for toner/ink, label stock, label protectors and printer 'wear and tear.' You may find the cost difference is minimal.
Also once you look at a sheet of self-printed labels, you will realize that if your printer could talk it would not be using kind words. (It's grueling work for a printer!)
Using "pre-printed" labels does require that, in the event of a lost or damaged bar code label (they are not eternal,) your software should permit you to easily change the bar code number to the replacement number.
The other "pre-printed" issue is that ordering your first set of labels can be daunting. The vendors sometimes require that you answer all kinds of technical questions. Check your software documentation for the technical details.
Thank you to all that have replied. Just to give you a bit more background, I am using Library Express for our automation software, and while I REALLY like it, the one glitch that I have is with printing labels. Unfortunately support cannot give me a reason as to why it's not working. This is why I have been forced to look elsewhere for barcode labels.
I don't even have a barcode scanner yet...this is a new project that I have taken on and I am in the beginning stages of cataloging our entire library. It's done voluntarily, and is a VERY slow process! With that in mind, the time it takes to generate and print the labels, on top of cataloging the book has me wanting to just buy the labels. Technically we don't need the labels right now, but I wanted to eliminate a step of adding the barcodes at a later date if I was going to have the book in my hand anyway for cataloging purposes.
Our library uses Demco Bar Code labels. They seem expensive, but there are a lot of them and they last a long time. I have found it difficult to find volunteers who can or even want to do computer work, so this makes it faster and easier for me. I use ResourceMate. I find the barcodes really speed things up in all operations. I'd get them first before beginning the process. Barcodes are especially useful if you have a library where everything is checked out in the same place.
Our computers have the barcode feature in Concourse so we print our own. I know you can buy preprinted from them but we like the option of being able to reprint an individual label if necessary. We buy the blank labels from an office supply store - or you can get them from Brodart. You have a choice of label sizes to choose from in Concourse.
The word template is exactly what I was looking for. Do you mind my asking if you are using the title of the book for the barcode or if you are using numbers. If numbers, would you mind letting me see a sample?
The Word template is not connected with Concourse at all. It requires that you supply a line of text (Probably a name of your library) and it appears over each bar code. It requires the Microsoft Word program to be able to use it. You can see a sample by going to http://http://my.att.net/p/s/community.dll?ep=16&groupid=393566&ck and clicking on Robertsville.doc. Again, this requires the Word Program or a Word viewer to display this.
Are you using Concourse? I was thinking of making a modification that would get the bar codes from a file produced by a Concourse report. This would be useful for someone that is adding barcoding to an exisiting library system.
Actually, I am not using bar codes on any of the church libraries that I am working with.
I have a Microsoft Word template that outputs to small return address labels (Avery 5167 or equivalent) with a large bar code number at the leff (That is the number, not a bar code.) The right part of the label is used to contain the name of the library, up to three lines. The input is the starting number, the number of pages to produce, and the number of labels to write for each number. I have been using these on the title page instead of writing/stamping this information.
http://my.att.net/p/s/community.dll?ep=16&groupid=393566&ck= is the URL to access this material. click on Central.doc to see a sample page (requires Word program or viewer.) The template can be downloaded by clicking on BarCodeLabel.dot. The bar code number is limited by the space on the label to five digits.