Re: [Videolib] ISBN #s

Susan Weber (
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 09:00:37 -0800

Folks, The "b" in ISBN stands for BOOK.
There has been a quiet movement to create an international standard for
Audio-Visual, called ISAN, but it is voluntary.
Few producers know about it and even fewer use it.
The explanation for international standard numbers is at this site:
Click down a few screens and you'll see the
ISAN link,

For those in the U.S., alas it is Bowker who assigns the ISBN,


Bryan Baldus wrote:

>On Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:55 AM, Carol Dunn wrote:
>>They are using two numbers to combine the database--the OCLC number (Marc
>number 001) and/or the ISBN number (Marc 20). So, if you drop the ISBN
>because of cost, consider at least an 001.<
>Since the OCLC number is generated by OCLC when the item is cataloged, it
>seems unlikely that a publisher would be able to obtain one directly. Also,
>the 001 is for any control number, not just OCLC (since only OCLC members
>can obtain OCLC numbers). For example, our records will usually have an
>LCCN-based 001 or our own control number, with prefix 'qbi'.
>Unique ISBNs (1 per edition, never reused) are very useful for
>searching--they provide the easiest way to search for an item in hand and
>find a record in the catalog (library, vendor, Amazon, etc.). Even though
>'ISBN' implies 'book', their use on DVDs and VHS makes it much easier to
>find these materials in a database/OPAC. Unfortunately some publishers have
>seen fit to reuse ISBNs, not just for new editions, but for completely
>different titles. As a result, using the ISBN as the sole matching point can
>be problematic. In general, it would be better to combine at least ISBN,
>title, date of publication (plus OCLC number and LCCN if available) when
>machine matching.
>Please correct me if I am wrong.
>Thank you,
>Bryan Baldus
>Quality Books Inc.
>The Best of America's Independent Presses
>Videolib mailing list


Susan Weber, Media Librarian

Langara College, Advanced Education Media

Acquisitions Centre_

100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 2Z6

Tel. 604-323-5533 email:

Fast Forward Media Showcase, May 2-3, 2006

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