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OCLC Control Numbers and Koha

Many Koha users also use OCLC for cataloging. Recently OCLC has been sending out warnings to all of their subscribers of a major change in their numbering. That message reads:

The OCLC Control Number is anticipated to reach one billion sometime after July 1, 2013. At that point, OCLC will increase the length of the OCLC number to accommodate a variable length number string. If you use and/or store OCLC MARC bibliographic records and the OCLC Control Number, you will notice a change when the one billion number is reached. You will need to check the systems at your institution that use OCLC MARC bibliographic records and the OCLC number. You may need to implement changes to ensure those systems will be able to successfully handle the longer OCLC number. The actual date that number will be reached is unknown; it is anticipated now to be some months after July 2013. For more specific information on the current and future format of the number, please see: http://www.oclc.org/batchload/controlnumber/number-expansion.en.html.

Well, I’m here to officially tell you that this has no impact whatsoever on Koha. Koha does not have a limit on the fields that store the OCLC number in particular and so there will be no need to make changes to your Koha system to accommodate this change.

Read more by Nicole C.

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