> We are a church with 1500 books we would like to put on our website, and
> thought we would use this workflow:
> 1. Create barcode from isbn number and print label.
> 2. Acquire Dewey number from Library of Congress via z39.50, and
> print that to a label.
> 3. Affix labels to the books.
> 4. Place marc records into a Postgresql database and allow users to
> search via a browser, using Ruby on Rails for the front and back ends.
> At the moment I'm trying to figure out step 2. I'm the church
> volunteer webmaster and not a coder, working with two other volunteers who
> happen to be career professional librarians but not programmers. If the
> Dewey numbers generated by the LC are insufficient, we'll tweak them over
> time. I just need to know how to isolate that one field to print it to our
> thermal label printer.
To answer your question directly, there are a number of ways to get the
numbers. You could transform the record to text using any MARC tool or
retrieve these values via web service from LC or OCLC. My guess is that the
classification numbers you get will work well enough for your purposes
However, I think you may be using a chain saw to cut butter. My sense is
that services designed for personal libraries that others have already
suggested would probably be more practical and a lot easier to maintain.
Keep in mind that whatever you create must be maintained by the volunteers
that follow you.
Frankly, if I were in your shoes, I'd be inclined to go with LibraryThing
and use old skool paper cards to handle circulation. Nowadays, people tend
to use technology for everything, even when analog/manual methods are more
For classification, it really doesn't matter how you shelve 1500 books.
More records will contain LC than Dewey numbers so even if the system is
overkill, it might be easier to use. Just do what ever seems like it works
and if you can't decide, going by author or title really isn't that bad.
Frankly you'd be able to find things even if they were shuffled randomly.