Update July 2019 by Sam Fraleigh and Doug Smith
Printing Call Number Labels
Label printing from Aleph is done in two distinct steps. The first step is scanning the barcodes of the items for which you want to print labels. This first phase is done within ALEPH’s software environment using the Print Item Labels functionality in Aleph. As you scan in the barcodes, you will only see a list of the scanned barcodes. No other information will display. If, during this stage in the process, the Print Item Labels window is closed accidentally, all work will be lost and the barcodes will need to be rescanned.
The second step in the process begins after you press print. At this point the UF created program called Spine Label Printer opens and ALEPH pretty much leaves off. We do have some limited control over the Spine Label Printer program.
Instructions for printing call number labels:
Getting around in the Spine Label Printer window: On the right is a list of barcodes each followed by its corresponding title. Click on a line in the list. On the left, the call number of the item with that barcode will display exactly as it will print on the label. At this point, there are a couple of options available to you if there is a problem with the call number display.
Delete will remove a line from the list, effectively deleting the call number. The label corresponding to the deleted line will not print when deleted.
Edit is the other choice. It allows you to open a separate window and modify the call number. When the edit window is closed, the call number remains in its edited form. Although this is a great feature, please also address the reason for the incorrect formatting at its source and correct it when possible.
Note: Using the Edit function in the label program does not make changes to an ALEPH record. If the problem arises from an error on the item or holdings, you must go to the problem record and make the changes needed, then view the call number again.
This section explains how the information and its formatting in the Description field affects the formatting of the call number label.
The most important thing to remember is: the Description field in the item record controls any additions that will be displayed on the call number label.
2) If any line has more than 10 characters, an error message is generated. These labels will have to be done manually, which is described later.
3) There is a limit of 8 lines per label. If more than 8 lines are needed to properly format the label, an error message will appear.
4) The location specific lettering or symbols placed at the top of some call number labels for certain owning locations are set for us by FCLA. They can easily be changed by FCLA but they are not a function of any parameters set in the spine label program itself. Examples of what I am referring to are: REF, +, ** for Reference, LAC and Judaica respectively.
Some known call number formatting problems:
Solution: The description field should only be used to display information that needs to be on the call number label. If the intent is simply to convey information to patrons, consider a $$z public note in the holdings or use the OPAC note in the item record. The Circ. and Internal Note fields in the item record can be used to convey information to staff.
Solution: The cause of this is most likely the wrong first indicator in the 852 of the holdings record for LC call numbers. The 852 should be “852 0 blank _ a|”. If the first indicator in the 852 of the holdings is not 0, the call number will not index correctly in the catalog and it will not format or print correctly. The first indicator 0 is required only for LC call numbers (other call numbers require different first indicators which can be found by using HELP ON FIELD in the EDIT menu (F2)). Please change the indicator to the correct one when you encounter this problem. The item record will update itself automatically, and the call number will then index and format correctly. Also, the incorrect indicator can sometimes cause the program to display the "too many characters" error message. It's worth double checking the indicator.
Solution: You will have to create a label manually. Simply right click the mouse while the cursor is over the label display box and chose Edit. Type in the desired label. You may have to shorten the call number or create an artificial break at some point. Also, check the description field. Perhaps something can be removed that is not required on the call number label.
Solution: Sometimes when the program installs it sets less than 8 lines as the default display. To correct this, right click your mouse in the grey area outside the text boxes. You will see two options: Get Stats and Define Fields. Choose Define Fields. There are many field types. We use only three: tab-label-## (for location info, e.g. Ref), call-no-piece-## (used for the base call number drawn from the holdings), item-desc-piece-## (used for what is in the description field of the item record. Here is an example from my own spine label program:
An awkward feature of this program is that you cannot simply insert a field into the middle of the list on the right. If I want to add a ninth call-no-piece I would have to remove all of the item-desc-piece lines, add the call-no-piece line I wanted and then re-add the item-desc-piece lines.
Viewing a formatted call number in ALEPH:
Reminder: Using the Edit function in the label program does not make any changes to ALEPH records. You must go to the problem record and make the changes needed, then view the call number again.