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RDS@UF: Barcode, Stamp & Call Number Placement Guide

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Updated July 2022 by Sam Fraleigh

Barcode, Stamp & Call Number Placement Guide

Permanent Barcode

Place the permanent (non-piggyback) barcode on the back cover of the book in the upper right-hand corner, approximately one inch from the spine of the book and half an inch from the top of the book.

Note: Using a pencil, write the call number on the inside back cover of the item. If the item is being added to one of the branch libraries or Area Studies collections, stamp the inside back cover either above or next to the handwritten call number with the relevant stamp. No stamp should be applied if the item is cataloged for the Library West General Collection.

If the inside back cover is too dark or patterned for the written call number to appear legibly, write the call number (and add stamp, as needed) on a blank white adhesive label and apply it to the dark or patterned surface.


  • If essential item-specific text or illustrations occupy the upper right-hand corner of the back cover, look for the next closest location on the back cover to place the barcode.  If absolutely necessary, place the barcode vertically instead of horizontally.
  • If an item is to be sent for binding, follow the piggyback barcode procedure below.
  • See below for special handling of Special Collections and Area Studies material.

Piggyback Barcode

  • The placement of the piggyback barcode is on the verso of the title page. Note: Write the call number on the verso of the title page, near to the barcode, if possible, and apply a collection stamp, if applicable.
  • Do not place where it might interfere with text or graphics.
  • If there is not a clear spot on the verso of the title pages, place the piggyback barcode on one of the front pages wherever you can find space.  
  • Do not place the barcode near the gutter margin (i.e. the binding edge of the material); this can cause the barcode to be cut when the item is bound.
  • The piggyback barcode will be moved to the appropriate location by the binding staff upon receipt of the books from the binders.
  • Please see Libguide tabs entitled “What to Put on the Conservation Shelf…” for lists of items requiring piggyback barcodes for binding purposes.
  • If in doubt about placement of the piggyback barcode, contact the Preservation Department.

Non-Book Formats

  • CDs (non-AFA): Place permanent barcode on back of jewel case, upper right-hand corner.
  • AFA audio discs: Place piggyback barcode on front of jewel case, approximately 2 inches above the lower left-hand corner.
  • DVDs: Place the permanent barcode on back of DVD case, upper right-hand corner.

Note: As applicable, apply a branch library/collection stamp and hand-write the item’s call number or accession number on a blank white adhesive label, to be applied to the space beneath the barcode. If possible, try to avoid covering any essential text or images.

Special and Area Studies Collections

  • Rare Books and Baldwin: Write call number on call number bookstrip (acid-free for Rare Books). Write call number on physical bookplate, if present. Add barcode to back of call number bookstrip. Create item record if needed. For Rare Books where item is Oversize (31-40 cm.) or Oversize Folio (>40 cm.) only: Use call number bookstrip that is so marked with the size. Add Oversize or Oversize Folio as appropriate to the end of the call number on the bookstrip and in the ALMA holdings record.
  • Florida History:
    • Rare, fragile and foreign-language materials that need original cataloging, place barcode on the bottom of the bookplate inside each item.
    • For general items received at Copy Cataloging Unit, place the barcode on the back right-hand corner of the book jacket, or directly on the back cover if no book jacket is present.
    • Unbound material, follow piggyback barcode procedure above.
  • Judaica:
    • For Hebrew and Yiddish language books, place the permanent barcode on the Hebrew back cover, not the English back cover. The barcode should be placed in the upper left-hand corner of the Hebrew back cover, at least one inch from the spine of the book and half an inch from the top of the book.
  • Chinese
    • Place the barcode on the outside back cover. Pay attention to which is the true back cover on a book-by-book basis. If the book is written up to down, place in the upper left-hand corner, following the same procedure of Judaica books. If the book is written left to right, place in the upper right-hand corner, following the same procedure as English books. Most of the cases, Chinese books require the same procedure as English books.
  • Japanese
    • Same considerations as Chinese books.  Most Japanese books need the same procedure as Judaica books.
  • Korean
    • Always follow the rules for English books.

Note: Hand-write the item’s call number and, if needed, apply the collection stamp to the appropriate inside back cover, whether the back cover is designated like a standard English book or like a Judaica book.

Vendor-Supplied Items

It is possible that vendor-supplied items may arrive with permanent barcodes even when guidelines specify piggyback barcodes are to be used.  In this situation, leave the permanent barcode in place and forward the item to Binding or Judaica, as appropriate.

When Barcode Does Not Stick to the Cover

Take the following steps when you have one of those infrequent items where the barcode does not stick to the cover at all or will, in your opinion, not stick for long: 

  • Please go into the Item record and set the Process Type field to “UF Send to Conservation"
  • Send the item, along with the barcode, even if it is no longer sticking, directly to Conservation. PLEASE legibly identify who is sending the item and where it is coming from.
  • Conservation staff will examine the piece and determine the best method of affixing the barcode to the piece or to a housing for the piece.  If the barcode forwarded with the piece cannot be salvaged, staff will assign it a new one.
  • After the barcode is in place on the piece or a housing, the item will be returned or forwarded on.
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