The Standard Book Numbering Scheme will come into operation this summer (1967). The Agency is jointly supported by J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd, the Council of the British National Bibliography Ltd, and the Publishers' Association. The scheme involves the adoption by the UK book trade of a standard system of numbering book titles, suitable for computer manipulation of data processing equipment into many publishing operations. Using this type of equipment, a standard number can now easily be incorporated. By a standard number for a book title is meant a unique number which is used by all concerned with order processing operations involving that title. The number is then an identifying code for that title throughout its existence. BNB will adopt the number as their accession number, which can then be used for such purposes as catalogue card ordering and computer‐based interlibrary lending procedures. Blocks of numbers have already been allocated to about 1,600 active publishers. Full details of the mechanics of book numbering are given. The target date for the allocation and publication of standard book numbers for all new British books is October 1967. The Publishers Association have also issued a report by Professor F. G. Foster, who carried out the inquiry into the feasibility of such a scheme. It is hoped that there may be an international extension of the scheme, which would particularly benefit publishers operating in more than one country.
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