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Library Label Terminology

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Snapshot Digital Photocolor Imaging:

State-of-the-art digital printing technology used to produce the highest resolution bar codes and graphics available.

Smart Label:

A label printed with specific information formatted from your input usually containing the author, title and call number plus the bar code and human readable number. These labels are custom designed to your exact specifications. Data for your smart labels can be sent directly to our FTP server over the Internet.

Dumb or Generic Label:

A sequentially numbered label assigned to each item and patron. These usually contain the library name, bar code and human readable number.


The symbology is the language of the bar code symbol. The most common types used by libraries are Codabar and Code 39. Codabar characters are numeric only. Code 39 can be numeric or alpha-numeric.

Check Digit:

A check digit is the last number in the bar code whose value is based mathematically on other characters included in the bar code and is used to check the accuracy of the read. If you are not sure if you use a check digit, call WLP's customer service and we will help you.

2up Labels:

2up labels are supplied in pairs with both labels being identical. It may be helpful to think of 2up labels as identical twins. When ordering 2up labels, follow this example: 10,000 labels = 5,000 - 2ups. This means that 5,000 numbers will be used and two identical labels will be produced per number for a total of 10,000 labels. Pricing is based on the total quantity of labels.

Two Part Double Labels:

A two-part double label is a two label set consisting of a larger top label containing the library name, bar code and human readable number and a smaller bottom label containing a matching human readable number only. The label set is considered one unit and priced as such.

Special Layout Two Part Double:

A special layout two-part double label allows the bar code to be present on both parts of the label. The label set is considered one unit and priced as such.

CPI (Characters Per Inch):

This refers to the density of the bars in the bar code. Library labels are usually 10 CPI with Codabar and 9.4 CPI with Code 39.

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