Although not required, barcode scanners are HIGHLY suggested for all computers running the Evergreen staff client.
Evergreen supports a "Keyboard Wedge"-type barcode scanner. This usually plugs in-line between the keyboard and the computer (for a PS2 version), or directly into a USB port. To the computer, it appears to be nothing more than a keyboard. When you scan an item, it appears to the computer that the numbers are being typed (albeit rapidly).
The barcode scanner should support the barcode symbology in use at your library. In most cases, this is usually Codabar or Code39. Depending on your particular setup, it may be advantageous to support EAN and/or UPC barcodes (HINT: scanning the EAN barcode found on the back of most books will usually result in the ISBN-13 number being scanned in). However, if your system places item barcodes near these UPC or EAN barcodes, it may be desirable to disable these symbologies to prevent accidental scanning of the wrong barcode.
Many barcode scanners have options to enable or disable various functions, such as prefixes and suffixes. For example, if you have the prefix "*" and the suffix "d" enabled, the barcode 612459 would scan in as "*612459d". In most cases, these options should be disabled.
Most barcode scanners have the option to transmit a Carriage Return ("<CR>") after a successful scan. This is equivalent to pressing "[Enter]" on the keyboard. Usually, it is desirable to enable this option (otherwise, after scanning a barcode you would need to press "[Enter]" on the keyboard).
Luckily for you, most keyboard-wedge barcode scanners' come with factory default settings with Codabar, Code39, UPC, and EAN symbologies supported and enabled with no prefix/suffix turn on and set to transmit a <CR> after a successful scan. This means that you can often unpack a new barcode scanner and plug it in, ready to use with the factory defaults.
As mentioned above, most barcode scanners ship with default settings appropriate for Evergreen. However, there are some exceptions, and in other cases you may wish to enable optional features that will enhance the use of the barcode scanner with Evergreen. Instructions for necessary/optional modifications to barcode scanner programming are included below.
Barcode scanner programming is accomplished by scanning barcodes that enable or disable certain options from a "programming code book" that is specific to a certain model scanner. You should have received a codebook with your scanner. If not, several manufacturers provide PDF copies of codebooks on their websites.
The Metrologic MS9520, for the most part, is ready to work with Evergreen out of the box. However, scanning of the ISBN barcodes on the back cover of most books must be explicitly enabled as follows:
Additionally, by default the laser in the MS9520 will only activate when motion is sensed in front of the scanner. To keep the laser on at all times (we find that this makes it easier to "line up" the barcode for scanning), enable "Continuous Blinky Scan" as follows:
On occasion, some previously working barcode scanners will begin acting weird (IE: prefixing barcodes, entering odd characters, not sending a <CR> after a scan, or failing to support some barcode types [yet others still work]). This is usually caused by a configuration error internal to the barcode scanner. To correct this, the barcode scanner will need to be reprogrammed (usually by scanning special barcodes that are included in the manual for the scanner). For other issues, see the Barcode Scanners section in Troubleshooting.