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Barcode Scanners

Policy: Scanning Barcodes from Mobile Devices

PINES libraries allow patrons to present scannable electronic facsimiles of barcodes stored within specialized apps (such as Key Ring or CardStar, both of which are available for iPhone and Android) on hand-held devices in place of their physical library card. (Note: a photograph of a barcode is not sufficient.)

When a patron presents a barcode on a hand-held device, library staff will scan the barcode as if it were a physical card. Some libraries are using older barcode scanners that cannot read the barcode off of the device screen - in these cases, library staff will type in the barcode.

After retrieving the patron account, staff should ask the patron to verify their identity by confirming a piece of information on their account (such as name, phone number, email address, or date of birth).

Compatible Barcode Scanners

PINES libraries have reported that the following barcode scanners will scan patron barcode numbers off of smartphones and other handheld devices with few issues:

  • Honeywell/Metrologic 1300G-2 USB
    Library note: So far they have been great scanners and work for every device.
    Library note:
    We are loving the Honeywell 1300G-2USB models. They have a trigger, but you can program them to auto-scan. You can also change the volume of the beep they make – high, medium, low or OFF! They scan barcodes from smartphones very well.
    Library note: The stands are not included, we had to order those separately.
  • Honeywell/Metrologic Voyager 1400G-2D
    Library note: Staff have reported that they like these better than our normal scanners even for regular barcodes.
  • Honeywell 1400GPDF USB
    Library note: It requires a certain distance (4-5 inches) to scan correctly) and runs slightly slower than some other scanners.
  • Honeywell/Metrologic VoyagerCG MS9540
  • QuickScan Imager Black, KBW, USB, WAND, RS232 Scanner with USB cable (90A052044)
  • Unitech MS250
    Library note: Trigger-type scanner that requires the scanner to be touching the smartphone prior to the trigger being pressed. They only cost around $40.
  • Unitech MS910
    Library note: This is a wireless, bluetooth scanner, so may not be appropriate for all environments.

PINES libraries have reported that the following barcode scanners will not reliably scan patron barcodes from handheld devices.

  • Honeywell/Metrologic MS9520
  • Honeywell/Metrologic Fusion MS3780

If you have any scanners to add to either of these lists, please email Terran McCanna ( with details.

Metrologic Barcode Scanner Issues

If your scanner is inserting a b in front of the barcode and trailing a d, then you will need to restore your scanner to its default properties.

Click here for Instructions

Using Your Mobile Device as a Barcode Scanner

Depending on the type of mobile device you are using, you may be able to install a virtual keyboard app that will allow you to make use of your device's camera to scan barcodes.

One example is the Barcode & QR Code Keyboard developed by Nikola Antonov (available for Android through the Google Play store). Once it is installed, follow the instructions to authorize it to run on your device. To switch back and forth between different virtual keyboards, you can do so in your device's settings, or you should be able to click in a field to display the keyboard and then pull down your notifications bar at the top to see a “Select keyboard” message that will allow you to switch.

Once the virtual keyboard is installed, you can click in any field on a web site to pull up the keyboard, then click on the barcode icon. This will launch the scanner - once it recognizes the item's barcode, it will enter the number into the field that you originally clicked on.

circ/workstations/scanners.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/28 14:55 by tmccanna