Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter coverBlack Lives Matter
Edwards and Harris

Submitter: Here is a brand new book on display! It is shiny and new and deals with current events. The barcode sticker obscures the first part of the title, though, so its content is not exactly clear at first glance. I appreciate the uniformity of always having the barcode in the upper left corner, but this unfortunate covering of title (or sometimes author) is a frequent problem.

If you have read at all about #alllivesmatter vs. #blacklivesmatter, this sticker placement becomes even more unfortunate. Here is an article from USA Today in case you have never heard of this hashtag controversy.

Holly: Forget uniformity. The barcode works just fine in empty space on the cover. There’s no reason to put it right over the title. This is a pet peeve of mine. This is especially unfortunate because you don’t know if someone was being passive aggressive with their sticker placement. Patrons pick up on the strangest things sometimes, even when it is completely unintentional.

Mary and I worked in a library with a movable “Fairy Tales” sign in the youth department that had slid about a foot to the left of the actual fairy tale collection, resting directly above religion. The 398s in that library were just a few shelves from the 200s. A patron was absolutely incensed that we would label religion as a fairy tale, and would not accept that the sign had simply shifted a bit over time from its intended location.

Thankfully, as you can see in the first image below, every single book in this series has the same barcode placement. That probably rules out sabotage. Unfortunately, the whole collection is now ruined.

Special Reports series

Black Lives Matter back cover


  1. This is exactly why I always barcode our books myself, even if we order them shelf-ready.

  2. Smh. If they want uniform barcode placement, why not place it on the inside of the cover or where the card pocket would have gone? I can’t take that long to flip it open and scan if you know where it will be.

    1. The back cover would be a good choice if the barcode has to go on the outside.

  3. yeah if human interest bumps up against machine logic, you should probably side with human interest

  4. Frankly, I think the bar-code obscured title is more appropriate. How is that not obvious to anyone????

  5. There’s a romance novel called The Butterfly Tattoo – some of you might actually be interested in it as it’s different as the hero is a bisexual man who’s husband had died and now he’s astounded to find himself attracted to a woman – anyway, in our system the barcode goes on the right hand corner of the book, which means it covers up the “erfly” part and every copy reads “The Butt Tattoo.”

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