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Frequently Asked Questions

What does BiblioFile do?

BiblioFile is powerful, Unicode-based cataloging software for libraries that connects catalogers to resources. The source data comes from valid MARC sources, including book and AV suppliers, ITS.MARC, LC, OCLC, a consortium catalog, or your library's own catalog. The resources include built-in utilities, the Cataloger's Reference Shelf, online content, and tools the library has developed for itself over the years. See the feature list.

What does BiblioFile look like?

Register here for BiblioFile software Version

Our library's automation system can't handle Unicode records. Can I still use BiblioFile?

Yes! Just make sure to save your records in MARC-8 format. The encoding format of a record is signaled by its Leader byte 9, which contains a space for MARC-8 records and an 'a' for Unicode records. This flag tells the system how to interpret the bits and bytes that make up the record. BiblioFile allows users to save MARC records in either traditional MARC-8 ("ASCII") format, in which case BiblioFile will insert a space in this byte, or Unicode (BiblioFile will insert an 'a'). A third option is also available: leave the encoding choice open, allowing the encoding format to be set by the cataloger using the Leader byte 9 flag. Be cautious using this last option, however. Not all systems can handle mixed files, and many systems cannot handle Unicode at all. If in doubt, save all records as MARC-8.

What am I giving up if I don't save records as Unicode?

Most likely nothing at this point. All library systems can accept MARC-8 records. Most MARC-8 characters, including the most commonly used in all of the world's major languages are "round trippable" (convertible from Unicode to MARC-8 and back). Those that are not are stored in standard NCR format, assuring they will be convertible in the future in standards-compliant systems. TLC has also noticed that published records from LC and other national libraries and online utilities sometimes contain non-MARC21 Unicode characters despite the fact that they are flagged as MARC-8 records. To address this apparent violation, BiblioFile converts these permitting records containing such Unicode characters to be saved, but with appropriate warnings to the cataloger. The warning will also present the opportunity to correct the record by substituting acceptable characters.

I am an ITS user and now receive CD-ROM database updates. How much hard drive space will I need for DVDs?

That depends on which databases you subscribe to. Here is a list of all published databases and the disk space requirement for each (in gigabytes):

Database Size (GB)
LC MARC English Current 14.3
LC MARC Backfile 34.2
LC MARC Foreign 29.8
A/V Access 16.6
British Backfile 32.7
British Current 20.5
Canadian MARC 11.1
Contributed Research and Academic 11.2
Contributed School and Public 8.0
Docufile 13.3
French MARC 7.8
MARC en Español 4.6
MedMARC 7.2
NICEM A/V Cataloging 5.2
SchoolMARC LC 28.3
SchoolMARC SEARS 5.1
TheoMARC 4.7
Total 237.2


How do I convert my Active file to the new BiblioFile database structure?

BiblioFile uses a different database engine than ITS.forWindows. BibliloFile does not include an automatic conversion utility. However, the conversion can be easily performed by exporting your existing Active File (Utilities>Extract Record Set from ITS), and importing the resulting file into BiblioFile. TLC will also perform this conversion for you to ensure your data is intact and clean from a Unicode perspective. If you are interested in having TLC perform this service for your library, please review our offer.


TLC converted my Active file and I received back a DVD. What do I do with it?

See the installation instructions.


Will I be able to edit my existing records while TLC is converting my database?

Yes. However, to make sure your edits are safely merged with the new database, please follow the recommended procedure in the offer.


I must have card printing capability. Will I be able to print cards in BiblioFile?

Support for shelf list card printing was added in Version 1.3. Support for other card types may be added in a future release.

If ITS.MARC web search download is not initially supported, how will I be able to get MARC records into my database?

We are using Z39.50 as the primary delivery mechanism, so automatic download capability continues to be available. The most popular web features (jacket images, Boolean search options) are now supported via Z39.50. BiblioFile is pre-configured to search all ITS.MARC databases with the correct attribute settings. All you have to do is insert your user name and password. If you have existing Z39.50 profiles, you can import them. However, the imported profiles won't be able to take advantage of the new search options.

You can still download records from the web version of ITS.MARC. If you upgrade your hardware, re-establish the Windows association between DAT files and CATRECIN.EXE (found in your your ITS for Windows program folder, e.g., C:\IW). TLC Support can help with this.

All of a sudden, I can't get into BiblioFile. What's wrong?

The BiblioFile user password expired. See the instructions to correct this problem.


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