In a move that could cause problems for schools with older versions of library automation or book-cataloging software, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the unique identifier used to track published materials worldwide, is being changed from a 10-digit format to a 13-digit code. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ordered the change to conform the code to a unified worldwide numbering system and to provide more ISBNs to parts of the publishing industry and areas of the world that do not have enough of the numbers.

Library and publishing groups say the move, which


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