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Re: [BKARTS] ownership marking of books

j. godsey wrote: 

>>They [microchips] didn't seem to damage my dog when inserted.

Don't know what vets charge for insertion, but few of us have more than
handful of pets while libraries have tens (or hundreds) of thousands of
books and even larger number of items like maps.  Even with a low unit
cost per chip and a very low cost per "insertion", millions of active
microchips are likely to add up to one very big bill.

Second, reading technologies change, unpredictably but usually quickly.
It may prove difficult to acquire and maintain appropriate equipment
over time -- think decades. Only a few animals see more than, say, two.

There is also a "microdot" technology that some have considered.
Uniquely printed "dots" that aren't "read" but can be viewed under high
magnification. Used, I believe, with art works and some other high value
items, but expensive.      

Finally, the rare book & manuscript community has debated for many years
the pros and cons of visible versus invisible ownership marks. I suppose
there may be a kind of weak consensus at this point that both are
supported by good reasons, but neither alone does everything a curator
would want. Few, if any, institutions have (to my knowledge) attempted
to implement this insight (unless you count bookplates combined with
invisible inks).  
Cordially ---- Sid Huttner
The University of Iowa Libraries 

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