Cataloguing Non-physical Resources

Ordinary bibliographic records are only visible in the OPAC when holdings records are attached, but it is also possible to catalogue non-physical resources such as websites, online journals, or downloadable audiobooks, etc. by adding a tag 856 with subfield $9. The steps below describe how to catalogue a non-physical resource so it appears in OPAC searches.


These instructions are for adding individual records. To upload a batch of records (e.g. from an e-book subscription), please contact Co-op Support. For libraries that subscribe to OverDrive, Co-op Support creates and updates bibliographic records automatically.

  1. Locate, import, or create a bibliographic record as described in the preceding chapters.
  2. Click the title link to go to record details. Click MARC Edit.
  3. Add an 856 tag to the MARC record. Place the cursor in the desired location and press CTRL+Enter to add an empty row. Enter the tag number (856). You must set the first indicator to 4, and the second indicator to 0 or 1. The indicators cannot be left blank. For information about indicators see
  4. Add applicable subfields from the table below.

    Subfield code Description Example OPAC Display


    Required; the URL or link to the resource

    Appears as a link in the OPAC display; the link text is the URI unless subfield $y is specified


    Optional; a display label for the link

    Click for access

    Appears as the text of the link instead of the URL defined in $u


    Optional; a public note providing more information about the resource

    library card required

    Appears in parentheses to the right of the link


    Required; your library code


    Not displayed in the OPAC but required for the record to be included in searches scoped to your library

  5. After the tag 856 is added, the record will be displayed as search result on OPAC for the library in $9. The image below shows a sample 856 tag and the corresponding OPAC display. This record would appear in OPAC searches of the Bowen Island Public Library catalogue (BBI).



A separate 856 tag should be added for each library that catalogues the resource. Multi-branch libraries may add a single 856 using the code for the library system (e.g. SCRL, BCREK) if all branches are allowed to access the resource.

Evergreen creates an invisible call number for each tag 856 with subfield 9 with the code in subfield 9 as the owning library. This call number, like a copy record, is used for scoping the seach result to a selected library.

To remove a non-physical record from your library’s collection, you need to delete your library’s tag 856. If your library’s tag 856 is the only one, you may delete the MARC record. See Deleting MARC records for more information.

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