Afghanistan has become much more a part of the global publishing marketplace
5 AUGUST 2013 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
The Kabul Public Library, Afghanistan’s largest and oldest, has more than 200,000 books, but none evoke more pride than its newest acquisitions. They are the first locally published books in the library to bear ISBNs, the unique 13-digit International Standard Book Number that identifies each title’s country of origin, publisher and edition.
ISBNs are used by publishers, libraries, universities and booksellers worldwide as an efficient way to keep track of books, place orders and inventory stock. Afghanistan has become much more a part of the global publishing marketplace with the adoption of the ISBN.
With USAID support, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Information and Culture issued the country-specific ISBN prefix to publishers after a campaign that raised awareness about the use and importance of such codes. The Ministry distributed information on how to assign an ISBN and created an information section on its website to answer further questions.
Mohammad Hussain Mohammadi, owner and editor-in-chief of Taak Publications, says the ISBN confers greater legitimacy on Afghan publishers. “I have increased the number of clients because I publish books with ISBNs while others don’t. ISBNs enable me to market and attract clients,” he says.
Javid Kotwal, whose recent book on the Afghan parliament has an ISBN number, says that it helps with “international recognition and credibility. If someone scans the barcode of my book anywhere in the world they will identify the title, publisher, and author.”
Last updated: January 20, 2015