On 20/21 May 2013 the International ISMN Agency attended a regional meeting of ISBN and ISMN agencies from the Balkan region and around. The event was excellently organized by Emilija Brasic from the Serbian ISBN agency and her colleagues from the National Library of Serbia in Belgrade. Participants came from Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Srpska.
In a special workshop lively discussions brought an overview of music publishing in these countries. The situation differs a lot, e.g. in some countries there are only about 10 music publishers, in others 100. Also, there is no more than one music store in Serbia anymore whereas there are several special music shops in Slovenia.
ISMN is used by nearly all publishers in the Balkan region, due to a good information policy of the agencies who offered seminars to music publishers and explain the ISMN system on their libraries' websites.
It was evident that under the prevalent circumstances of economic decline music departments in libraries become the more important to give users access to sheet music.
For their daily ISMN administration the agencies use special software (Cobiss or Aleph) which also produces barcodes for the publications.