What is Meaning of Annotation for Library science

A note appended to the entry for a book in a catalogue, reading list, bibliography, etc., extending the formal description of the book, detailing its subject, scope, purpose and special features. Originally the term, as used by cataloguers, embraced all notes of any kind following the collation. Modern practice separates bibliographical notes as the fifth pan of a main entry, the annotation proper forming the sixth and final section.

An annotation may be purely descriptive or critical. The former, also called characterization or analysis, comprises a factual description of the content of the book, adding information not revealed by the formal part of the entry. It concerns itself with detailing the following kinds of information:Annotation

  • The qualifications of the author or special experience affecting the books authority, the subject theme, theory, etc. and the particular aspect dealt with.
  • The method of treatment, level of treatment, and the degree of prior knowledge of the subject required by the reader.
  • The standpoint of the author, the purpose of the book, and the class of reader for whom it is intended.
  • The relation of the book to others by the same author or others on the same subject.

Critical annotation, called the evaluation or appraisal, states whether in the view of the annotator, the author has successfully accomplished his aim in writing the book, and involves a comparison of the thought content of the book with existing literature on the same subject in arriving at an estimate of the book’s worth.

Whilst descriptive annotation is most often used in catalogues within the library, evaluation is nowadays chiefly used in book lists and similar material for use away from the library. S.R. Ranganathan categorised annotation of two types—Verbal Annotation and Pictorial Annotation. Broadly, annotations are of two types—Descriptive Annotation and Critical Annotation.


Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button