Library Catalogue – Definition of Library Catalogue

What is library catalogue?

The term ‘Library Catalogue’ has been formed from ‘Greek’ phrase “Katalogos”, ‘kata’ means “according to” and ‘Logos’ means “order”or ‘reason’. Logos also denotes to logical concept which is based on the reasoning.
A library catalogue is a list of books and other graphic material in a library arranged according to a recognized order and containing specific items of bibliographical information for the purpose of identification and location of the material catalogued.
Definitions of library catalogue:
Dr. S.R. ranganathan has define the library catalogue involving three aspects.
  1. The list, of;
  2. Documents, -in a;
  3. Library (single library or group of libraries).


Dr. S.R. Ranganathan, “A list of document in a library or in a collection forming a portion of it”.

ALA Glossary of Library Terms, “Catalogue is a list of books, maps etc. arranged according to some defined plane”.

James Duff  Brown, “Catalogue is an explanatory logical arranged inventory and key to the books and there content and is to the books in a particular library”.

C.A Cutter, “A library catalogue is a list of books which is arranged on some definite plan”.

 Margaret Maan, “A catalogue is a record of the material in library”.

L. Akers, “A catalogue is a record of the material in a library”.

L. Jalley, “A catalogue is a communication”.


Function of Library Catalogue are as:

  • To record each work in a library by author, translator, editor, compiler, series or by corporate body as author under which entries are made and a reader likely to search for a book.
  • To arrange author entries in such a way then a reader fiend all the work of an author together. (In a dictionary catalogue).
  • To arrange subject entries so that light topic will foll together and related topic will be correlated.
  • To record title of works when necessary i.e. if it is a fiction or a popular work or if it is written by more than three author or if it a completed or edited work.
  • To employ cross reference i.e. ‘see’ and ‘see also’ by which a reader may be guide  from one entry or topic to author.
  • To provide description of each book by mentioning author, title, edition, imprint, collection, bibliography and note when necessary.
  • To list the call number (Class no+Author mark) by which books may be located or obtained.
  • To work of as a book selection tool for other comparatively new or small library.
  • To help the research workers and readers know what materials are available on a given subject in the library.


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