Objectives and Purpose of Library Catalogue

Library Catalogue Objectives.

Catalogue services the reader and as such the community. while we prepare a catalogue we consider the community or the institution which is to be served.
  • Nature of the committee or institution-whether it is growing or Shrinking.
  • Size of the library; and
  • Material acquired.
To make best use of the material and maximum service to the reader community, the help of the catalogue is always sought. Reader attend the library with the object of consulting more material in shortest time without spending more money. In other words, library should provide, quick service, free or cheap service, and large number of reading material. These is possible if we maintain a good catalogue in library, as it:
  • Save the time of the reader be directing him the location of the book;
  • Knowledge of the extent of the stock i.e., total collection.
  • Saves money of the reader as he has nothing to purchase of its own, if the required books are available in the library;
 The main purpose of the catalogue can be digout if it solves the following problems. This are:
  1. It should enable a person to find a book of which either, the author, or the title, or the subject is known;
  2. It should assist in the choice of a book as to its edition (bibliographical) and as to its character (literary or topical);
  3. it should show what the library has by a given author, on a given subject, or in a given kind of literature;
The above statment of curter clearly groups the main objectives of a catalogue as under:
  • Author: Author is clearly identified by the entries made under the name of the author popularly known, or written on the title page. Needham has suggested that in case of controversial authors, the name out of the title page should be considered.
  • Title: Title can be identified be preparing entries under title. Title entries are generally made for striking and significant titles, i.e., for novels and other works in the “form” classes like plays and major power, and works likes periodicals which has no recognized author.
  • By a Author: Reader’s approach is not only the author, title or the subject of a book, but he also needs all works of one author at one place. Catalogue fulfill this requirement- by showing reference entries based on various approaches of a reader. These necessary references serve the purpose and supplement the author.
  • Subject: Subject can be identified by preparing subject entries made under a classification number in classified catalogue and under the subject headings or descriptive term, in dictionary catalogue.
  • In a Given Kind of Literature: There are various forms of literature; dictionary, encyclopaedia, year books etc. A list is prepared for the collection of one form, such lists fulfill the objective of providing information of the whole collection of a particular term of literature. The term of presentation may also be a sub-heading.


Purpose of a Library Catalogue?

Some of the basic purposes of library catalogue are:

  1. To provide all the information necessary to describe all item accurately both physically and intellectually in order to distinguish it from every other items.
  2. To provide the location a particular library materials (books, periodicals, etc.) in the collection.
  3. to record books and other reading materials in the library.
  4. To interpret reading materials to the reader by mentioning essential elements of books, i.e. Author, title, imprints, collation, series, bibliography, subject etc.
  5. To make the reading material available quickly.
  6. To put order into collection, so that the volumes may be located and used for reference and for consultation.


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      1. Good day sir… I enjoyed this work, it’s quite interesting. Please can you discuss why it is not necessary to catalogue a book or library materials once they have been shelved?

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