The Importance of Cataloging

Published: 15th February 2007
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Catalogs are commonly used in the libraries. These catalogs are called the library catalogs. Library catalogs are full of information regarding the resources that can be found inside the library. The information contained in the catalogs is known as the bibliographic record. Now if you want to know the true essence of catalog, you have to understand how they are created or presented. This is where the cataloging process comes to light.

What is cataloging? You need to make a distinction between cataloging and catalog printing? Some people conceive these two terms as one. This is not correct. For cataloging is the process by which the librarians observe when making a bibliographic record while catalog printing refers to the actual process of printing a catalog. When you say cataloging it's about recording some pertinent details about a published work particularly books and periodicals. The information include the title of the item, the name of the author, date published, headings, etc.

Keep in mind that there are certain rules that you need to follow when putting some information in the library material. Cataloging is a way of putting in order all the materials found inside a library. It's also a systematic way of finding the right reference that you're looking for.

Generally speaking, there are two types of classification system used in cataloging. These are the Dewey Decimal Classification or DDC and the Library of Congress Classification system of LCC. Between the two, it is the Dewey Decimal Classification system that is popularly used in public libraries. Basically, the Dewey Decimal Classification is a numerical system which arranges all bodies of knowledge into 10 general classifications. On the other hand, the Library of Congress Classification makes use of alphabetical scheme.

Today with advanced computers on hand, cataloging process has become easier. Different software applications designed in making bibliographic records are available. These software applications are very helpful in creating catalogs online. In connection with this MARC has emerged. MARC stands for Machine Readable Cataloging Record.

On the whole, cataloging has become very important in keeping all the materials in the library in order. Indeed, cataloging has provided regularity within the library. People who research in the library can easily find the material that they are looking for. No time is consumed in obtaining the information that you need. There's ease of use whenever you search for files or information.

Understanding the role of cataloging in the library will give you a vivid picture how important a catalog is in the society. It's not only important to know how catalog printing works but it also helps if you have a complete understanding of what cataloging is all about. So the next time you are asked what is cataloging, you can immediately make a distinction between cataloging and catalog printing.

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