Circulation work is the primary task of most modem service libraries. A collection of documents, thoughtfully and painstakingly built up as a library, is meant to be used and hence should not be allowed to idle on the shelves. In effect, every reader should. find a book in the library useful to him/her and every book should have a user. Libraries, therefore, have introduced a service, by which books can be borrowed by users for reading at their own convenient time at their homes or at any place outside the library, or even within the library in research cubicles or in the general reading room. Such a situation however arises in university libraries or in libraries attached to archives or museums. There are certain categories of publications which, for security or other consideration, are not allowed to be taken out of the library
In other words, books are allowed to circulate among readers. All jobs related to a method of borrowing books and returning them after use, creation and maintenance of relevant records and files, and so on are referred to, as circulation work.
We shall discuss the goals and scope of circulation work in the next two subsections.
Goals of Circulation Work
Circulation aims to maximise the availability of all library material to users and thereby optimise their use. The major concern of any circulation service is to perform this task with economy and efficiency. This means, adopting effective charging and discharging systems, and procedures of lending for all types of users with reference to the different types of documents. It also implies the formulation of policies that will serve to make library material optimally available to users while ensuring effective control of their movements. Archiving these goals through the circulation division of a library is a management objective.