Library catalogue is an essential and important tool for any library. This tool has been developed to facilitate the use of reading materials in a library. It is useful to both, the readers using the library and the library staff members who help the readers to use the library.
Library catalogue is a list of books and other reading materials available in a particular library. It discloses to the reader the contents of a library collection. Whereas, cataloguing is a technique of describing the documents in order to help the reader to identify the document in which he is interested. we introduce you to some of the basic ideas relating to library catalogues and cataloguing.. The objective in the preparation and production of a library catalogue is to assist; the users in identifying the contents of a library. The library catalogue guides the users to identify, locate and access reading and reference materials in the library. Essentially a library
catalogue functions as a finding tool to know what a library has. A library catalogue lets a reader know if the library has a document for which the author or the subject or the exact title is known. In addition, it gives information regarding all the other books on a given author or all other books in a subject or a publishers series or the different editions or translations of a given title available in the library. In the preparation of such a tool, a standard code or rules and procedures for cataloguing different kinds of documents guide cataloguers.
Libraries also create a number of other records of documents acquired by them. Some of these are: accession register, the shelf register, current periodicals register, register for periodical holdings, etc. Much of the bibliographical data that go into these registers may be more or less the same as in a library catalogue. For instance, the accession register is an inventory of documents acquired by a library containing detailed information about the price, the vendor who supplied the document, size, in addition to the usual bibliographical data. The shelf register is a list of documents reflecting exactly the way documents are arranged on the shelves in different rooms or halls. It is useful for stock verification. They have some resemblance to a library catalogue but their functions are quite distinct and different.
Library catalogues are also different from the publishers' catalogues, booksellers lists, bibliographies, etc. Each of these reference tools is useful to build up the collections for a library book selection, but they do not do what a library catalogue does.