Printed Book Form:
The printed book form of library catalogue is one of its typical forms. These types of library catalogues are prepared conforming to all the standard principles and rules of cataloguing, with cross references and multiple entries.
In the nineteenth century, the most common physical form of a library catalogue was the printed book form. Especially, some of the big libraries like British Museum Library (now renamed as the British Library), the Library of Congress, National Library Calcutta, printed their catalogues in the book form. To keep the catalogue updated, they used to issue supplements to these catalogues at regular intervals, e.g. the catalogue of Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bombay Library was kept up-to-date in this way.
a) The catalogue can be brought out in multiple copies in desired numbers and can be priced and sold.
b) Library users can refer to the catalogue, at their leisure at their home or work place and need not come to the library just to find out whether the library possesses a particular book of their choice.
c) It is easier to consult a book catalogue as there are many entries on one page.
d) It does not occupy much space and is easy to handle.
e) The catalogue can be issued subject-wise thereby catering to the needs of different subject groups of users.
a) It is costly to bring out printed catalogue.
b) It takes more time to prepare the press copy.
c) It becomes outdated by the time it is out of press. Preparing a print ready copy for the press takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and the items acquired for the library during this period cannot be included, resulting in numerous supplements. Consulting all these supplements is tedious and time-consuming.
d) At a given point of time, the catalogue cannot indicate the complete collection.
e) It is not flexible. Insertion of entries for new books or deletion of entries for lost books is not possible.
f) It is necessary to have qualified staff with the knowledge of cataloguing and printing process.
In spite of the above-mentioned limitations, the printed book form of the library catalogue is attractive due to the many advantages associated with its use. The computerised printouts of a library catalogue are a near substitute of a printed book catalogue.