The earliest method of charging books for home use was a relatively simple one of writing the author, title and borrower's name in a 'Day book'. A 'Day book' was a register that recorded all daily transactions sequentially in a register. Later, this method was superseded by the `Ledger system' with separate pages for each registered borrower. Each borrower's transactions were recorded in his/her respective page. This avoided the tedium of searching through the `Day book' for a single entry. The `ledger system' remained in use until the middle of the nineteenth century.
The disadvantage of both the Day Book' and Ledger systems was the absence of a mechanism to locate the whereabouts of the books. A solution to this shortcoming was found in the `Dummy System'. In this system a block of wood or cardboard about the size of an ordinary book was covered with sheet of ruled paper on the back of which was entered the number of the borrower, call number, title of the book and date of issue. The wooden dummy was filed on the shelf in place of the book that was withdrawn. This method eliminated the need for going through lists of names and titles to find a specific book. This method made possible, for the first time, to identify of both the borrower and the book charged out.
The next step forward was the development of the `Temporary Slip System'. In this system, a slip is prepared at the time of issue of a book, with the particulars of the book such as the call number, author title, and the particulars of the borrower, i.e., name registration number, address, etc., and the date of issue: These slips are arranged at the counter either datewise, or by alphabetically in the name of the borrowers or the registration numbers of borrowers. These slips are either destroyed or given back to the reader as a receipt upon the return of the books. The main advantage of this system over the `Dummy system' was that it kept the circulation record together at the circulation counter instead of scattering throughout the shelves: These temporary slips were later replaced by a permanent slip or a card