Sheaf or Loose-Leaf Form:
Sheaf form of library catalogue is also referred to as loose-leaf form. A sheaf form of catalogue is one in which slips of paper are put into a loose-leaf binder and bound by some mechanical device into a volume. This is a loose-leaf binder format, which provides the convenience of handling a book. In the sheaf form, each entry is made on a separate slip. But, there may also be more than one entry on each slip or page. The entries are either handwritten or typed. New slips can be inserted in appropriate places without disturbing the existing order of arrangement of entries. It is also possible to remove entries for specific documents in case such documents are withdrawn from the library stock. Roughly, each volume of a sheaf catalogue may contain about 500 to 600 leaves. The volumes so constituted may be displayed on. special shelves with appropriate labels on their spines, indicating the order (either alphabetical or classified) of arrangement. At one time this form of catalogue became somewhat popular in countries like England and other European countries.
a) It is adjustable and portable which makes it easy to consult from any part of the library,
b) Its flexible nature renders it convenient to insert or delete entries as and when required.
c) It can be kept updated without much difficulty.
d) It is more compact and occupies less space:
a) Generally one slip is used to record the particulars of one document only. This leads to wastage of space on slips, which are larger in size.
b) If details pertaining to more than one document are entered on a single slip, it becomes necessary to rewrite the entire page. This situation results in loss of time and labour on the part of the library staff.
c) Libraries using sheaf catalogue cannot participate in any cooperative cataloguing scheme or use facilities such as distribution of unit cards to minimise their cataloguing work.
d) The catalogue has to he consulted in the library premises only. It is not possible to bring out multiple copies of this catalogue.
e) Loss of slips due to mishandling by readers.