We have seen the purpose and functions of a catalogue. By using a library catalogue we can find out the various documents available in the library, without physically going through every rack and stack of the library collection. We can know
1) whether a book or document whose title is known to us is available in the library. This is called 'title approach' of the user.
2) whether a book or document written by a particular author is available or not. This is called 'author approach' of the user.
3) the available literature on a particular subject of our interest in the library. This is called 'subject approach'.
Yet, there is another approach known as 'series approach'.
In the Glossary given in Appendix D of AACR-2, you will find the definition of a "series". In brief, separate items of documents related to one another and having a common collective title in addition to their own titles are said to belong to a series. Again, each of two or more volumes of lectures, essays, articles or other writings which are similar in character and issued in a sequence also comprise a series.
Reputed publishers bring out standard books, monographs and reports in a series. They are valuable for their continuity, authority, and usefulness. A user may be very anxious to read a new document published in a series the moment it is acquired by the library. This approach of the user is known as 'series approach'.
Examples of Series are:
1) McGraw-Hill Series of Science and Technology
2) Sarada Ranganathan Endowment Lectures
You know that the library catalogue not only takes care of the different approaches of the users but also provides all possible information about a document to the user. It takes care of even possible variations in spelling and usage of personal names of authors. As you go further into the lessons you will appreciate the ways in which cataloguing practice visualizes and anticipates the problems from the point of view of a library user.