An obvious first step in any circulation system is to register the users or borrowers. This is a time consuming and somewhat expensive procedure but mandatory for several reasons. This procedure establishes the potential borrower as a legitimate member of the library. Registration identifies the borrower as a member of the community in the case of public libraries or as an enrolled student or faculty staff member in a typical academic environment. This identification is necessary for the accomplishment of the controlling processes like holds, recalls, fines, etc. Apart from this, it also serves as a useful point for informing the clientele of the library policy and procedures. It is one of the initial contact points with the user community. Another important purpose of registration, particularly in the case of public libraries, is that it provides an accurate statistical description of the user population.
Registration Procedure: The registration procedure is fairly well standardised. The borrower to be is given an application form to fill. The application form may preferably be in a card form, so that the same is alphabetically filed to serve as an alphabetical registration record. The information usually requested is the name, address, telephone number, occupation, business address and telephone number. If it is -a public library, the occupation, name, address and telephone number of a referee or a guarantor is sought. The signature of the applicant and the guarantor is also insisted upon. College and university libraries grant borrowing privileges to all faculty, staff and registered students. The method of student identification differs among institutions. The student may be asked to show his/her identification card issued at the time of entry into the current academic session. Another alternative is to require the borrower to show his/her admission receipt. The third alternative requires the student to get the head of his institution or Department to countersign his application and in case' of faculty or, administrative staff a copy of the appointment letter. It is important to establish the bonafides of the student or faculty. Registration enables the user to make use of the privileges of the library. The form of registration is directly influenced by the type of circulation system. The borrowing privileges of members are also indicated in the borrowers' register.