ALIC, part of the National Archives, provides sources for research about American history and government, archival administration, information management, and government documents to archives and records management professionals, the general public, and National Archives staff. Search their online catalog for holdings of the Archives libraries in Washington, DC and College Park, MD. Go to ALIC
A library catalog (or library catalogue in British English) is a register of all bibliographic items found in a library or group of libraries, such as a network of libraries at several locations. A catalog for a group of libraries is also called a union catalog. A bibliographic item can be any information entity (e.g., books, computer files, graphics, realia, cartographic materials, etc.) that is considered library material (e.g., a single novel in an anthology), or a group of library materials (e.g., a trilogy), or linked from the catalog (e.g., a webpage) as far as it is relevant to the catalog and to the users (patrons) of the library.
The card catalog was a familiar sight to library users for generations, but it has been effectively replaced by the online public access catalog (OPAC). Some still refer to the online catalog as a \"card catalog\". Some libraries with OPAC access still have card catalogs on site, but these are now strictly a secondary resource and are seldom updated. Many libraries that retain their physical card catalog will post a sign advising the last year that the card catalog was updated. Some libraries have eliminated their card catalog in favor of the OPAC for the purpose of saving space for other use, such as additional shelving.
The largest international library catalog in the world is the WorldCat union catalog managed by the non-profit library cooperative OCLC. In January 2021, WorldCat had over 500,000,000 catalog records and over 3 billion library holdings.
A more recent attempt to describe a library catalog's functions was made in 1998 with Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), which defines four user tasks: find, identify, select, and obtain.
Melvil Dewey saw well beyond the importance of standardized cards and sought to outfit virtually all facets of library operations. To the end he established a Supplies Department as part of the ALA, later to become a stand-alone company renamed the Library Bureau. In one of its early distribution catalogs, the bureau pointed out that \"no other business had been organized with the definite purpose of supplying libraries\". With a focus on machine-cut index cards and the trays and cabinets to contain them, the Library Bureau became a veritable furniture store, selling tables, chairs, shelves and display cases, as well as date stamps, newspaper holders, hole punchers, paper weights, and virtually anything else a library could possibly need. With this one-stop shopping service, Dewey left an enduring mark on libraries across the country. Uniformity spread from library to library.
Dewey and others devised a system where books were organized by subject, then alphabetized based on the author's name. Each book was assigned a call number which identified the subject and location, with a decimal point dividing different sections of the call number. The call number on the card matched a number written on the spine of each book. In 1860, Ezra Abbot began designing a card catalog that was easily accessible and secure for keeping the cards in order; he managed this by placing the cards on edge between two wooden blocks. He published his findings in the annual report of the library for 1863 and they were adopted by many American libraries.
During the early modern period, libraries were organized through the direction of the librarian in charge. There was no universal method, so some books were organized by language or book material, for example, but most scholarly libraries had recognizable categories (like philosophy, saints, mathematics). The first library to list titles alphabetically under each subject was the Sorbonne library in Paris. Library catalogs originated as manuscript lists, arranged by format (folio, quarto, etc.) or in a rough alphabetical arrangement by author. Before printing, librarians had to enter new acquisitions into the margins of the catalog list until a new one was created. Because of the nature of creating texts at this time, most catalogs were not able to keep up with new acquisitions.
When the printing press became well-established, strict cataloging became necessary because of the influx of printed materials. Printed catalogs, sometimes called dictionary catalogs, began to be published in the early modern period and enabled scholars outside a library to gain an idea of its contents. Copies of these in the library itself would sometimes be interleaved with blank leaves on which additions could be recorded, or bound as guardbooks in which slips of paper were bound in for new entries. Slips could also be kept loose in cardboard or tin boxes, stored on shelves. The first card catalogs appeared in the late 19th century after the standardization of the 5 in. x 3 in. card for personal filing systems, enabling much more flexibility, and towards the end of the 20th century the online public access catalog was developed (see below). These gradually became more common as some libraries progressively abandoned such other catalog formats as paper slips (either loose or in sheaf catalog form), and guardbooks. The beginning of the Library of Congress's catalog card service in 1911 led to the use of these cards in the majority of American libraries. An equivalent scheme in the United Kingdom was operated by the British National Bibliography from 1956 and was subscribed to by many public and other libraries.
For some works, even the title can be standardized. The technical term for this is uniform title. For example, translations and re-editions are sometimes sorted under their original title. In many catalogs, parts of the Bible are sorted under the standard name of the book(s) they contain. The plays of William Shakespeare are another frequently cited example of the role played by a uniform title in the library catalog.
In a subject catalog, one has to decide on which classification system to use. The cataloger will select appropriate subject headings for the bibliographic item and a unique classification number (sometimes known as a \"call number\") which is used not only for identification but also for the purposes of shelving, placing items with similar subjects near one another, which aids in browsing by library users, who are thus often able to take advantage of serendipity in their search process.
Use: PLS data are useful to researchers, journalists, the public, local practitioners, and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels, and are used for planning, evaluation, and policy making. Download the datasets in multiple formats below, or use our online Library Search & Compare tool to find a library and browse the latest available data.
Both institutions make it easy to find the primary sources you need. The search engine at loc.gov and the online catalog at archives.gov let you search millions of online primary sources and narrow your search to find just the object you and your students need.
The Public Library Service's online catalogue is your tool to explore our collection of books, DVDs, audiobooks, games, and more. Through the catalogue, you can locate items in any PEI public library, place holds, renew your materials and browse new additions to the collection.
Welcome to the Reference Materials page. These are selections of resource materials about the Philippines ranging from general resources to theses and dissertations. They are categorized as printed materials and internet resources. Please note: multiple copies, including circulating copies, may be available for reference sources listed below. Please check the online catalog or inquire at the Asia Reference Desk.
Though February is a short month, there's no shortage of free online events to support your library learning needs! Take some time to explore this month's list of 87 webinars and 2 online conferences, covering 22 topic areas, and you're sure to find sessions that align with your learning goals or perhaps those you'd like to tackle as a team. We encourage you to consider finding topics to explore with your volunteers or trustees as well, to help bring shared knowledge and skills to your library. Thank you to the Wyoming State Library for compiling this list each month, which is also updated monthly on the Free Training page, where you can view the offerings also grouped by topic.
February 24: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 (Nebraska Library Commission) This free one-day online conference is tailored for staff from small libraries - the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a library serving fewer than 10,000 people, or is directly partnered with a small library and co-presenting with the library. Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for the library. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries. Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library is. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you!
Privacy Audits for Public Libraries (Niche Academy) Unprecedented threats to the privacy and security of library patrons have emerged in recent years, from book challenges to online data and general AI advances that can prey on our most vulnerable populations. More than ever, it is critical to protect our patrons from the tremendous risks they face when enjoying the resources within our walls. Participants completing this webinar will understand the value of the privacy audit and how to conduct one for their organization, whe