All the activities of the library revolve around the Five Laws of Library Science because these are the guiding principles for effective scientific planning of a library. For preparing and effective catalogue, a number of guidelines are implied in these Five Law enunciated by Ranganthan.
Books are for Use, the First law implies the need for organising the collections of a library for optimum utilisation by providing a number of physical facilities and providing reader services.
The physical form of a catalogue should be such that it is flexible, can be kept up-to-date, easy to consult and allows speedy search. it allows for addition of entries for new documents as and when added to the library. the users should know the scope, contents and coverage of documents by means of annotation and useful notes in a catalogue so as toe make appropriate choice among various documents. The catalogue is the only medium to bring together the users and the collections leading to maximum use and satisfy the thirst for knowledge.
The Second Law states "every Reader his/His book" which implies that various approach of the users i.e. search by author, subject and title etc. should be satisfied. Many books ae of composite nature. Neither the title nor the main entry may disclose the contents. This law require that hidden contents should be brought to the notice of the readers by preparing subject analytical entries. So also the Third Law "Every Book its Readers" requires for preparation of analytical entries and cross reference entries as and when necessitated, especially in case of books published user editorial direction (where a number of contributors contribute papers). Seminar precedings and journals in which some of the articles are highly needed by the readers are likely to miss the notice of the readers if only added entries are prepared. Instead they will be helped if analytical entries are prepared.
The Fourth Law "Save the Time of the Reader" ensures to save the precious time of the users. A catalogue should not only be simple in its design and construction but also up to date, communicable with elaborate guides. For effective use of the catalogue, user education programmers should be organised for the users.
"Library is a Growing Organism" is the Fifth Law which implies that catalogue also grows because of addition of books to the library. Keeping in view the changes and gorwth in nature and variety of publications, other forms of doucments, needs of users and the advent of ICT has enormous impact on changes both in the physical form and internal structure of the catalogue. Change is a must and the library should prepare to face such challenges. Hence, while selecting a physical form decision should be taken on the basis of features like longevity, durability, space, simplification, probability, selectivity, flexibility and cost.
Written by Naju
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