How To Use a Card Catalog
A great source of information is the card catalog. Although card catalogs rarely exist in the form of pieces of paper, they can often be found online in most libraries. These card catalogs offer a wealth of information about the contents of that library. On a typical card catalog entry, it will include the title of that book, the author of the book, the year of publication, number of pages, the reference number in the Library of Congress, and the library call number for that particular library.
All of this information here helps readers find a particular book that they’re looking for that they might want to read, and then find that book in that particular library. Notice that the last thing that’s on a card catalog is the library call number. That’s the number that the reader looks for to find that book in that library. They can look over this information to find out if they want to read that book. They might come across a book, but they’re looking for something that will be a real quick read, so, they look at the number of pages. Maybe they are looking for an older book written in older English. They can look at the year of publication to find an older book. Maybe a reader already knows which book they want to read. They can look it up by title, then they find the library call number.
In addition to all of this information, card catalogs often contain a summary and links to find books by the same author or subject. Summaries are very helpful, because if a reader is looking for books, they can come across a book, and they might like the author, or they might like the title of it. Then, they can read a summary to see if they’re interested in reading that book or looking through that book for certain information. A great thing about card catalogs being online is that it can offer links to other books by the same author or subject. Someone might be looking at a card catalog, see the title of the book, and they like the subject material that the book is on, but they don’t want that particular book. So, they could click on the subject of the sentence, or the title, and then find a list of other books that have similar titles.
Maybe they are looking at a book by a particular author, and they like that author, so they want to look for other books by him or her. They can click on the author, and find a list of books that are also written by that author. As you can see, card catalogs offer a wealth of information about the contents of a library.