A catalog card is a small card or slip of paper that contains information about a specific item in a library’s collection, such as a book or a periodical. Catalog cards are used to create a card catalog, which is an index of the library’s collection that can be used to find and locate items.
The information on a catalog card typically includes the title, author, publisher, publication date, and call number of the item. The card also includes a summary of the item’s contents, and may include information about the item’s physical characteristics, such as its size and format.
In manual library circulation systems, forms are also used to record information about library transactions. These forms typically include check-out forms, check-in forms, and forms to record fines and overdue charges.
Check-out forms are used to record the details of a patron checking out an item, such as the patron’s name, the item’s title, and the due date. Check-in forms are used to record the details of a patron returning an item, such as the date the item was returned and any fines or charges that are due.
Forms for fines and overdue charges are used to record any fines or charges that a patron incurs for returning an item late or for losing or damaging an item.
In modern library circulation systems, catalog cards and forms are replaced by digital systems, where information is recorded in databases, and the circulation process is done through computer terminals.