There are several types of library catalogs, including:
- Card catalog: This is the traditional form of the library catalog, which consists of physical cards that are organized alphabetically by author, title, or subject. Card catalogs were widely used in the past, but they have been largely replaced by digital catalogs.
- Online catalog: This is the most common type of library catalog today, it is a digital catalog that is accessible through the internet. Online catalogs can be searched by keyword, author, title, subject, or other bibliographic data. It allows users to access to library’s resources from remote locations and it also allows for interlibrary loan and resource sharing.
- Integrated Library System (ILS) or Library Automation System: This is a software package that is used to manage and automate the functions of a library, such as cataloging, circulation, and acquisitions. An ILS typically includes an online catalog, which can be searched by patrons, as well as a variety of other tools that are used by library staff.
- Union catalog: This is a catalog that contains the bibliographic records of multiple libraries, usually within a certain region or organization. Union catalogs can be used to locate materials held by other libraries, and they are often used in interlibrary loan and resource sharing programs.
- National catalog: This is a catalog that contains bibliographic records of items held by libraries throughout a country. The most famous example is the Library of Congress catalog which is the national catalog of the United States.
- Virtual catalog: This is a catalog that does not have physical collections, but it includes the bibliographic records of items that are available online.
It’s worth noting that each type of catalog has its own characteristics, and the best type of catalog for a particular library will depend on the library’s specific needs, budget, and resources.