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Concise tour of the library catalog card

by Terry Fresquez on 2023-05-14T10:00:00-07:00 in Education, General, History, Information Literacy | 0 Comments

Before computers or electronic devices, information was looked up using the paper library catalog card.  What are catalog cards in the library?  A catalog card (or shelf list card) is an individual entry in a library catalog containing bibliographic information, including the author's name, title, and location on the shelf. 

There are three kinds of card catalogs – the title card, the author card and the subject card.  

Here is an example of an MSMU library shelf list card containing the author, title, subject and call number. The call number is the location where an item can be found on the shelf.  The call number is alpha-numeric and created by its subject matter based on the Library of Congress classification system. It provides the order in which the books are placed on the shelf.

From the card catalog to the largest database in the world, WorldCat.  

WorldCat is operated by OCLC (the Online Computer Library Center). OCLC builds and maintains WorldCat through its member libraries and is a global union catalog that itemizes collections of bibliographic data from various institutions.  

WorldCat is freely available for everyone to search: MSMU - WorldCat - Discovery. 

WorldCat has all sorts of interesting and different formats (such as, electronic books and periodicals, DVDs, CDs, print books and periodicals, etc.) of items to read, borrow, or find.  

Discover our two campus libraries’ knowledge and resources here: MSMU - Libraries.


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