Manage that Small Library

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Small Libraries coverSmall Libraries: Organization and Operation

Submitter: I dug this relic out of our library science collection. It’s from 1992. I’m sure current librarians and librarians in training could benefit from this book’s advice, including how to type a catalogue card and how to keep your date stamp properly inked.

Holly: Wow, 1992? I’m surprised it’s that recent! Still, 20 years in library land is a long time.  I guess if the author truly means “small libraries,” they weren’t necessarily automated in 1992, though.  If they’re tiny libraries, they may never get away from catalog cards.

Folks, please remember to weed your professional collection.  And, what the heck – give ’em a read now and then too.

Small libraries contents


  1. I think my local library stopped giving out stamped due date cards about a year ago. They did get rid of the physical card catalog some time in the ’90s however.

  2. We automated last year (20 years after this book suggested it! Gasp!) and still have our card catalog for people who’re into that sort of thing – although we stopped updating it in like 2011. It was very frustrating to be straight out of school, in my first library job, as a director, no less!, and find that not once during my MLIS did someone tell me what to do if I ran across a card catalog. Forget cataloging, I didn’t even know how to check out books! So basically, some people could still use that information, all these years later.

  3. I need to know how to keep the date stamp properly inked. I’m the one who stamps over 100 cards every day. We still have pockets and date due cards in all materials. Two sets of cards – one for two weeks, one for one week. People complain that the cards are overstamped and they can’t see the dates, so I’ve been reminded to put the cards in order – 1 to 4, not stamped as they come up. And yes, they are HAND- stamped….

  4. I don’t create catalog records, but how often does anyone run across a new book that doesn’t have the cataloging information already there? I don’t know when publishers started including that information but I know I see it all of the time now.

  5. Lurker, it’s a stamp holder. This one has two levels. these may be date stamps, or stamps that say “overdue” or “removed from collection” or perhaps the library name.

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