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B.K. Kumar

THEORY OF CATALOGUING
By Girja Kumar and Krishan Kumar
Vikas, New Delhi, 1975, 235, 25.00

VOLUME I NUMBER 3 July - September 1976

This study far surpasses the modestly expressed aspirations of the authors of being mainly designed to cater to the needs and requirements of ‘initiates in Library Science’. It should prove equally useful to many others interested in the techniques of infor­mation retrieval. As was evidently expected, a combination of vis­ion and practicality in the co-authorship of this pub­lication has lent not only quality of depth and authenticity but also practical facility to the inter­pretation and critical appraisal of the complex principles of cataloguing. Apparently for the first· time a comparative as, well as contrastive study has been comprehensively made of the two well-known cataloguing codes, namely, Ranganathan’s Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) and, the internationally practised Anglo-­American Cataloguing Rules (AACR). A commend­able attempt has also been made to suggest ways by which the principles evolved by the two can profit­ably be combined in actual practice. Principles underlying other codes are also suitably quoted and explained wherever desirable and necessary. A mentionable feature of this book is that theory of cataloguing is well illustrated by suitable exam­ples; and the basis of theoretical formulations ema­nating from the reader's practical approach is equal­ly well brought forth. Finally it is not theory alone on which the au­thors have concentrated their energies. They have also dealt at length with the organizational and ad­ministrative aspects of library catalogues in the Third World with a particular reference to India. Their following comments on the cataloguing conditions prevailing in the country should be adequately taken note of by our library administrators and planners: Centralized cataloguing is most relevant to countries like India, where bad, indifferent and terrible cataloguing is the order of the day. This is surprising, considering the fact that this coun­try has given birth to one of the most advanced catalogue codes in the world. With a gulf sepa­rating theory from practice, the techniques of cataloguing applied in actual practice in Indian libraries are inexcusable; The multiplicity of languages adds to the woes of a cataloguer be­cause of inadequate staffing of cataloguing de­partments Indian libraries.   Their suggestion in this regard is that ‘it should have been the responsibility of the Central Reference Library’ (National Library) to undertake centrali­zed cataloguing work. However, it looks like asking a diseased horse to run for the race. The internal organization of the National ...


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