Most libraries already have some documentation. Software vendors provide manuals for the “out‐of‐the‐box” programs they sell. The bibliographic utilities also provide documentation, which libraries use for guidance on entering data into the utilities. System documentation may exist also in scattered guides, “cheat sheets,” and “how to” manuals that have been developed for staff use as the need has arisen. Relevant documentation may reside even in non‐library sources. With all this existing documentation, one might conclude that there is no need for yet more system documentation. Yet it is precisely because of the scattered nature of the documentation, the selective use of these sources, the inadequacy of some of the sources, and, most importantly, the need for standardized input into the database that there is a need to develop adequate documentation for a particular library's system.
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