In order to keep any library in good order it is essential to maintain an accurate record of the accessions of periodicals, of their positions on the shelves, when they are overdue, on loan, etc. For this purpose, records are usually maintained on some form of card index, consisting either of loose cards in a drawer or some form of visible card index, for example the well‐known Kardex System. The location of the journals is usually recorded separately; the loan of journals forms another system of records. Any form of card index, however, suffers from the disadvantage that it is not possible to extract more than two or three types of information variables at the same time. Thus the cards may be arranged in alphabetical order of the journal and on the face of the card will be indicated the date of accession of the journal; it will be necessary to use an auxiliary device, for example, a coloured tag, to indicate such further information as when the journal is overdue or is on loan, etc. Furthermore, even with a visible card system it is only one type of information, usually the journal title, which is visible without effort, and even this usually entails opening a drawer or a folder of some sort. In addition to such considerations, the difficulties encountered nowadays in regard to the postal services from abroad, not to mention political impediments, render it essential to know at the earliest moment when journals are due, or, rather overdue, in order that claims for them may be entered. A great deal of permanent information can be recorded in a card system, as, for example, described by Miss Jacobs, but the mixing of permanent and variable information leads to congestion, cramped records and possible confusion. Moreover, a comprehensive card index is suitable for use only by the library staff and not by readers to whom the variable information is, however, frequently valuable. Such readers require a system with easy inspection for ascertaining all types of current details. None of the usual recording systems is able to cope with the provision of all these types of information in a single, openly visible unit.
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