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How to Catalog a Home Library

Andrea Smo

If you are like most people, you do not have a home library. To make your collection of books more organized and useful, catalog your books. By cataloging your books you can keep track of how many you have and which ones are your favorites.

Catalog a Home Library
  1. Collect all of the books you wish to catalog and decide how you would like to organize them. For example, by author, title or genre.

  2. Separate the books into piles according to how you have decided to catalog them. Each pile will have an assigned letter. For example, if you are cataloging by author use the first letter of the author's last name such as "W" for Walker. To catalog by title use the first letter of the title such as "C" for The Color Purple. For cataloging by genre, use separate piles for fiction or feminist fiction, mystery, romance, history, or other genres in your collection.

  3. Create a document on your personal computer, listing your books based on how you sorted them. For example, if you are cataloging your books by author name, you will begin listing your books with the "A" names and continue through "Z". Include information from each book in the document that is appropriate for your catalog system. For example, author, title and year published. You may also include the date the book was added to your collection (if known). Save the document on your hard drive and another location, such as a flash drive or CD.

  4. Sort your books, using your catalog document as a guide, and arrange them in order on the bookshelf. Remove from your collection and from your catalog document any books you know you will not read again. Donate your unwanted books to Goodwill or the local public library.

  5. Add new books you acquire to your computer-designed catalog document before putting them on the appropriate shelf. This will keep your books organized as well as help you to find a specific book when you are searching for it.