How far have we come? Well, it's almost a city emergency when the automated checkout system fails at libraries these days. At the very least, such a failure is worthy of a news story warning the public that their library will have a "retro" look for a while.
Story from the New Bern Sun Journal (NC):
Beach said the 126,303 library users "will have to bring their library card and sign out books just like they used to do. It's a funny thing, going back to the way it was 25 years ago. The barcodes will have to be entered manually once we get a new server."...
Beach said library staff will be "filing cards alphabetically, like we used to, and we will have to keep a record of books coming in as they are returned until such time as we can scan them back in."
She said the computer server is 10 years old and "we have prayed on it for a long time now. It has gone well beyond when a server should be replaced."
Internet access has not been affected and will continue to be available....
But until the server is replaced, patrons can't reserve books or access the library catalogue by computer, either at the library or remotely.
Beach said the situation makes this "a perfect time to become a ‘browser' of the library shelves again, instead of browsing online and only coming to the library when you are going to pick up the book."Ahh, the good old days...Remember when?
"We have come to depend on technology so much," she said. "Now we have to fall back on solutions that used to work just fine. We'll have to remember that. I just hope it doesn't last too long."