Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back to the Old Days

All of that new library technology (WiFi, automated checkout, electronic book catalogs, computers, CDs, DVDs, etc) is something we've all grown so accustomed to now that many of us can barely remember the days when all of that great stuff was not part of a visit to our local library.

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."

"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."
Ahh, the good old days...Remember when?

5 comments:

  1. I miss the little drawers that held the card catalogue file. I wouldn't care if libraries never use computers again!

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  2. That's kind of funny. I can barely remember the days of card catalogs, and now I often look up books at home before going to the library. I wouldn't at all mind being forced to browse the shelves more, I'd discover more books unknown to me!

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  3. Debbie, I saw several cabinets of those old card files for sale at an auction house a while back. Strictly for nostalgic reasons, I'd love to have one in my study, but I just don't have the space...very tempting though, and hard to pass up at the time.

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  4. Debbie, I saw several cabinets of those old card files for sale at an auction house a while back. Strictly for nostalgic reasons, I'd love to have one in my study, but I just don't have the space...very tempting though, and hard to pass up at the time.

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  5. Jeane, I hadn't much thought about it, but now that I think about it I realize that my "shelf browsing" has been cut by at least 90% since I can search online for exactly what I want to find...wonder what books I've missed learning about because of that change of habit.

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