I do remember the first time I figured out how to use the sprawling card catalog in the Woodbury (NJ) Public Library, late 1950s.
Don’t remember how old I was, I guess I was in 7th or 8th grade….the light bulb went on for me, I was creating knowledge with the card catalog on my own, researching references for some homework project.
I felt empowered and I felt liberated, I was questing with my hands and with my mind, with a pencil in my mouth and a wad of index cards….
The memory is high contrast in the gallery of my hodgepodge of recollections, it feels like it was lots better than it is today, but of course it wasn’t.
I get a surge every time I Google search for something and get more interesting hits than I could ever pursue in my remaining span of years.
Verily, the card catalog is ancient history. The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) announced recently that it has stopped printing hard-copy catalog cards for worldwide distribution after a run of more than 100 years. They’re not going to make ‘em like that anymore.
The card catalog wasn’t better than Google, but once upon a time I owned that baby in the Woodbury Public Library.
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.