The card catalog: birth and death of a technology

If you’re older than about 40, chances are that you grew up using the card catalog to find library materials. You may have had some trouble getting used to the new computer catalogs. If you’re younger than about 30, chances are you never used a card catalog. Maybe you have never even seen one. And yet the concept of the card catalog is still with us. Just for fun I looked up “online card catalog” on Google.  The search found more than 72 million results. I see that on average Google still gets 90 searches a month on that term. … Continue reading

Catalogers: the invisible librarians

You see their work, but when you go to the library you don’t see them. Or if you do, you can’t distinguish them from patrons like you unless you know them personally. Catalogers. I have been haunting libraries for as long as I can remember. Especially after I got to graduate school, I became very sophisticated in my ability to use the card catalog. (That should date me.) I was ABD (all but dissertation in completing a doctorate) when I got my first job working in a library. It was there that I learned to catalog. Until that moment, it … Continue reading