Thursday, January 10, 2008

Library History


Can't get a good scan of this, but it is the circulation card from The Odyssey of Homer from the Boardman Center Middle School Library. The book was accessioned on 9-7-66, and my best friend Lori checked it out in 1978. The book is still there, and my friend's daughter brought it home. I had to laugh at the random date due stamps on the pocket, knowing that we were probably responsible for the ones from '78! The stamping was hugely fascinating.
I'm trying to remember what books I might have checked out that would still be in the library, but I'm having a hard time. Snyder's The Velvet Room, perhaps; Moskin's I am Rosemarie. Farmer's Charlotte Sometimes. I know I read a lot, but the titles are lost to the mists of time.
I still use circ cards, because middle school students frequently suffer from bouts of amnesia, and the cards jog their memories. My student helpers sometimes make mistakes on the computer, and it's nice to have a backup system. Then there was the order from Follett that came with the same bar code numbers on two sets of books. (Raptor and Rats both were 50927, for example.) If I hadn't had the cards, I would never have tracked down about 40 books. Also, should the computer go down, I am still in business.
Students are fascinated by the cards, and asked how one did overdue lists before computers. The answer-- looked through the cards and typed a list of overdues, then very carefully crossed out names when the books came back. I don't know how we would ever have been limited to a certain number of books, or how they could have prevented us from checking out if we had something overdue-- unless they looked at the typed list.
The public library took pictures of the books we checked out with our library card sitting on the pocket. I never understood how they used those records, but someone once said that there was someone sitting at a microfiche reader in the basement, going through records constantly. I can't imagine.
Sorry to digress, but this was such fun! Thank goodness for computers!

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