the *card* catalog
A few months ago, I was saying something at a meeting about making a tutorial for the online catalog when one of the catalogers interrupted.
"You said *card* catalog!" she declared.
"I did?" I said.
"You said online card catalog. There's no cards involved. Card catalog is an outdated term!"
Hmm. I worked as a cataloger for a couple years before this job and it seems like a lot of what goes into a catalog record is still tied to the card format. The concept of main entry, LC subject headings, serials holdings especially--things like that. When I'm instructing students now on how to use the online catalog, I ask them if they've ever seen a card catalog, and to picture the online interface searching through the drawers. To me, this explains a lot of the funky stuff about searching an online catalog that makes it different from using an article database or search engine. Of course, it's getting to the point where few students have seen card catalogs any more so I may just have to abandon the analogy for instruction.
I'm just curious what the LISNewsterz think. Is there still a connection between the online catalog and the card catalog? Or am I, as the catalogers here tell me, hopelessly out of date with the cutting edge craft of cataloging?