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David P. Dillard writes "The old ways of finding information included much time in drawers of 3 X 5
cards called a library card catalog that indexed library collections by
author title and subject of owned publications and other materials. In
1984, a centennial exhibition was held for the huge card catalog of the
University of Pennsylvania Library. This historical record of the event
may be of interest.
Here Is The Text from the 1984 Exhibit
in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of
Penn's Library Card Catalog
Text from a speech given by Sue Jacobson, March 1984, at the opening of
the exhibit -- Read More
From today's Washington Post:
The catalogues are in the ground-floor lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at Ninth and G streets NW, row after row of tan wooden chests containing hundreds of steel-handled drawers filled with approximately 4 million typewritten cards . . . ever since computer terminals began providing an online catalogue in 1984 and the library stopped updating the cards in 1991, frequent use has declined . . .
But . . . library officials say the city's flagship library and its outdated catalogues are stuck with each other -- literally. The cabinets are mounted on top of a concrete fill that is 31/2 inches deep and surrounded by granite, and any attempt to remove them would be an expensive proposition for a public library system strapped for cash and struggling to use what money it has to maintain aging branches.
Ruth noticed One Woman's 'Night' Duty Pays Off, a little story about a disagreement about where to shelve Elie Wiesel's autobiographical first book, "Night," about his experiences during the Holocaust.
Researcher Michele Lipson said Fiction, other people thought, Non-Fiction...so she asked the author.
"Twenty minutes later, the flight attendant comes back and hands me the note I wrote. On it, he wrote, 'nonfiction.' I was thrilled. My grandmother said, 'Ah, you see. He didn't even sign it.'"
\"Supporters of the change say the update is needed to avoid running out of ISBN numbers, and to make ISBN compatible with Europe\'s standard. The 13-digit European Article Numbering/Uniform Code Council, or EAN.UCC, is used by 900,000 companies.\"
Jen Young points us to The St. Louis Dispatch and a story on The Missouri Botanical Garden, and plans to create a catalog of all the plants in the world - a sort of encyclopedia of every green living thing.
Peter Raven, the garden's director, envisions the database as a tool for documenting and protecting the approximately 400,000 plant species in the world, about a quarter to half of which are considered to be threatened by extinction.
I was listening to today\'s Justice Talking program on NPR over my lunch hour. The debate was about Megan\'s Law requiring registration of sex offenders. Both participants agreed that information on former offenders should be available to anyone doing background checks, as long as they have a name to search by. The ACLU representative was arguing that it is unconstitutional to make the data public and searchable by address or other fields, and it occurred to me: this is a cataloging issue! It\'s all about access points and availability of data.