Why I Miss Old Fashioned Library Cards

Was looking at the back of the book to see who had previously checked it out an invasion of their privacy?  The Kobe Shimbun had discovered Murakami’s reading when the old books with their library slips were being discarded.  That was not intrusive hacking but something closer to dumpster diving.

That information about readers still exists but is now hidden within the library, its access confined to those who operate the check-out system.  The system is more efficient but I miss seeing how many readers preceded me.  My reading is a bit more isolated as a result, the literary equivalent of Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone.  But my reading choices are no longer public knowledge.

From History News Network | Why I Miss Old Fashioned Library Cards