Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Book Arts Tuesday-Smithsonian Says Card Catalog is Dead
It’s been a long time since most libraries were filled with card catalogs — drawers upon drawers of paper cards with information about books. But now, the final toll of the old-fashioned reference system’s death knell has rung for good: The library cooperative that printed and provided catalog cards has officially called it quits on the old-fashioned technology.
The news comes via the The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). The cooperative, which created the world’s first shared, online catalog system back in 1971, allowed libraries to order custom-printed cards that could then be put in their own analog cataloging systems. Now, says OCLC, it’s time to lay a “largely symbolic” system that’s well past its prime to rest.
This made me think of art projects made with card catalog pages. Here's a sampling:
Installation by Ann Hamilton at the San Francisco Public Library
Interactive Exhibit this past spring at Emory Library
Repurposed Library Card Catalog Pages by Vicki Moore at Library as Incubator
American Craft Council Library Card Project