A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to our little home town Library. Let me tell you this, you know it has been a long time since you last visited there, when they can’t find your name, address, or anything about you in their computer system! lol
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to read. I am a compulsive reader! I will read anything that sparks an interest, and I am talking about anything! As I have said before, I once read the Encyclopedia… the entire set; A-Z…for the pure enjoyment of it. I can not tell you how many times I have read the Bible, in part and whole, nor how many times I have looked up a word in the Dictionary, only to keep reading all the words (and their definitions) that came afterwards. I am one who will read a Cook Book, front to back, like a novel. I also read newspapers, magazines and journals on line. ( such as this one.)
Okay, so if I love to read so much, why haven’t I been to our Library in such a long time? The only excuse I have is, what with having a computer here at my house, and getting books from friends and also at Good Will, I just didn’t.
So, it came as a complete surprise to me how much everything has changed when I finally did go. Let me tell you, going to the Library is not like it use to be folks! For one thing, there are computers that you can use… everywhere.
When I searched for the old card catalog index file, I found out that it is no longer there! Now days, you look up the book you want on a computer to see if it is available. To tell the truth, I sort of miss that old wooden card catalog that we used in order to find the books we wanted to check out. The index cards use to be cross referenced by book titles, book authors or book categories and there was a certain satisfaction in flipping through those old worn index cards. I found a lot of books I would have otherwise not read just by flipping through those index cards.
Here’s a picture of a card catalog for the young folks who may have never seen one. The one that use to sit in our little Library wasn’t near this big. It was about the size of a small bedroom dresser, with access to the index cards on both the front and back.
Our Library has been recently remodeled, both inside and out, complete with lots more outside parking spaces added. The whole interior is much more spacious and brighter. I was in awe of the huge leather arm chairs sitting right there by the tall windows. I could just picture myself over there reading…
So I did!
Sitting there in that big soft leather chair, enjoying the cool, not to mention the quietness of the place…Well,let’s just say, had I sat there much longer, I would have fallen asleep while reading, as I have been known to do here at my house!
The first couple of times I went back to our library, I stood at the desk and waited on the Librarian to check my books out for me. It was the third time I went that she politely informed me that the Librarian no longer has to check the books out for us, (although she would be happy to do so), but that we can now do this task for ourselves!
To do this, you go to a special area at the check out desk, which has a dark gray square flat thing lying on it. It looks sort of like a flat scale and for some reason reminded me of the thing in which Spock and the rest of the crew of the Star Trek’s Enterprise used when they wanted to, “Beam me up Scotty” ! lol
This flat thing has a computer and a card scanner standing next to it. You scan your library card, which by the way, is no longer cardboard, but is now like the card you have for so called discounts at grocery stores, etc. On the touch screen of the computer, you decide if you want English or Spanish.
( Yes, even at the Library, we AMERICANS have to decide which language we want. Don’t even get me started on that one! )
You just place all your books on the flat thing….all of them; stacked one on top of each other. You don’t even have to scan them. The title, author, etc., of all the books you placed on that flat thing just pop right up on the computer sitting next to it! This really amazed me! You then choose if you want a reminder slip with the due date on it. What with my short memory span, of course I do!
Man, after checking out my books, I felt like we are now living in the Jetson’s age!
( Here’s a picture, in case you don’t remember who the Jetsons were. It was a futuristic cartoon back in the 60’s)
All in all, I like our new Library and as the Terminator said in the 1984 movie…
“I WILL BE BACK”
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.