Notes From the Trenches

Card Catalogs Embark on a New Career

Technology in libraries may have changed, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new uses for old items.  This fall, Centennial Library at Cedarville University unveiled book display furniture featuring repurposed wooden card catalogs. When the card catalog system was replaced nearly 30 years ago with an online digital system, these card files lost their primary function. But this updated role allows these artifacts of an earlier time to still keep their function of connecting library patrons to library materials.

Though most of our card catalogs had long since left the library, we were unable to part with the last few. Valerie Harmon, the library’s Office Administrator, and her father Wayne Baise, a local woodworking artist, used their creative talents this summer to fashion additional wooden components which enabled the repurposing of the old catalogs. The project was completed in secret this summer and unveiled to the staff prior to the beginning of fall classes.

Responses from faculty, staff, students, employees, and former employees have been very positive and we look forward to many more years of service from our “second career” card catalogs.

 –Joshua B. Michael, Cedarville University

This entry was posted in Vol. 40 no. 3 (Sept 2020) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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