{the story of a girl}

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ode to the Card Catalog

I love libraries. In high school, when other kids were volunteering as student aide in athletics or drama, I was always first to spend my free hour as a library aide. Oh, how I adored that! Well, except having to shoosh my fellow students; that was a bit awkward. I was enchanted with the entire process: receiving the books, applying library binding, entering them into the system, shelving them. I anxiously worked the circulation desk because I was dying to see what the other kids were checking out. Shelving the returned books was its own reward as I was free to explore the stacks.

But, by far, my favorite part was that mammoth piece of wood with little drawers and label holders. The card catalog. Oh, the card catalog! Gatekeeper of infinite wisdom! It was a source of true joy in my life.

Nowadays when I wander around libraries, I feel the stark and poignant absence of the card catalog. A black hole, if you will. I'm a traditionalist in many ways and being able to thumb through the cards and discover new treasures was one of them.

For years now, I've been on the look-out for my own card catalog, but every one I find is either entirely too much money or too far gone to salvage. There are reproductions out there, of course, but I want the real thing. If a genie were to grant me a wish for what piece of furniture I want most, it would be the card catalog. Antique. Dark oak, if possible. Can you imagine the stories such a piece would tell if it could talk?

Yes, I realize this post broadcasts my geekdom. I'm okay with that.

Interesting tidbit? I, too, have a vintage carousel of old stamps (from a debunk Florida newspaper) and the postcard stand. I do adore Karen's taste!

Image from Poetic Home.


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