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July 13, 2010

What is it? (circa 2080)


Laugh all you want now, but stop by in 70 years and see what people say.

Somewhere, Nicholson Baker is crying.

July 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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I always loved the precision and basic elegance involved in constructing these wooden treasure troves.

The drawers seemed to question the laws of physics on their length.

Some had one drawer (scarcely filled) to hold one letter,

while another letter took 8-12 drawers!

You could see years of penmanship from the different librarians,

some were typed with a worn ribbon, some with a new, some with both type and writing.

Then came the hunt, God bless you Melvil Dewey!

Posted by: Joe Peach | Jul 14, 2010 9:04:29 AM


Posted by: ALVARO | Jul 14, 2010 5:50:24 AM

My 10 year old daughter thought it was a shoe locker and my 9 year old son suggested it might be mail drawers, as in P.O. boxes. There you have it. Those of us that recognize it will likely be gone long before 2080.

Posted by: tamra | Jul 14, 2010 2:09:09 AM

Just asked my 12 year old what it was, he had no idea.

Posted by: Houston gal | Jul 13, 2010 9:56:47 PM

The cobbler's kids have no shoes and the librarian's husband can't find one for love (ok, for not a lot of money) to store his fly tying supplies in. Oh well....

N.B., Baker's piece on what was lost when we went to the OCLC system is well worth reading.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jul 13, 2010 8:32:59 PM

Yep. A library file card system.

Posted by: Kay | Jul 13, 2010 7:51:35 PM

A library card catalog. I loved thumbing through those carefully typed cards as a kid. It was like browsing in a store to see all the books outlined in one drawer just knowing that you could go find it on the shelf if you wanted to.

Posted by: Cheryl H. | Jul 13, 2010 12:54:01 PM

Hell, ask anyone under 25...I picked up a few of these at an auction with the idea that I was going to do something cool with them...instead, I gave them away...

Posted by: clifyt | Jul 13, 2010 12:51:58 PM

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