Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's All in the Cards Part 2

Several commentators asked me about the It's All in the Cards post. "What's with the cards?," they asked. Then a conversation on their personal experiences with the card catalog. Mostly in college. It was usually accompanied by the tiny hand motion of your fingers flipping through cards in those tiny drawers.

There were comments on using the card catalog to fill in a bibliography when jammed for time, a function that Amazon's book section provides for contemporary late night crammers. There was discussion about navigating before and after the target book just to see what was out there. But the most interesting commentary went like this; "It seemed like it was a lot easier to find what you were looking for back then."

Was it really? Was the library classification system a more straightforward way to organize information? Could it adequately handle the mass confluence of information going on today? But that single threaded, one person at a time in the drawer thing made searching a wait and see exercise. You couldn't add comments on how useful the resource was or if the author was a bozo for those that came after you to use as a guide post when determining whether to invest time to read the book. So search technology marches on.

No comments:

Post a Comment